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.”