Trying to keep pace with New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert was willing to do whatever he had to do to make sure his numbers were accurate—even if it meant sliding into the league's direct messages.
A feature written on Gobert by Sports Illustrated's Ben Reiter revealed that the NBA's official Twitter account received a DM from the Utah big man after a game in the middle of last season. The reason: The 7'1" center felt as though he had gotten robbed of a block, and because he was in a tight race for the league lead, he wanted it fixed:
Late on the night of Jan. 22, 2015, the NBA’s Twitter account received an unusual direct message. "I don't like to complain about stats but my blocks are very important to me," the message read. "I had 2 clean blocks in the first quarter. And they only counted me 1 please take a look one on ilyasova and one on zaza pachulia. Thanks!"
The sender was Rudy Gobert. His protest was in vain. "I was very mad," he says. "To be honest, I was trying to pass Anthony Davis in blocks, but then he started blocking like nine shots a night and got too far away from me anyway." Gobert would finish the season with 189 blocks—11 shy of Davis—for an average of 2.30 per game.
As Reiter noted, that one block would not wind up mattering much by the end of the season. Davis took control of the race and ended up with 11 blocks more than Gobert, who finished second in the league.
It's one thing to worry about numbers during the game. After the game, it's a little more acceptable for an NBA player to want to make sure he got credit for everything he did on the court. At that point, the player isn't hurting his team by focusing on his numbers.
Whether or not you like that Gobert took such an extreme measure to try to help his numbers, it's an amusing story.
The NBA won't have to worry about receiving a similar DM from the Jazz center this season. Although Gobert is currently tied for second in blocks per game (2.4), he has only played in 28 of his team's 48 games this season. It would take either a slew of injuries (which nobody wants to see) or an out-of-this-world performance for the rest of the season for him to make a run at the blocks title.