Quin Snyder on Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert Relationship: 'We're in Good Shape'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 10, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - FEBRUARY 28: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz and Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz look on during the game against the Washington Wizards on February 28, 2020 at vivint.SmartHome Arena 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)
Melissa Majchrzak/Getty Images

Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder expressed a positive outlook regarding the relationship between Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert on Wednesday.

Appearing on ESPN's First Take, Snyder said the following about his two All-Star players:

"I think it's important to take a step back as you're thinking about those two guys. They're both really terrific people and excellent players. This was the first time that any two players on one team, really, I think across the world, certainly in the U.S. and in the NBA, that were diagnosed with that virus. If you can imagine the emotion, the fear, all of the different things that go through their minds and their feelings, it's humbling to think about that and we try to. I think right now, we're in good shape, those guys are getting ready to play, they're as excited as anybody on our team or anybody in the league."

Gobert was the first NBA player to be diagnosed with the coronavirus, which resulted in the NBA suspending its season in March. Mitchell was diagnosed with COVID-19 shortly thereafter.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski later reported that Gobert had been "careless" in the locker room by touching players and their belongings, which led to speculation about problems between Gobert and Mitchell.

In April, The Athletic's Shams Charania, Sam Amick and Tony Jones reported on the apparent problems between Mitchell and Gobert and wrote that their relationship "doesn't appear salvageable" because of Mitchell's belief that Gobert's carelessness resulted in him contracting COVID-19.

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Gobert took responsibility for his actions by publicly apologizing and later donating $500,000 to help those impacted by the coronavirus in the United States and his native France.

In an interview with Bleacher Report's Taylor Rooks in April, Gobert said that he and Mitchell didn't speak much at first but they eventually connected, and he called their relationship "great."

Snyder and every other Jazz player and fan are undoubtedly hopeful that Gobert's assessment is true since the 2019-20 NBA season is set to resume in July, meaning the Jazz will have an opportunity to win their first NBA championship.

At the time the season was suspended, Utah was fourth in the Western Conference with a 41-23 record, and they have officially clinched a playoff spot.

All 22 teams invited to Orlando, Florida, to continue playing will play eight more regular-season games to determine playoff positioning before the postseason begins. The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers are essentially co-favorites in the West, but it can be argued that the Jazz are next in line in terms of having a legitimate chance to reach the NBA Finals.

If that is going to happen, then both Mitchell and Gobert will need to play their best and co-exist on the court.

The 23-year-old Mitchell is in the midst of his most productive season, as he is averaging 24.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. Meanwhile, the 27-year-old Gobert is averaging 15.1 points, 13.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game.

With Mitchell, Gobert, Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic, Jordan Clarkson and Joe Ingles forming a strong core, the Jazz could be a force to be reckoned with the rest of the way.