Rudy Gobert Treated Unfairly After NBA Halted Season, Says Jazz PG

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Getty Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz.

In March 2020, Utah Jazz center, Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the first NBA player with a confirmed case of the virus.

After Gobert’s Jazz teammates also tested positive, the NBA postponed the 2019–20 season indefinitely.

LIVE with Emmanuel MudiayUtah Jazz star Emmanuel Mudiay and his brother Jean-Michael Mudiay join Brandon "Scoop B" Robinson to talk about the ongoing NBA conference finals, the upcoming NBA offseason, and more.2020-09-21T21:18:36Z

A two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, footage of Gobert touching microphones during media availability before he was diagnosed with the coronavirus became something many watched numerous time and fans became angry and even trolled the Jazz big man on social media. “I’m someone that jokes around all the time,” Gobert would later say as per Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune.

“People that really know me now my heart. Touching the mics made me look bad. It’s all about perception. … It made me look like someone who doesn’t care about other people’s lives.”

Was Gobert unfairly  mistreated? While promoting his Emmanuel Mudiay Foundation on the Heavy Live With Scoop B Show, I broached that question to Mudiay’s Jazz teammate, Emmanuel Mudiay.

“Yeah man,” said Mudiay.

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – OCTOBER 28: Emmanuel Mudiay #8 of the Utah Jazz handles the ball during the second half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena on October 28, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Jazz defeated the Suns 96-95. 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 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

“I think it was the lack of not knowing. I felt bad for Rudy with all the stuff that he was getting because — and would tell you himself he was the one who got caught doing the whole… remember when he was touching the microphones and doing that and whatever? Being irresponsible, I guess you could say but, honestly at that time we didn’t know too much about it so like, you would be in the locker room and somebody would cough and you’re joking about it and then it just sucked that he tested positive and then they had the video out there for it. So, they don’t see what’s going on behind closed doors or when the cameras are off. But a lot of people didn’t know — we were all trying to figure it out as we went. Like, we didn’t know and our doctor told us that you guys probably won’t get it because you guys are active and you guys don’t have another type of sickness or whatever, they were telling us that older people are going to get it; 60 years and above, those are people that are going to get it. So obviously we’re not thinking it’s about to hit us and when it did, it was just like man, it sucks. But at the same time we’re learning with Rudy. We were getting more information with him and we had a group message with the team and we’d all inform each other you know — don’t do this, don’t do that… if you start feeling this then, that’s what it is so, we were all learning as we went. But it did suck to see that he was getting the hate but in a way and I’m not saying this is a good thing but, when other people got it; even NBA players, it made people realize that it’s just not him. It’s going around. So I think once that happened, it kind of died off on him.”

Rudy Gobert averaged 15.1 points, 13.5 rebounds and 2 blocks per contest in the regular season for the Jazz. The Jazz lost to the Denver Nuggets in round one of the NBA Playoffs.

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