SALT LAKE CITY — With his play on the court, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert has made a strong case to be selected as a Western Conference All-Star.
Gobert’s teammates have also in word vouched for the Frenchman’s candidacy, and now some of the organization’s higher-ups are getting involved.
On Thursday evening, team president Steve Starks spoke out in support of Gobert during a radio appearance on 1280 The Zone, and then head coach Quin Snyder did the same thing on Friday before the Jazz took on the Minnesota Timberwolves at Vivint Arena.
“We feel strongly that Rudy deserves to be an All-Star,” Starks said. “The stats, the box score, his impact on the game speaks for itself.”
Starks noted that when a player receives an honor such as an All-Star Game appearance, it’s not just that player who takes pride in it.
“We love it when that recognition comes their way, and it’s really something that the whole organization’s proud of, and so any time we can get our guys to All-Star Weekend, we’re proud and we’re proud for them,” he said.
Snyder was more bold in his comments.
“So much of what Rudy does I won’t say is thankless, but you have to look for it,” the coach said. “You see it and you think, ‘I have to thank him again,’ because he is giving himself to the team.”
Snyder specifically noted Gobert’s screen assists, his hard rolls to the rim and his defense all over the floor as things that might not be as noticeable as what some other players might do, but that those things are invaluable to the Jazz.1 comment on this story
“I would argue what he is doing is even more unique and more valuable because he doesn’t necessarily get that validation but he is still able to do it,” Snyder said. “It’s not only as impactful, it’s more impactful, and if you want to see what is more impactful for our team, just dig into it for 30 seconds and look at all the things that guy does. It’s phenomenal.”
Reserves for the Feb. 17 game will be determined by coach vote and will be announced on Jan. 31 (starters were announced Thursday).
On Friday night, Gobert was questionable to play because of right hamstring soreness, but he wound up starting and finished with 18 points, 16 rebounds, four blocks, two assists and two steals in 36 minutes.