Head coaches around the league rewarded Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert a well-deserved spot as a reserve in this year’s NBA All-Star game. Gobert’s game isn’t predicated on flashy offensive highlights, which is what fans look for in the All-Star weekend’s main event.
However, Gobert’s teammate Donovan Mitchell doesn’t think the two-time Defensive Player of the Year will slack off on that end of the court just because others typically don’t try on defense in the All-Star game. In fact, he hopes somebody tries to challenge the Frenchman at the rim, as he knows Gobert certainly won’t back down.
“I hope somebody tries to dunk on him, because it’s just not gonna happen,” Donovan Mitchell said at Saturday’s Media Day event, via Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune. “He’s gonna go out there and do his thing. … If someone tries it, he’ll be there.”
Players usually get a free lane to the hoop in order to show off their hops and creative dunks to the fans. However, Gobert probably won’t be giving away lay-up or dunk lines to anybody.
The Jazz big man will finally make his first All-Star appearance on Sunday night after missing out the past couple of seasons. He and Mitchell will make their All-Star debuts as part of Team Giannis.
The 7-foot-1 center was especially frustrated after getting snubbed last year despite having a career season at the time. However, Gobert is making up for that by putting together an even better campaign this 2019-20.
The coaches did Rudy right this time around by putting him in the annual showcase of NBA stars. This 2019-20 campaign, Rudy Gobert is averaging 15.6 points, a career-best 14.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks while leading the Jazz to a 36-18 record — good for fourth in the Western Conference.