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Utah Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey speaks during a press conference about Danté Exum, Derrick Favors and Raul Neto re-signing with the Utah Jazz at the Zions Bank Basketball Center in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 6, 2018. (Deseret News)
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Dennis Lindsey Clears Air About Gobert And Mitchell Relationship

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Jazz Vice President of Basketball Operations Dennis Lindsey spoke about the relationship between Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell for the first time. In a call with the media Tuesday, Lindsey acknowledged the rift that exists in the Gobert and Mitchell relationship.

“They are ready to put this behind them, move forward, act professionally,” Lindsey said. “The COVID-19 night of March 12 was really unprecedented, it brought a microscope to our team.”

Gobert was the first major American athlete to test positive for the coronavirus. As a result, the Jazz matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder was canceled just minutes before tipoff. Then, hours later, the NBA season was suspended.

The next morning, Mitchell’s test results came back positive for the virus as well. Soon after, reports emerged that the Jazz guard was unhappy with Gobert’s cavalier attitude towards the virus.

“We look forward to moving forward,” Lindsey said. “They’ve said their peace to each other. They’ve both visited at the ownership level and management level at the coaches level with each other.”

The Jazz have used the time away from the game to converse on Zoom meetings to stay united as a team.

“They are fully participating in our zoom workouts,” Lindsey confirmed. “There’s going to be another level for the whole team to get back to each other. And frankly, I think our gratitude towards each other will be deeper.”

Gobert and Mitchell Relationship Healing

In mid-April, Gobert told broadcaster Taylor Rooks he and Mitchell and spoken about their relationship over the phone.

It’s true that we didn’t speak for a while after this. But we spoke a few days ago. We’re both ready to go out there and try to win a championship for this team.” Gobert said, “It’s not about being unprofessional, everyone has got different relationships — it’s never perfect. People that are married, it’s never perfect. Me and my teammates, it’s far from perfect but at the end of the day, we both want the same thing — it’s winning. We’re grown men, and we want to win.”

Though Mitchell has spoken only briefly about the feud, it appears the third-year guard is ready to move forward.

“We’ve moved on, I’m ready to hoop,” Mitchell told rapper Fat Joe.

Moving Forward

Though the team seems comfortable with the status of the Gobert and Mitchell relationship.

“We fully expect the team to come together in a great way and continue to move forward as a group,” Lindsey said. “I think at the most basic level they know they need each other to accomplish the goals they want to accomplish as the last team standing in the NBA.”

The league could open its practice facilities to select players as soon as Friday. However, Lindsey wasn’t committed to a single date as of yet. The league may prefer to hold off on opening it’s doors until more data is available.

 

 

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