One sure thing about the All-Star Weekend is the fact that the league is always trying to change things up. As the league is now considering a 1-on-1 contest, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert expressed his support for the initiative.
Gobert was asked about the idea ahead of Sunday’s All-Star Game. While he doesn’t usually look like the kind of player who would love to go 1-on-1 with an opponent, he expressed his interest on facing anyone in the league mano-a-mano.
Per Eric Walden of the Salt Lake Tribune:
“I think it’s something the league can look into. I think the fans would definitely love that,” Gobert said. “It all depends on how committed the players would be.”
And, that, it turns out, is an excellent question.
While the two-time Defensive Player of the Year personally loves the idea of such a tourney, he also recognizes it’s not a universally beloved premise among his peers — for very practical reasons.
“Not everyone wants to commit to that when [this is] the only weekend when we can really enjoy ourselves in the season. One-on-one basketball is pretty physical,” Gobert said. “We’ll have to see who would commit. … If I’m healthy, then definitely.”
It would be fun to imagine Rudy Gobert playing ball against a smaller defender. Since he’s not really known to have any ball-handling skills, it will be interesting to see how the Frenchman will make baskets for himself.
It will also make things interesting for opponents to try and get past a dominant defender like the Jazz big man. After all, Gobert is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year and is always tough to score against even for the best bucket-getters in the league.
Hopefully, this initiative becomes real and gets included in the All-Star festivities. It will definitely make the weekend a lot more interesting to watch.