I’m going to try to write about basketball.
In what feels like an entire year packed into a single week, the Utah Jazz find themselves out of the spotlight somewhat. The heat on Rudy Gobert both nationally, and even internationally, seems to have lessened.
Donovan Mitchell gave his GMA interview that didn’t really quell any Jazz fan anxiety about the rift between him and the other star on the team, Rudy Gobert.
That all seems like ages ago.
As Mitchell has said, he just needs time to cool off. Mitchell has earned enough trust equity from Jazz fans and media before that perhaps we should give that to him at this point. Since joining the Jazz, Mitchell has been nothing but an incredible player and person in the community.
As frustrating as the entire situation was last week, and how much the Jazz probably wished things had been different, it feels like everyone can tentatively start looking forward.
Things weren’t looking good for the Jazz even before the team was the center of the coronavirus outbreak. The stress from that likely created an even bigger rift. Mitchell still hasn’t mentioned talking with Gobert, for example.
So what’s the only thing that could fix this?
Probably time apart.
And that’s exactly what the Jazz have right now.
Players are itching to play basketball and will want to hit the ground running when they get back. If there is still a playoffs coming, and the Jazz want to advance at all, then they need Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell to patch this up.
This isn’t the first rift that has cause problems in the past. We’ve seen the Jazz work things out with Karl Malone during contentious contract negations. That eventually worked itself out and the Jazz would eventually go on to play in the finals. We’ve also seen Deron Williams and Jerry Sloan go at it which ended in the team splitting up and cratering.
This is likely not at that level but if the Jazz want to continue to rise in the rankings, and eventually hit their goal of eventually winning a championship, they’ll need this rift to heal.
My mom always taught me you don’t have to like everyone, but you do have love them.
In basketball you don’t have to like your teammates, but you do have to play with them. Jazz fans can only hope that time apart, and a desire to return to the court, can fix this locker room issue. But it’s up to them and how much they care about winning.