WASHINGTON — An emotional Rudy Gobert said he felt disrespected by the All-Star snub in February, but now the Utah Jazz center is receiving the recognition he has worked so hard for.
Ahead of Monday’s game against the Washington Wizards, the NBA announced that Gobert was named Western Conference Player of the Week for the first time of his career.
“Rudy needs to stop feeling underappreciated. I’m tired of him feeling underappreciated. He got appreciated this week, right?” said Jazz coach Quin Snyder. “I’m proud of him, he deserves it but the reason he’s playing well because he’s thinking about competing and that’s who he is.
“It’s a great honor for him, but winning streaks and individual awards and all those things are great but we need to focus on getting better this time of year and if anything that’s reflective of Rudy’s play and that he’s playing well and we want him to keep doing that,” he continued.
Ironically, Washington’s Bradley Beal was also named Eastern Conference Player of the Week, which prompted the Wizards Twitter account to tweet, “hey @utahjazz, Player of the Week party at our place tonight?”
The reigning Defensive Player of the Year led Utah to a 3-1 record for games played from March 11-17, while averaging 16.5 points on 69.4 percent from the field along with 15.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks.
Despite feeling sick and vomiting in the locker room after Saturday’s win versus Brooklyn, he put up a week-high 23 points with 17 boards and three blocks to beat the Nets, 114-98.
For the season, Gobert is posting a career-best 15.4 points, 12.9 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game while shooting a league-best 65.3 percent from the field.3 comments on this story
"They're good, they got a good system, it helps having a big guy that you can funnell everything to because he makes you make tough shots over him," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said of Gobert. "It's not the blocks that you're worried about it's the alters that I'm sure they keep track. He probably alters a dozen shots any given game."
No player since Artis Gilmore in 1981-82 has averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks on better than 65 percent from the field, but Gobert is on track to match that feat.
Jazz star Donovan Mitchell was also named Western Conference Player of the Week twice this season.