Rudy Gobert on France winning bronze at FIBA World Cup: ‘It means everything’
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert obviously wanted to win the gold medal for France in this year’s FIBA World Cup. Instead, they had to settle with bronze after defeating Australia in the battle for third.
Despite falling short of their ultimate goal, Gobert admitted that bagging the bronze medal still means the world to him, per Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. Likewise, he added that repeating as podium finishers is a testament to their heart and dedication as a team:
Jazz center @rudygobert27 on the bronze: "It means everything. Obviously it's not the one we wanted. We all know that. But being able to come back _ we're the only team that was on the podium five years ago and on the podium now. So it shows our heart."
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) September 15, 2019
Through eight games, the reigning two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year averaged 10.1 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks, and he shot 62.8 percent from the field. He had a dominant 21-point, 16-rebound performance in their quarterfinal victory that knocked off Team USA from the tournament.
France finishes third for the second straight FIBA World Cup. With two in a row, perhaps a gold might be in the pipeline for them in the future. The 27-year-old Gobert will likely get another shot to banner his country in his age-31 campaign when the World Cup returns in 2023.
In the meantime, the Jazz center has some business to take care of in the NBA. Utah made several key moves this offseason to launch itself into the upper echelon of the Western Conference.
The Jazz have bolstered their roster with acquisition of Mike Conley and the free-agency signing of Bojan Bogdanovic. With Gobert, rising star guard Donovan Mitchell of Team USA, and swingman Joe Ingles of Australia benefiting from their experience in this year’s World Cup, the Jazz have lofty expectations with championship hopes this upcoming season.