UTAH JAZZ

Gobert Speaks To Chris Haynes On National NBA Podcast

Jan 15, 2019, 3:33 PM
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) dunks during the game against the Chicago Bulls at Vivint Smart H...
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) dunks during the game against the Chicago Bulls at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)
(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert opened up to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes about a number of topics on Haynes’ podcast, Posted Up.

Haynes, Yahoo’s national NBA writer, is known for keeping it causal with players and such was the case in a half-hour long interview with Gobert.

Gobert Talks About All-Star Voting, The Center Position

Gobert, who has been named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year, but has never made an all-star team, spoke to Haynes at length on not being recognized by playing in the game.

Recently, the NBA shifted from the fans voting for a player at each of the five positions to the fans voting for front court players and back court players, essentially eliminating the vote for centers, specifically.

“I think it’s kinda the way they want to be more flexible about the voting,” said Gobert on the changes. “Being able to replace a power forward with a center or being able to start with a four and no center, that gives them more flexibility and that’s kind of the way that the game was has went to lately.”

“I still feel like the center position is one of the most important positions in the game and we have, especially this year, a lot of dominant centers in this league,” added Gobert.

As for why the center position is so important, Gobert had several reasons.

“First of all, it’s supposedly the guy who protects the basket,” said Gobert. “You have a big guy, a big presence, if you have no one protecting the rim and no one doing the dirty work for your teammates, I think it’s hard to win.”

On Adapting To A Changing Game

Asked by Haynes how he’s had to adjust in the changing landscape of the NBA, Gobert credits his ability to stay mobile in the game.

“I think just being able to move,” said Gobert. “To be aware of who you’re guarding, to be aware of the other guy’s strengths…the main thing for me was to still be able to protect the paint. At the end of the day, even if they shoot threes, if they don’t score at the rim, they lose a big chance to win the game.”

Being a center and playing near the rim, Gobert added that he’s not afraid to be posterized or dunked on.

“I think that I’ve learned to play through that. Everyone loves the highlights and loves that a 7-footer gets dunked on by a guy that’s smaller, honestly. It’s a challenge and I embrace the challenge,” said Gobert.

Gobert’s Favorite Thing To Do

One of Gobert’s favorite things, as he told Haynes, is to prove doubters wrong.

“I love that, I love to prove people wrong. That’s one of that things, I think that help me to get better. It helps me to get better and motivates me everyday to get better. I always knew that I was going to be an impact player in this league,” Gobert stated.

The full podcast is available here.

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Gobert Speaks To Chris Haynes On National NBA Podcast