Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert has been a lightning rod for criticism ever since he emerged as one of the best rim protectors in the NBA in the middle of his sophomore season. However, one particular moment where fans, peers, and pundits alike piled on him remain ingrained in Gobert's mind. Back in 2019, Gobert broke down in tears in front of the media when asked about missing the All-Star team.

The reason for the Timberwolves center's tears then ran deeper than the All-Star snub; after missing out on the team, Gobert called his mother, Corinne. His mother, responding to the news, cried. Thus, when Gobert was recalling the moment, his eyes couldn't help but well up as well.

Many were quick to judge Rudy Gobert for being weak and for crying over a matter that many thought didn't warrant such an emotional response. But the Timberwolves star reassured kids all over the globe that being expressive of one's emotions, particularly of a tender kind, isn't a sign of fragility, but rather, a sign of strength.

“I hope kids watch (the video of my emotional moment) and they see how passionate that person on their screen is. Someone that’s fighting for his dreams. No one should be afraid to fail, especially kids. Showing your emotions…. It’s not weakness. It’s just being real,” Gobert wrote in a tell-all for the Player's Tribune.

Moreover, Rudy Gobert implored kids to be themselves, willing to remain emotionally fortitudinous as they take on life with their heads held high amid an increasingly toxic, social media-reliant landscape.

“I’ve seen how toxic it is for kids now on social media. It’s relentless,” Gobert added. “A lot of satisfaction can come from being yourself, even when you know that some people will make fun of you for it. To me, the highest form of strength is when you stay true to yourself even if the world will mock you for it. That’s when you show your true colors.”

Rudy Gobert's moment of vulnerability in 2019

For better or for worse, Rudy Gobert has been unabashedly himself throughout his career. He is expressive on the court, and as he admitted himself, emotions have gotten the best of him at times as well. But in 2019, there was a justifiable reason for why the Timberwolves center, then with the Utah Jazz, was feeling extra tender at the particular moment of the falling of his tears.

The Timberwolves center was overcome with gratitude and sentimentality when he remembered how his mom reacted to his All-Star snub, awash with the realization of how much his mother cares for him.

“It’s something that I think happens to everyone when they talk about their mom. … It just tapped into something really raw inside of me, and it’s like everything came back to me in a surge of emotions — all the memories, and everything she did to help me live my dreams — and I just got choked up,” Gobert wrote.

“I wasn’t emotional because I missed out on one All-Star Game. It was way deeper than that. I was crying because of the deeper meaning. How much my mom means to me. How much this game of basketball means to me. Everything that we have lived through together.”

Anyone with a good relationship with their mother will know what Rudy Gobert is talking about — making Draymond Green's mockery of him regarding the matter rather confounding.

The Timberwolves center's beef with Draymond Green, a rundown

Draymond Green was one of the loudest to criticize Rudy Gobert for crying out over losing out on an All-Star spot. It came out shortly after that Gobert, indeed, became emotional not because of the fact that he was snubbed, but because of all the feelings his mother brought out in him.

Nonetheless, Green did not backtrack. In addition to saying that it was not “ok” with him to see Gobert cry over something so purportedly trivial, he hammered home his view that Gobert should not have cried in public in 2019, preferring that the Timberwolves center cry in his car instead.

It's jarring; Draymond Green is one of the most emotional players in NBA history, and yet there he was, unable to resonate with someone who was merely being his vulnerable self in Rudy Gobert. Thus, Gobert isn't too pleased with Green these days, especially after the Golden State Warriors forward put him in a headlock back in November 14, and it's hard to fault Gobert for being pissed at someone who has criticized him at nearly every stop.