UTAH JAZZ

Rudy Gobert Pays Tribute To Mentor, Friend Mark Eaton

May 29, 2021, 4:31 PM | Updated: 6:02 pm
Mark Eaton...
Mark Eaton #53 of the Utah Jazz attempts to block the shot of Gus Williams #1 of the Washington Bullets during an NBA basketball game circa 1985 at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland. Eaton played for the Jazz from 1982-93. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert paid tribute to his friend and mentor Mark Eaton, who passed away at age 64 this weekend.

According to police, Mark Eaton was found unconscious on Long Rife Road in Summit County after going on an evening bike ride. The former center was transported to the hospital where he later passed away.

Rudy Gobert and the Utah Jazz are currently in Memphis, Tennessee as they get ready to battle the Grizzlies in Game 3 of their NBA Playoff series on Saturday night.

The Jazz big man elected to not speak to the media following shootaround after he received the news of Eaton’s passing. Gobert posted the following on Instagram and Twitter on Saturday.

“To my great mentor and friend @markeaton7ft4 , one of kind and an amazing human being, i’m grateful for your presence in my life over the years,” Jazz center Rudy Gobert tweeted. “Gonna miss our conversations. But i know you’ll be watching.”

Eaton and Gobert are the only two players in Jazz history to earn the Defensive Player of the Year honor. Eaton won the award in 1985 and 1989, while Gobert won the award in 2018 and 2019.

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