Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert says he understands why his teammate Donovan Mitchell reacted the way he did after he tested positive for the coronavirus as at the time there was a lot of uncertainty and fear regarding the coronavirus.
On March 11, Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus, and after 58 members of the Jazz team were tested, the only test that came back was as positive was the one of the team's starting shooting guard Mitchell. A day later, the French international called Mitchell, then texted and later direct-messaged him on Instagram but the 23-year-old guard didn't respond and soon the rumors started to swirl the relationship between the two was strained.
"You know, I tried to put myself in his shoes," Gobert told ESPN. "There was a lot of fear, and I think more than anything, he reacted out of fear. That's why I don't really blame him. We all have different character; we all react differently.
When it's something like that, when he tested [positive] for a virus that we don't know a lot about, it's scary. It was scary for me, and I'm sure it was scary for him. "The most important thing is what you do from there."
But as the time went by, the relationship between the two Jazz stats improved. "We told each other what we had to say to each other," Gobert said. "We are both on the same page. We both want to win. We both think that we have a great opportunity, and we know that we need each other.
We talked about a lot of things, but the main thing was that we are on the same page and the fact that our team needs us. We can win together. That's the most important thing."
Gobert admits Mitchell is in the 'spotlight'
Gobert, a 7 foot 1 inch tall center, is one of the top defensive players in the league but he also contributed on the offensive side of the floor as this season he has been averaging just over 15 points per game.
Both Gobert and Mitchell are the integral part of this promising Jazz core and sometimes a friction can happen between the two main stars of a team -- but the French international suggests this won't be a case here.
"I don't mind Donovan being in the spotlight more than I am," Gobert said. "I want to win games. That's it. At the end of the day, it's not like I [don't] have any spotlight. "Donovan has a very bright personality and all that, and the way he plays, he's more fun to watch than me," Gobert added.
"If I was 12 years old, I wouldn't want to be watching f---ing Rudy Gobert. I'd want to watch Donovan Mitchell. I wouldn't want to watch Rudy Gobert get dunks and alter shots. I'd want to watch Donovan Mitchell cross people up and do crazy layups, crazy dunks, of course. "I totally understand how it works, and I'm fine with it."