Gobert, Mitchell Work On Repairing Relationship

A report last Friday from The Athletic indicated that a rift still exists between Jazz stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, stemming from their positive coronavirus tests last month and the cavalier attitude Gobert reportedly showed with teammates and their belongings in the days leading up to his diagnosis.

One source who spoke to The Athletic even went so far as to say that the relationship between Mitchell and Gobert “doesn’t appear salvageable,” but the two All-Stars spoke on the phone on Saturday, sources tell Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). According to Haynes, the conversation went well and represented the first step toward repairing that relationship.

Prior to Haynes’ report, Gobert himself revealed that conversation with Mitchell during an Instagram Live interview with Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report on Sunday.

“It is true that we didn’t speak for a while, a few days, but we did speak a few days ago and we’re both ready to go out there and try to win a championship for this team,” Gobert told Rooks (video link). “It’s all about being a professional. Everyone’s got different relationships, it’s never perfect — people that are married, it’s never perfect. So me and my teammates, it’s far from perfect. But at the end of the day, we both want the same thing — and it’s winning. We’re both grown men, we’re both gonna do what it takes to win.”

There has been a perception over the last few weeks that Mitchell has been the one angry at Gobert for not taking COVID-19 seriously before testing positive. However, a source tells Haynes (Twitter link) that both players had issues with one another. The Saturday phone call between the two teammates was a good first step, though there’s still work to be done to fully mend fences, Haynes adds.

Speaking to Rooks, Gobert expressed confidence that he and Mitchell will patch things up and suggested that their rough patch shouldn’t be atop anyone’s list of concerns when it comes to the effects of coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s not really about me and Donovan — this little fight is no fight,” Gobert said, per Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune. “It’s about thousands of people are dying every day, and it’s all about, ‘What can we do to help? What can we do to bring some positive?’ And at the end of the day, that’s really what my focus is on right now.”

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7 thoughts on “Gobert, Mitchell Work On Repairing Relationship

  1. HubcapDiamondStarHalo

    A lot of athletes (a lot of HUMANS, in reality) make judgement mistakes, and maybe due to youth, inexperience and somewhat sudden limelight, young athletes make their share of such mistakes. Too early to tell definitively, of course, but Gobert to this point seems like the rare case who made a mistake, owned up to it and is trying to be a better person for it.

    I honestly hope I’m correct in the long run.

  2. JBHoops

    The report that their relationship was “unsalvageable” was irresponsible and ridiculous. I get reporters have sources but that is information that reporter should have just sat on because it was obviously untrue. No one got hurt. Gobert acted poorly but other than Mitchell getting angry, there was nothing basketball related to make it difficult to play with each other again. Bad reporting.

    • bowserhound

      No one got hurt? Mitchell got the disease! Gobert needs to let Donovan punch him in the nuts and then they can move on.

      • CubsHope5

        While this is true, it’s still possible that Mitchell could have had it and was asymptomatic and he could have been the one to give it to Gobert. We simply don’t know right now so speculating doesn’t help anyone

      • JBHoops

        1. No guarantee that Mitchell got it from Gobert. There’s no way to prove that. 2. Mitchell was asymptomatic the entire time as he’s already stated publicly. 3. There are no reports that anyone around Gobert or Mitchell became hospitalized or died from the virus. Mitchell and Gobert were carriers and likely did spread the disease but there are no reports anyone around them became violently ill.

        Yeah, Mitchell has a right to be unhappy with Gobert for Gobert’s attitude. Without a doubt. If someone became violently ill because of Gobert or Mitchell, I get that is something that causes a division. But there are no reports of that. So what barriers exist for them to play ball together again?

        Do you see any? I don’t. So why would there be an irreconcilable division between them? Especially given teammate status and their professional livelihoods on the line? This is real life. Jordan punched Steve Kerr and threatened Rodman’s life and won 6 championships. Bobby Portis broke Nikola Mirotic’s face and when Mirotic came back, Portis and Mirotic played the best ball of their lives together, causing the Bulls to trade Mirotic because they were in tank mode. Draymond Green got in KD’s face and they still got to the Finals and should have won the championship last year. These were all arguably more serious situations in interpersonal relationships and all these players still balled together just fine. Locker room issues are so bogus for the most part. The locker room and court are two completely different places. Mitchell and Gobert are going to be fine. Let’s all be real.

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