Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert admits the last few months haven't been easy for him as he has had to learn how to deal with a lot of criticism and negativity after becoming the first NBA player to test positive for the coronavirus.
On March 11 just before the tip off -- the game between Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder was called off after Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. Hours later, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver suspended the season for one month due to the coronavirus outbreak and the rumors began to swirl that the relationship between Gobert and his teammate Donovan Mitchell was tarnished after the Jazz shooting guard also tested positive.
"Obviously, when you have the whole world judging you or threatening you or sending you a lot of negative energy and stuff like that, it's something that I would say is not easy as a human being," Gobert said.
"But, at the same time, people are just judging you on the perception they have and the perception you get from sometimes it can be one picture, one video or one interview, one action. So, people don't really know you," Gobert said, per ESPN.
"People around me, they really know me, they know who I am and that's what matters to me. At the end of the day, I won't be able to control everyone's perception of me, but I can control my actions, I can control the things I do for the people around me, the community.
The things I do for my teammates on the court, off the court, all that stuff I can control it and that's what really matters to me."
Gobert excited about returning to basketball activities
The season is set to resume on July 30 in Orlando as 22 teams will be placed in a bubble.
The Jazz played a good basketball before the season was suspended as they won 41 games and dropped 23. "A lot of stuff is going on and it's been a process, but I'm happy now that I'm in a good place and I'm happy that I get the joy back from playing basketball with my team and the competitiveness is back," Gobert said.
"I'm ready to try to go out there and try to win the championship. That's the goal. To be honest, after everything we've been through, as a team and as human beings, it would be a great comeback."