Nobody likes being disrespected, especially the Utah Jazz, but did All-Star center Rudy Gobert just unintentionally disrespect the very franchise he plays for?
No NBA team embodies small-market energy quite like the Utah Jazz. Despite being one of the better-run organizations in the league, Rocky Mountain franchise is often disrespected by the league at large, so much so that even All-Star center Rudy Gobert inadvertently threw the Jazz under the bus with his comment. Oh, you know darn well Salt Lake is not happy about this at all.
Gobert went where it hurts by saying the Jazz have not accomplished anything with this core and that his teammates get too upset when the national media pokes the bear. Again, it feeds into the narrative at play and it does become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The only way the Jazz will be able to buck this is to keep their heads down and continually prove their doubters wrong by winning big.
Rudy Gobert knows the Utah Jazz have to fight for everything they get
Though the Jazz may have the best record in the NBA, that is not going to matter if they do not at least play a competitive series in the Western Conference Finals. Yes, playing at altitude in front of the Utah faithful will give the Jazz a distinct home-court advantage this summer, but the Western Conference thoroughly belongs to LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Everybody knows it.
Overall, Gobert is approaching this the right way. Being an excellent regular-season team is great and all, but it has been a long time since the Jazz won the Western Conference. If Gobert, Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley Jr. can take the Jazz to places only Karl Malone and John Stockton have brought them to before, maybe the national media will finally get off the Jazz’s collective case?
Clearly, Gobert did not mean any disrespect by accidentally disrespecting the Jazz with his quote.