OAKLAND, Calif. — An emotional Rudy Gobert addressed the media at the Utah Jazz’s practice facility one day after learning he wasn’t selected as a reserve for the 2019 NBA All-Star Game.
He grew teary-eyed before walking out of the scrum on Feb. 1 as he discussed how his being left out impacted his mother, Corinne, who currently lives in France.
With the scene being captured on social media, the video went viral within seconds, sparking the attention of Golden State Warriors teammates Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala, who decided to troll the Jazz big man on Twitter.
“I guess I should cry too … no Charlotte?” Green tweeted with crying emoji symbols.
“He gone cry in the car?” Iguodala wrote, in reference to a funny scene from the cult classic movie “Friday.”
With the Jazz in town on Tuesday for their lone visit to Oracle Arena, Green (right knee contusion) and Andre Iguodala (left hamstring tightness) were originally listed as questionable, but did play.
In their first meeting since the “modern NBA Twitter warfare,” as Warriors coach Steve Kerr described it, Golden State came out on top, 115-108, in Utah’s final game before the All-Star break.
Utah entered the game winning 14 of their previous 19, including two straight, before the latest loss. Jazz coach Quin Snyder viewed the game in Oakland versus the defending champs as a strong test.
“I think it’s an opportunity for us to kind of see where we are,” Snyder said beforehand. “From that standpoint, I don’t know that this game is going to be pivotal in the rest of the year for us, if it’s a springboard or it knocks us back.
“It could be any of the above but I do think it’s an opportunity for us, in a singular game, to test ourselves on some level against the best team in the league.”
On Baron Davis Bobblehead Night, Warriors president of basketball operations/general manager Bob Myers presented Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson with their All-Star jerseys after the player introductions ahead of the tipoff.
Utah trailed by as many as 11 in the first half, after Golden State held them to 14 first-quarter points — which was the lowest for any Golden State opponent this season. The Jazz shot just 26.3 percent as a team in the first 12 minutes.
However, by halftime, the Jazz were only down 47-44 with the defense carrying the load. Golden State was also ice cold from beyond the arc, going 4-for-20 in the first half.
Klay Thompson appeared to dislocate his left ring finger at 5:30 of the first quarter after getting his hand stuck in Donovan Mitchell’s jersey and but would return early in the second with what the Warriors described as a “sprained left ring finger.”
Thompson finished with 22 points and four boards, but picked up his fourth personal foul on Mitchell at 5:20 in the third, which allowed the second-year Jazz guard to catch a rhythm with seven of his 25 points during that stretch. Derrick Favors also contributed 10 of his 13 points in the third to help the Jazz shoot a blistering 68.2 percent and 80 percent from three.
Despite entering the fourth with an 84-81 edge, Golden State opened with a 14-9 run then outscored Utah 34-24 in the final quarter to seal the win.
Gobert would end with 13 points and 16 rebounds, while Ricky Rubio added 16 points, six assists and four rebounds and Royce O’Neale scored 13 off the bench.
Durant led the Warriors with 28 points and seven assists. Curry went off for 24 points with five rebounds and four assists, and DeMarcus Cousins contrinbuted 12 points with 10 rebounds and five assists.
This latest loss to Golden State is Utah’s final game before the All-Star break, then they’ll return to action on the road against Oklahoma City on Feb. 22.
Mitchell is scheduled to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday, but other than that the team will enjoy some much needed time off before the last half of the season. Although Gobert won't be playing in Sunday's All-Star game, Kerr sees him in that category.10 comments on this story
“He’s an All-Star caliber player. Every year, I get a vote and there are always four or five guys that you have to leave off," Kerr said. "You sit and it’s agonizing because you know they all deserve it, but you have to make some decisions. He didn’t make it. He was probably the first guy off the list, but again, it’s part of the league.
"There’s a couple of other guys like Tobias Harris that I thought was having an All-Star year as well, didn’t make it, but this is just the way it works," he added. "I would like to see the All-Star roster expanded. We suit up 13 every game and they only have 12 going to the All-Star game. I would think we should have 13.”