Woj: Jazz Have to 'Repair Relationships' Due to 'Frustration' with Rudy Gobert

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 13, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MARCH 09: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz looks on before a game against the Toronto Raptors at Vivint Smart Home Arena on March 9, 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the relationship between Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert and the rest of his team is significantly frayed.  

"The Jazz are fortunate that they don't have to get back together and start playing games again right now. There is a lot of work to do to repair relationships. ... There's a lot of frustration with Gobert," Wojnarowski said on SportsCenter Thursday (h/t NBA Central).

Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday. One day later, Tim MacMahon and Tisha Thompson of ESPN recapped the big man's reportedly cavalier attitude toward the virus, which could have exposed others around him, prior to his official diagnosis:

"On Monday, Gobert jokingly mocked the NBA's temporary rules requiring media members to keep a 6- to 8-foot distance from players. Gobert, a Magic Johnson Award nominee last season due to his cooperation with the media, made a point to touch all the microphones and recording devices on the table in front of him after finishing his post-shootaround availability, which was set up in an interview room at the team's practice facility instead of the normal courtside area.

"Gobert had a similar cavalier attitude in the locker room, Jazz players privately said, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. As with other NBA players, Gobert exchanged high-fives with teammates as usual in recent games despite the coronavirus crisis escalating into a pandemic."

Shooting guard (and locker-room neighbor) Donovan Mitchell also tested positive for the coronavirus.

Gobert has since apologized publicly on social media (h/t MacMahon and Thompson).

"The first and most important thing is I would like to publicly apologize to the people that I may have endangered. At the time, I had no idea I was even infected. I was careless and make no excuse. I hope my story serves as a warning and causes everyone to take this seriously. I will do whatever I can to support using my experience as way to educate others and prevent the spread of this virus."

Gobert also said that he is "under great care and will fully recover." Mitchell is expected to make a full recovery, as well.

The news of Gobert's positive test came immediately after the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder were set to tip off in OKC. The two teams were pulled off the floor right before tip, and news soon emerged that Gobert had tested positive and that the rest of the team would also be tested.

Mitchell's test result was the only positive one outside Gobert's.

The NBA soon suspended the season, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced Thursday that the league would be on hiatus for at least 30 days. However, Silver also mentioned that the NBA intends to resume operations "if and when it becomes safe for all concerned."


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