NBA: Gobert, Mitchell ready to bury hatchet, says Jazz exec

Agence France-Presse

Posted at May 06 2020 11:02 AM

Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz helps Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz from the floor on March 7, 2020 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. Chris Schwegler, NBAE via Getty Images/AFP

LOS ANGELES -- Utah Jazz chief Dennis Lindsey said Tuesday that Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell are ready to bury the hatchet following the feud triggered by their positive tests for COVID-19.

Gobert and Mitchell, two pillars of the Utah franchise, did not speak to each other for around one month after Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus on March 11, triggering the suspension of the NBA season.

French star Gobert had attracted widespread criticism for his conduct in the days before his positive test, which included theatrically touching multiple recording devices and microphones during a press briefing.

Gobert later apologized for what he described as his "embarrassing, inexcusable" behavior, saying he had not taken the threat of the virus seriously.

Mitchell, who tested positive after Gobert, later spoke of a need for individuals to "educate themselves" and "behave responsibly."

The comments hinted at a deep rift between the two team-mates. 

Mitchell subsequently admitted it had taken him a while to "cool off" following the incident.

However Gobert and Mitchell were ready to settle their differences, Utah executive vice president of basketball Lindsey said Tuesday.

"They're ready to put this behind them, move forward, act professionally," Lindsey told media on a video conference call.

"We look forward to moving forward. They've said their piece to each other. They've both visited at the ownership level, at management level, at the coaches level, at the players level with each other.

"[Mitchell and Gobert] will speak for themselves going forward. But, at the most basic level, they know they need each other to complete their goal of being the last team standing in the NBA."

Lindsey meanwhile said Utah had taken positives out of the fact that Gobert's infection had been discovered relatively early.

"It's woken me up a few times thinking what might have happened if we were to have that test come back a little bit later and the players were already playing the game," Lindsey said. 

"As tough as it was for us to have Rudy be the first, I think it saved infections. Not to be melodramatic, but I think it saved lives."

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