By Aris Barkas / email@example.com
DONGGUAN– Rudy Gobert has now got some “bragging rights” over his Utah Jazz teammate Donovan Mitchell following the historic win of France over Team USA in the World Cup quarterfinals. However, the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year will leave trash talk aside for now since he can imagine how much this defeat hurt his teammate.
“I don’t think that’s the way I am,” Gobert said. “I like to talk a little trash. But this kind of competition….I just lost to Australia. I love Joe but I wanted to stop him. It hurts. I think this experience is going to make Donovan better. We have to go hard when we go for the national team, but we also have to go that way with Utah. I’m excited for both.”
Gobert had an enormous impact on the triumph of his team over the USA. He scored 21 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and delivered three blocks en route to registering a game-high 36 PIR. His team was +26 with him on the court.
The win itself is motivation enough but was there any extra following Miles Turner’s comments that Gobert is the DPOY “according to some”
“I saw it. I see a lot of things every day. At the end of the day, I do what I have to do on the court and I try to help my team win every time I step on the court,” Gobert said with a smile.
“Huge win. They are a very talented team. We knew it was going to be a tough game and it was. They didn’t’ give us anything easy and we stuck to the plan. We did a great job as a team, communicating. We got the right stops when we needed them. We didn’t give them the shots they wanted. Once we got the rebound, we ran. It was a team effort.”
“This win won’t mean much if we don’t win the gold. But it will go down as one of the biggest in my career and one of the biggest for French basketball,” Gobert added.
Photo: FIBA Basketball