Donovan Mitchell doesn’t appear to be on board with trying to talk things out with Rudy Gobert and reportedly remains “reluctant” to repair his relationship with Rudy Gobert because of the center’s actions before his coronavirus diagnosis.
Shams Charania, Sam Amick and Tony Jones of The Athletic reported on Friday that the franchise has started the process of getting the stars talking again, but nothing has worked so far.
“As it turns out, that was also the day Gobert had his regrettable moment, touching the microphones of media members as he left his press conference after the morning shoot-around. It was a bad move, a practical joke gone wrong that was, in part, poking fun at the league’s new policy of keeping reporters six feet away from players during media interviews at that time.
But in the wake of all those COVID-19 lessons, it made it even harder to understand why he would do such a thing. What’s more, it wasn’t just the public who deemed his attitude toward the coronavirus irresponsible. There were members of his Jazz family who were disappointed by the message he was sending.
As the Tuesday afternoon trip commenced, teammates noticed Gobert coughing and showing the effects of whatever ailed him. Some of them encouraged him to treat his illness, prodding Gobert to skip the conventional medicines and teas and head straight to the trainers for a coronavirus test, according to sources. Yet Gobert, who believed he felt good enough to play in the Wednesday game against the Thunder, clearly didn’t see his symptoms as severe enough to warrant such a reaction.
In the two travel days leading into Utah’s game at Oklahoma City, Gobert and Mitchell shared space on a regular basis, sitting near each other on buses and the team plane, according to sources. Still, there’s no way to know if Gobert gave it to Mitchell or if it was the other way around or some other factor. That’s something the team tried to make clear to Mitchell, according to sources. Mitchell also declined an interview request for this story.”
The report continues…
“Yet as Mitchell made clear on March 16 during his video call visit with “Good Morning America,” he was not happy about the part Gobert played in the entire saga. Considering all the efforts the Jazz had taken to educate their players on the matter and to ensure their safety, it’s not hard to see why there would be frustration with anyone who was still downplaying the disease. Now, though, they must find a way to move forward.
The Jazz have already begun working on the Mitchell-Gobert relationship, but sources say Mitchell remains reluctant to fix what might have been broken.”
“It doesn’t appear salvageable,” a source told The Athletic.”
Gobert was widely criticized for his actions during a press conference where he joked about the coronavirus by purposely touching everyone mic and recording device before leaving the room:
Two days later, he would test positive for the coronavirus and the NBA would effectively suspend the season.
The Jazz ranked fourth in the Western Conference with a 41-23 record when the season was stopped, but the franchise has more issues to think about going forward if these two can’t get back on board with each other.