Utah Jazz Center Rudy Gobert arrives for Game 3 of the NBA Basketball Team’s First Round Playoffs against the Dallas Mavericks on April 21, 2022 in Salt Lake City. The Jazz traded Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Rick Bowmer, Associated Press)
Estimated reading time: 4-5 minutes
SALT LAKE CITY. Rudy Gobert stood in front of a background covered in Timberwolves logos and lifted the Minnesota No. 27 jersey. Yes, it would take more than five days to get used to it.
Minnesota held an introductory press conference for Gobert on Tuesday, officially kicking off a new life for the former jazz powerhouse in the NBA.
For the Timberwolves, a trade that brought four players and several draft picks back to the Jazz was an easy decision. The Wolves are a team with a small market; Opportunities to add an All-Star in the prime of their career with a few years remaining on their contract are rare. Of course, the price was high – and one could argue that they overpaid – but for them the risk was worth it.
So, after Minnesota management praised Gobert and his game, calling him a game-changing player and future Hall of Famer, Gobert was asked the question: Why did Utah, another franchise with a small market, sell you?
“That’s a good question. I mean obviously losing[former jazz coach Quinn Snyder],” Gobert began. “Queen was there for eight years; he was a big part of what we did. The window to win is not always wide. And for us in Utah, it went something like this. the window we’ve had for the past few years has passed. I think they will still obviously be a very competitive team, but they just felt that with all the assets they could get with me, they were better off going there.”
However, Gobert said that in the end both sides could consider it a victory. The Timberwolves are looking to challenge for the title right now, and Gobert will certainly help them get there. In the meantime, jazz had more options for its future.
“I think it could potentially be a win-win situation,” Gobert said. “They also created great conditions for me to win. And that’s why I’m very grateful for it. They put me on a team where I can continue to thrive and hopefully win a championship. I hope they keep getting better and better and hopefully get to where we were a few years ago. this happens often.”
The 3x Defensive Player of the Year understands that all these important moves come with risks, but he is grateful to be on a team that has the chance to compete at a high level.
“It’s never easy. It’s always speculative. You never know what’s right and what’s wrong and sometimes you have to make decisions and that’s what they did… I’m grateful they gave me the opportunity to win,” he said. .
Gobert admitted that he would like to spend his entire career in the same team; he embraced Utah, regularly giving back to the community through his charitable foundation, as well as his time. He built a house in the Salt Lake Valley and was very proud of what the Jazz team had built. But, he acknowledged on Tuesday, there is excitement in something new.
“I’m the kind of guy who from the very beginning thought it would be great to spend my entire career in one place,” he said. “But I also always wonder how great it would be to get to a new place, a new system and a new environment.
“I spent nine wonderful years in Utah, we built something very unique that will never go away,” he continued. “Despite the fact that we did not win the championship, I think those years were great years in terms of victories. We won the most games in the last four years in the NBA – even though there is no ring at the end, it’s still beautiful. great achievement All these years and all this hard work has made me a better player and a better person and now I am in a position where hopefully I can take this team to where we want to be. And it’s very, very exciting.”
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