Rudy Gobert Picks Lakers To Win NBA Finals
Sep 24, 2020, 3:41 PM
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Rudy Gobert is picking the Los Angeles Lakers to win the NBA Finals. The Utah Jazz made his championship prediction on the ZAPPED podcast with Bob Menery. The Utah Jazz All-Star joined the podcast to discuss life in the NBA bubble, the Jazz first-round series loss, the remaining contenders, and his hopes of winning a championship in Utah.
Gobert told Menery he returned to his Utah home after the Jazz loss in game seven to the Denver Nuggets, who are now facing the Lakers for a chance to represent the West in the NBA Finals.
“Probably the Lakers,” Gobert said of his Finals pick. “I thought the [Los Angeles] Clippers were the team that had the best shot at beating the Lakers, to be honest. I think they made that team to be able to compete with the Lakers. When they got up three-one, I didn’t think Denver was going to come back again.”
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Gobert said he saw a change in the Clippers team late in the series that allowed the Nuggets to advance to face the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.
“The Clippers kind of looked different to me,” Gobert admitted. “Their energy was different. Maybe because they were tired or mentally tired. It felt like they were empty. Denver was just having fun, playing free and Denver is a very good team together. They’re a very deep team and they play free. They’re athletic, and they have [Nikola] Jokic, [Jamal] Murray. They play good basketball.”
Gobert Wants to Win a Championship in Utah
On the podcast, Gobert was asked about a potential contract extension with the Jazz. Gobert is under contract through next season but could opt to extend his deal if he can come to an agreement with the Jazz.
The All-NBA center is eligible to sign a super-max contract with the Jazz worth upwards of $250 million over five seasons. Despite having just year left under contract with the Jazz, Gobert said he’d like to bring a championship to Utah.
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“I really love what we’ve built over the years because my first year with the Jazz we were trash,” Gobert said. “We won 25 games and we kind of got we got better every year since I got there. To me, winning the championship with the Jazz would have a lot of value.
Gobert hinted the difficulties the team had faced since he joined the roster in 2013, from the move from Tyrone Corbin to Quin Snyder as head coach, the loss of Gordon Hayward in the summer of 2017, to testing positive for coronavirus earlier this year.
“With all the things we’ve been through as a team and as an organization, and also as a small market, it would be exciting to bring a title to the Jazz,” Gobert said. “It would be amazing.”
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