Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert couldn't hide his happiness after claiming a win in his team's opener in Orlando on Friday night against the New Orleans Pelicans. Gobert, who received the most blame for the NBA suspension after becoming the first NBA player to test positive for the coronavirus, scored the first points when the NBA season restart got officially underway.
Gobert also knocked down two clutch free throws to give the Jazz a 106-104 lead, before Pelicans' Brandon Ingram missed a three-pointer for the win. "I'm just grateful," Gobert told ESPN in a telephone interview after the Jazz's 106-104 victory at Walt Disney World's HP Field House.
"Just grateful to be able to do what I love to do. After everything that I've personally and everything the world is going through right now, to be able to keep inspiring millions of kids around the world and keep spreading positivity is just a blessing.
"And it's great to start with a win, of course." After Gobert tested positive, the tests of Mitchell also came back as positive -- it damaged their relationship and it didn't look good for the Jazz. Mitchell was the one who passed Gobert the ball with a few seconds left in the game and the center was fouled for two free throws.
"Donovan was trying to make the right play and he did," said Gobert, who had 14 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks in the win. "A lot of people probably won't be able to probably say the things they want to say to try to break our team apart.
Like I said, life works in mysterious ways."
Mitchell also confirms all good between him and Gobert
"That also kind of stops y'all from talking about it, to be honest with you," Mitchell said. "At the end, we're basketball players.
We go out there and make the right play. He did a hell of a job. I try to find my way and find guys who get open. For me, at the end of the game, it's about making the right read. I've told y'all a thousand times I'm trying to be a better passer, better playmaker as a whole.
To be able to do that in that situations just shows the steps I've made. "It's just me trusting him and him trusting me. That's really what it is. ... He had the first two points, and for that [play] to end it, it should kind of seal everything as far as talking about all that extra stuff."