NBA Rumors: Rudy Gobert’s Public Criticism Made Donovan Mitchell’s Inner Circle Angry | Bleacher report

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A comment from Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert about the Phoenix Suns and guard Devin Booker in January was reportedly perceived as a weakness against teammate Donovan Mitchell by those close to Mitchell.

According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, Gobert said the following about Utah’s status as a title challenger and how he felt separate championship-caliber teams from the Jazz:

“We know that when the playoffs come, we’re not just going to switch a switch and all suddenly communicate, suddenly be able to stay in front of our man, suddenly be able to rebound. When I see some of these other teams like e.g. The Suns or Warriors, those guys are one step ahead of us in terms of winning habits. I feel like they take every fight personally.

“You can see Devin Booker playing his ass defensively. I’ve seen him compared to two years ago. Like some guys they buy in and you can see they’re taking pride in playing defense and stopping their man ., do what they can defensively to stop the other team and be part of a winning culture. “

Per MacMahon, the comments “made some in Mitchell’s inner circle simmer” because of the belief that Gobert “violated locker room protocols by publicly pointing a finger at his teammate.”

Gobert never said Mitchell’s name, but the apparent perception was that he was shouting at Mitchell as he and Booker play the same position.

In the wake of Gobert’s comments, several jazz players expressed their feelings about what Gobert said and the meaning behind it.

Publicly, Mitchell took no offense to it, saying, “I’m not really worried about it. Ultimately, we all need to find ways to get better. It really is. We all have individual ways of doing it, and his happens to be like that. So fat. “

Jazz forward Royce O’Neale said: “Everything [Gobert] says he does not mean bad by it. [But] you do not have to say those comments [to the media]. “

Guard Jordan Clarkson later pointed out, “It’s not like that [Gobert] pointed out a great man or nothing, “which promotes the perception that Gobert may have taken a shot at Mitchell.

For his part, Gobert said he simply wanted to help all his teammates get better:

“Sometimes I can be clumsy with what I say, but I always say my opinion and it always comes from a place where I want to win. As I said privately to Don, all I do is on the pitch, to help him get better.All the things I do to get him open, to communicate with him, to try to push him defensively.Whether it’s Donovan or all my teammates, all the things I do help them get better. “

Gobert’s comments may not have received any publicity under normal circumstances, but he and Mitchell have had problems in the past.

MacMahon noted that Gobert and Mitchell did not speak to each other for several months at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic due to Gobert’s handling of the situation.

Gobert was the first NBA player to test positive for COVID-19, followed by Mitchell. ESPNs Adrian Wojnarowski reported at the time that Gobert was carelessly touching the belongings of his teammates before the diagnosis in a clear sign that he was not taking things seriously.

Mitchell later admitted he was angry at Gobert at first, saying it “took me a while to cool off.”

On top of these issues, the Jazz have failed to parlay strong regular seasons into playoff success.

Utah has reached the playoffs in each of the past six seasons, but has not made it past the second round. That includes this season as the Jazz fell 4-2 in their first round with the Dallas Mavericks, and were eliminated in a 98-96 Game 6 loss Thursday.

Per MacMahon has opposing teams circling and waiting to see if Mitchell could request a trade-off during the high season.

Mitchell has not publicly suggested he wants to be traded, but if his relationship with Gobert is irreparable, it is possible that the triple All-Star could play somewhere else next season.

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