Rudy Gobert speaks out on coronavirus backlash he received from ‘the whole world’
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert was the first player in the NBA to test positive for COVID-19. Unfortunately, instead of sympathy, the two-time Defensive Player of the Year received criticism, as he jokingly touched reporters’ mics a few days before his positive COVID-19 test.
During a conference call on Friday, Gobert talked about the coronavirus backlash he received from “the whole world.” The Frenchman also received death threats and was the subject of many jokes on social media.
“Obviously, when you have the whole world judging you or threatening you or sending you a lot of negative energy and stuff like that, it’s something that I would say is not easy as a human being,” Rudy Gobert told Jazz reporters, via Eric Woodyard of ESPN.
“But, at the same time, people are just judging you on the perception they have and the perception you get from sometimes it can be one picture, one video or one interview, one action. So, people don’t really know you.
“People around me, they really know me, they know who I am and that’s what matters to me. At the end of the day, I won’t be able to control everyone’s perception of me, but I can control my actions, I can control the things I do for the people around me, the community. The things I do for my teammates on the court, off the court, all that stuff I can control it and that’s what really matters to me.”
Gobert clearly didn’t take the coronavirus seriously before he tested positive. It’s safe to say the Jazz star has learned a lot about himself and the virus during the NBA hiatus.
Utah will be among the 22 teams partaking in the “bubble” games down in Orlando, Florida. Gobert was averaging 15.1 points and 13.7 rebounds for the Jazz prior to games getting suspended.
The New Orleans Pelicans will be the Jazz’s first opponent at Disney World. The two teams will play on July 30 to kick off the seeding games.