Utah Jazz Center Rudy Gobert Scores First Points Of NBA Restart
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert made the first basket of the team’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans for the first points of the NBA’s restart of the 2019-20 season.
The Jazz faced the Pelicans on Thursday, July 30, at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.
Utah forward Royce O’Neale found Gobert on a pass as the big man rolled towards the hoop.
Gobert collected himself before backing down Pelicans center Derrick Favors and laying the ball in over the former Jazzman for the first bucket of the contest.
The first points of the NBA’s restart going to the Jazz center is somewhat poetic. Gobert was the first NBA player to test positive for the coronavirus disease, COVID-19. Shortly after Gobert’s test results came back, the NBA postponed Utah’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder and ultimately suspended the season.
On July 29, Gobert told The Washington Post that it was difficult to be portrayed as the face of the league’s shutdown amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“The media portrayed it like I caused the NBA to shut down,” Gobert told The Washington Post. “Instead of saying that it’s a pandemic and Rudy Gobert tested positive. For a lot of people who don’t think further than what’s put in their faces, they really thought I brought the coronavirus to the United States.”
Gobert’s basket came 18 seconds into the game and gave Utah a 2-0 lead over New Orleans.
During his first nine minutes on the floor, the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year made his mark on both ends of the court.
Gobert recorded 4 points, 4 rebounds, and a block during the opening quarter of action. He shot 1-3 from the field and 2-3 from the foul line. Two of Gobert’s boards were on the offensive glass.
At the end of the first quarter, the Jazz trailed the Pelicans 26-23. The Pelicans ended the quarter on an 18-4 run.
Utah’s game against the New Orleans is broadcast on TNT, AT&T SportsNet, and 97.5 FM.