Remember when NFL superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers isolated himself not just from the football world but from everyone in 2023 to think about his future? It apparently inspired the Minnesota Timberwolves star big man Rudy Gobert to the point that he reached out to the future football Hall of Famer, according to Tim McMahon of ESPN. This was when Gobert was trying to learn more about the idea of a “darkness retreat,” as he wanted a way to process a “difficult and stressful” 2023.

So Gobert reached out to NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers, seeking insight from one of sports' most polarizing players after being connected by a mutual acquaintance.

But he didn't want to discuss professional challenges with Rodgers, who had just been traded to the New York Jets after a legendary 18-year run with the Green Bay Packers. Gobert wanted to inquire about Rodgers' experience at the Sky Cave Dark Retreats in southern Oregon.

Over the course of four days, Rodgers lived in a room at the Sky Cave Dark Retreats in Oregon without access to technology. He did not even have something as basic as powered lights. Once he finished his retreat, Rodger ended up choosing to continue playing football over retirement.

After speaking with Rodgers, Gobert decided to follow the quarterback's suit in May of 2023, as he spent 64 hours alone in the darkness, too, per McMahon. The isolation was so extreme that his food had to be slid through a door opening.

Timberwolves' Rudy Gobert opens up about dark retreat experience

Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert (27) and guard Anthony Edwards (5) celebrate defeating the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Gobert said that going through a dark retreat was an eye-opener.

“It was a very powerful experience,” Gobert described his isolation. “It felt like a huge reset and also a powerful checkpoint. I had a lot of gratitude. I went back into all the things that I've experienced up to this point, and all the things that I've been through and all the great people that I have around me. I realized that I was exactly where I was supposed to be in my journey.”

“When you're in the dark, it shows the things that are inside of you. If you're negative, you see negative things. And if you're positive, you see positive things. So you realize that at the end of the day, you create your own reality,” added the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

Gobert, who was traded by the Utah Jazz to the Timberwolves in July 2022 for Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Walker Kessler, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro, and some picks, learned a lot about himself through his thoughts during the retreat, which also helped him be at peace with himself amid the constant ridicule he's been getting not just from fans but from fellow players in the league.

Right now, Gobert's focus is on his team. The Timberwolves finished the 2023-24 NBA regular season with the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference and are currently in a first-round battle against the dangerous Kevin Durant-led Phoenix Suns. Minnesota already has a leg up on Phoenix after taking Game 1 of the series, 120-95, in which Gobert scored 14 points and led his team with 16 rebounds to go with two assists.

But the job is far from done for Gobert and the Timberwolves, who will host the Suns again in Game 2 this Tuesday night at Target Center.