Rudy Gobert Says All-Star Snub Teaches Kids 'Defense Doesn't Matter' Amid Tears

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 1, 2019

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) argues with a referee after he thought he was fouled during the first half in an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday, Jan. 18, 2019, in Salt lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert believes a lack of emphasis on defense led to his All-Star Game snub.

After Gobert was not among those announced as All-Star reserves Thursday, he told reporters Friday that it sends a bad message to children: "For all the kids watching, you're basically telling them that defense doesn't matter, that winning doesn't matter."

Per The Athletic's Chris Kirschner, Gobert was upset by the snub:

The 26-year-old big man is in the midst of a career year, as he is averaging a career-high 15.0 points and 12.8 rebounds per game to go along with 2.2 blocks.

Gobert is second in the NBA in total blocks and third in total rebounds. He also leads the league with a field-goal percentage of 65.0 percent and ranks second in both offensive rating and defensive win shares and third in defensive rating, per Basketball Reference.

On the heels of a slow start, Gobert also has the Jazz back in playoff position, as they are seventh in the Western Conference at 29-23.

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, who was not chosen for the All-Star Game for the first time since 2015, tweeted the following regarding the snub:

Like Gobert, Green is a defensive specialist with a Defensive Player of the Year Award on his resume.

Green's Warriors teammate Andre Iguodala seemingly chimed in as well to poke fun at Gobert's reaction to getting snubbed: 

Denver Nuggets guard Isaiah Thomas also commented:

Gobert has yet to be named an All-Star during his career, but he won NBA Defensive Player of the Year last season, and he may be in line to win the award again this season.

The Jazz will be without an All-Star representative this season, as guard Donovan Mitchell was also left off the team despite averaging 22.5 points, 3.9 assists and 3.8 rebounds.

While it is difficult to argue that anyone who made the All-Star roster was undeserving, Gobert's defensive excellence is undeniable, and his presence would have added a different dimension to a game that is usually all about scoring.

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