Analyzing Mitchell And Gobert Coronavirus Frustrations
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Amid the coronavirus hiatus that has sidelined most of the sports world, rumors a rift between Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell have emerged as both Utah Jazz players were diagnosed with the virus on the team’s trip to Oklahoma City.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that the hostility between the two grew out of Gobert’s lackadaisical approach to the boundaries suggested by health experts who had met with the team as fears of the virus were growing.
In the latest Jazz Notes podcast, Ben Anderson of KSL Sports and Sarah Todd of the Deseret News discussed the relationship between Gobert and Mitchell and why the reports of a fractured relationship may have a deeper history than Jazz fans believe.
Mitchell appeared on Good Morning America Monday morning and while he didn’t address his relationship with Gobert directly, the Jazz guard didn’t make it sound like the two players have talked much since incident.
Mitchell noted seeing Gobert’s social media posts where he asked the public to take the warnings seriously in regards to respecting protocols to prevent the spread of the virus.
Todd and Anderson sought out to provide added context to the players’ relationship prior to the incident.
Everyone is interested in what's going on between Rudy and Donovan is a snap shot of what's wrong here. Blame and anger are so inconsequential. Don partnering to help school kids get food is lost here. He realizes the bigger issue, so should everyone else
— Sarah Todd (@NBASarah) March 16, 2020
“I think a lot of people who just assume that well- Rudy and Donovan are the Jazz best players and their lockers are next to each other and we see them at the All-Star game so that means they’re friends.” Anderson said, “There’s just never been any evidence that they are close friends of any kind. But that doesn’t mean they’re enemies.”
Todd agreed that the relationship has probably been overblown both positively and negatively.
“I think that happens across all sports and all fanbases,” Todd said, “I am sure it would be great for a team to all be best friends and all be hanging out every off day. But that’s just not the case.”
Thoughts on Mitchell/Gobert drama:
• Locker room camaraderie is overrated
• Does Mitchell seem like the long term grudge type?
• Have you ever seen those two together outside of work?
• How often do you hang out with your coworkers?
— Ben Anderson (@BensHoops) March 15, 2020
The Season’s Future
With reports emerging that the NBA’s best care scenario for returning is mid to late June, does it make sense to return at all?
While skipping the end of the regular season and accelerating to the NBA postseason may make the most sense from a scheduling standpoint, it creates other issues.
“That has a domino effect on every other key basketball event. When do we do the draft? What about free-agency which is supposed to begin in the first week of July?” Todd asked.
Report: NBA owners hoping for June return, Salt Lake City Stars season likely over. https://t.co/tqIzNPmCa1
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) March 16, 2020
That schedule would also create issues with international and Olympic play which is set to begin the last week of July through the first week of August. The Olympics and international play could also prevent the league from taking the drastic measure of permanently changing the league’s schedule from a late October start date played through June, to a Christmas Day start date and a postseason that finishes in August.
Both Anderson and Todd said that while there’s a realistic chance that the NBA season is lost, the league could try to salvage itself by instituting a mini postseason basketball tournament.
League commissioner Adam Silver has reportedly shown interest in adding in-season tournaments the way European soccer leagues have done to drum up interest in the regular season, so a late-season tournament in a broken NBA season may be a way to salvage some of the league’s financial losses.
“Maybe you use it as an opportunity test out wild ideas,” Anderson suggested, “Come back and have a 16 team tournament or a 30 team tournament and have single elimination for the first few rounds.”
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What is COVID-19? Here’s What You Need To Know To Stay Healthy
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Your Life Your Health: How can parents prepare their home, children against coronavirus?
How Do I Prevent It?
The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:
- Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
- Avoid touching your face
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
The CDC does not recommend wearing a facemask respirator to protect yourself from coronavirus unless a healthcare professional recommends it.
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