Players change their teams but never want to lose the fans. It was the fans that drives athletes to play better and better over time. Minnesota Timberwolves Rudy Gobert is also loved by his former team Utah Jazz fans.
Rudy Gobert started his NBA career with Utah Jazz in 2013 after moving from France. He was a three-time NBA All-Star, NBA rebound leader, NBA blocks leader, and French player of the year during his tenure in Utah. During that time, he attracted a lot of attention with his promising performance in the center of the court.
Minnesota traded Patrick Beverley, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Leandro Bolmaro to swap with Rudy from Utah in 2022. The center started his first match for the Timberwolves against Oklahoma City Thunder. He was also a starter in the match against his former team.
Gobert was praised by both teams’ fans throughout the game. It was his first game wearing a Timberwolves jersey at Vivint Arena. He received 22 points, but the final act turned him into the hour’s villain. With 2.4 seconds left in a game that had already been settled in favor of the visiting team, he sank an uncontested layup. Players and fans immediately voiced their contempt towards the player.
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) December 10, 2022
Malik Beasley, the shooting guard of Utah instantly confronted Gobert and that led to a dramatic ending of the game. “It’s the unwritten rule of basketball, and I told him that,” the guard told reporters. Although there was no physical altercation, Minnesota center became upset as he lost the chance to reunite with his former teammates.
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) December 10, 2022
“I’ve been taught to play basketball to the last second. For me, there was never any intent to disrespect anybody,” Gobert told reporters, “These guys who stepped in front of me, they weren’t going to do anything anyway. I didn’t get to shake hands with my guys, it kind of killed my moment a little bit. It is what it is. Some guys just want attention.”
Mike Conley Jr. former Utah player said, “There’s unwritten rules in everything, Obviously, we didn’t like what happened at the end of the game, but it happens. It happened. We’d rather win the game and not have to worry about it. It is what it is, but, obviously, we don’t like it.”