Rudy Gobert, NBA’s Coronavirus Patient Zero, registers the first restart points: “Life works in mysterious ways”
Rudy Gobert described it as “just a blessing” to have made a decisive showing when the Utah Jazz defeated the New Orleans Pelicans in the NBA’s restart on Thursday.
The Jazz won 106-104 at Walt Disney World Resort, thanks in large part to Gobert’s 14 points and 12 rebounds against a Pelicans side, for whom Zion Williamson could save just 15 minutes.
The NBA season was delayed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic after Gobert became the first player in the league to return a confirmed positive test.
“I’m just grateful,” Gobert, who sank the first and last points of the game, told ESPN. “I’m just grateful to be able to do what I love to do. After everything that I personally and everything the world is going through now, is able to continue to inspire millions of children around the world and continue to spread positivity is just a blessing.
“And of course it’s great to start with a win.”
MORE: A timeline of the relationship between Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell
Gobert had caused a stir by mocking the league’s distance protocols at media events by breathing and touching the stage microphones days before his positive test.
Donovan Mitchell, who also tested positive, did not speak to Gobert a month after the shutdown, as he was upset with his teammate’s alleged carelessness in the locker room.
Maybe it was fitting, it was a Mitchell dribble that allowed Gobert to sink the decisive free throws with 6.9 seconds left.
“Many people are unlikely to be able to say the things they want to say to try to disassemble our team,” said Gobert. “Like I said, life works in mysterious ways.”
Mitchell added, “That keeps you all from talking about it, to be honest.
“In the end we are basketball players. We go out and do the right game. He did a great job. I try to find my way and find guys who are open. For me, at the end of the game, it’s all about the right I have already told you a thousand times that I am trying to be a better compass, a better playmaker as a whole. To be able to do that in those situations only shows the steps I have made.
“I trust him and he trusts me. That’s really it … He had the first two points, and before that [play] to end it, it should shut everything down as far as all that extra stuff is concerned. “