Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell have been through it in 2020. After becoming the first and second NBA players to test positive for COVID-19 back in March, the two All-Stars and their relationship with each other hit rock bottom. At one point, things were “unsalvageable”. But they talked it out, and got to a spot in their relationship that they could play together in the NBA bubble in Orlando for the conclusion of the 2019-20 NBA season.
Fast forward six months later, and both Gobert and Mitchell have signed multi-year extensions to stay in Utah with the Jazz. Gobert’s a five-year $205 Million contract, and Mitchell a five-year $195 Million. The Jazz front office has bet the farm on Rudy and Donovan and Utah, and for Jazz fans, things couldn’t be much better in terms of locking down two amazing All-Star talents in Utah.
Gobert had some amazing words in an article published on The Undefeated yesterday, while talking about his relationship and goals with Donovan Mitchell.
I’m excited to continue this journey, I want to say climb the ladder, and to do it with Donovan [Mitchell].
All the things that happened between me and Donovan, within our team and also in the world, I think it really helped us to understand each other better. And now I’m really sure that – and I’m speaking with my heart – we know we can win together, and I want to win with Donovan.
It’s pretty awesome to see how Rudy and Donovan were able to work through their differences and come together as teammates. Basketball aside, there is a great life lesson in this; being able to get through some tough relationship stuff in order to achieve a common goal. Whether it be a coworker, or friend, or family member - I think there is a lot to learn from Rudy and Donovan. I’m grateful for their examples of maturity in being able to figure things out for the success of the franchise.
Rudy also talked about how much winning a championship would mean for Utah, and explained why that was one of his reasons for wanting to stay here.
I don’t know if there are even words to describe what it would mean to win the first NBA championship in Utah. What it would mean to me, to the people, my family, to my teammates, to the organization, to coach Quin [Snyder]. To all the people that also supported me, and all the ones who also doubted.
I think at the end of the day, when something looks impossible, you’re always going to have people that remind you of that. The day you accomplish it, everyone can only respect you for that. That is the way I see it, and that was one of the main reasons I wanted to stay here. It’s because I think that winning with Utah will carry more weight than joining someone else, and it would make the story even more unique.
There’s some other amazing stuff in this Undefeated piece on Rudy, including his background as an underdog, Utah being his home, and much more. I highly recommend this read to any Jazz fan. You can read the full interview/story here.