Rudy Gobert makes his return to Vivint Arena on Friday night when the Minnesota Timberwolves look to defeat the Jazz on their home court. Gobert spent nine seasons with the Jazz before the franchise decided it was time to transition their roster and traded Gobert to the T-wolves.
For over half of his 9-year tenure in Utah, Gobert played alongside Cavs’ Donovan Mitchell. Led by Mitchell’s explosive offense and Gobert’s dominant defensive presence, the Jazz advanced to the postseason for five straight seasons, had the best record in the League in the 2020-21 season, and went 243-147.
While the Spida x Stifle Tower era officially ended in Utah, both parties s be content with their split and happy with their new aspirations.
The former Defensive Player of the Year has continued his dominance in the paint, averaging a double-double with 13.3 points, 11.9 rebounds (third in the League), and 1.3 blocks. On Thursday, Gobert’s post presence was felt in full force as he scored 16 points, ripped down 21 rebounds, and recorded two blocks.
Meanwhile, the Jazz jumped off to a hot start and now sit at 6th in the Western Conference with a 15-12 record. For an expected rebuild season, the Jazz surprised many.
“I’ve been very happy to see them having success,” Gobert said per MSN. “Most people kind of counted them out after trading me and Donovan, and Bojan, too, but there’s still a lot of talent on this team. You can tell that they’re having a lot of fun, and, also, when you don’t have a lot of expectations, you kind of play free. I think that’s what’s been happening for them. They play together; they play free, they play really hard. When you play that way with the level of talent they have, good things happen”.
The center is excited to see his former team winning, and he’s looking forward to stepping into Vivint Arena once again.
“I spent nine years of my life there and created a lot of memories, have a lot of very powerful relationships with people that I love and gave me a lot of love over the years,” Gobert told MacMahon. “It’s going to be weird to walk into the arena and go to the visitor’s locker room, but it’s going to be probably a lot of love and a lot of joy to come back.”