Rudy Gobert changed the entire landscape of the sports world for 2020 when he tested positive for COVID-19. The NBA is now on suspension for the next 30 days and Gobert has quickly become one of the most infamous figures in the history of sports. It would be one thing if he was just going about his business when he got infected, but he made it a point to make a mockery of the whole thing and ended up getting a teammate infected in the process.
Once the NBA returns, it will be fascinating to see how the world reacts to Gobert. He’s one of the better players in the NBA, so he’s not about to be blacklisted. Many are putting a lot of blame on the All-Star center, but Los Angeles Lakers veteran Danny Green isn’t so quick to judge.
“People are blaming him for a lot of things, when obviously he was a little careless at times, but who’s to say that’s necessarily the reason why that’s happened? He probably should have been more careful, but it’s not all his fault,” Green said, via Bleacher Report. “Mind you, you got to look at the positive of things. This was gonna happen regardless of whether it was gonna happen to him or somebody else. Somebody in the NBA was gonna catch the virus and give us a wakeup call … I don’t think he should be blamed or bashed as much as he is. I mean, it could happen to anybody.”
Green’s comments certainly bring some perspective to the issue. Obviously, Gobert isn’t patient zero for the disease. It was bound to start spreading at some point and Gobert just caused things to change at a faster pace.
Jazz Reportedly Aren’t Happy With Gobert
Donovan Mitchell joins Gobert as one of the two players on the Utah Jazz who contracted the disease. According to Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix, Mitchell is “extremely frustrated” with Gobert. The two were apparently very close before this incident and Mannix believes this could seriously affect the Jazz’s season:
How Mitchell responds when play resumes could make or break their relationship, sources familiar with the locker room dynamic told SI.com.
30 days is a long time for cooler heads to prevail. It’s understandable why Mitchell would be upset right now as the ramifications of Gobert’s actions have sent shockwaves through the country. However, Gobert has done all the right things since his test came back positive.
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Gobert Is Trying to Make Things Right
While Gobert is in for a long year and his legacy will forever be tarnished by his recent actions, there’s no doubt that the center has taken the necessary steps towards redemption. He issued a sincere and heartfelt apology shortly after he received his diagnosis. It was also revealed that he plans on donating $500,000 to help stadium employees and the French health care system.
He’s clearly been humbled by this whole experience and he’s taken accountability. He’s taking the right steps to change the narrative about him and with time, his teammates should regain their respect for him.