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Unless you follow Rudy Gobert on social media, you probably don’t know that he is an avid boxer.
He often posts videos of himself on Instagram working with a heavy bag, or photos of himself in boxing gloves, trunks and in some sort of intimidating pose. He’s been working with the same boxing trainer for a while, but Thursday night was the first time in a year that his trainer was able to attend a Jazz game.
Gobert couldn’t help but laugh about his boxing coach being at the game because Thursday also happened to be the night that Gobert got into an on-court altercation with Pacers center Myles Turner. Of all the games, of course his boxing coach was at that one.
When Gobert and Turner started to get into it in the fourth quarter of the game, Gobert charged at Turner, wrapped his arms around him and more wrestled Turner than anything else. Gobert is a big, strong guy and Turner made him mad. With all that boxing training, wasn’t this the time to break out what he knows?
No. It wasn’t the time or the place, and boxing has taught Gobert more discipline than anything.
“It teaches you how to keep your calm,” Gobert said. “If I don’t feel threatened I’m not going to throw a punch and get suspended and hurt my team. I didn’t feel a threat at all and I’m not going to fight on the basketball court.”
Gobert added what we are all thinking when we see NBA “fights.” They’re not real and no one is actually going to swing on another person. They might act like they’re going to and seem like the only thing holding them back from mayhem is their teammates. But in reality no one is going to have a knock-down, drag-out fight on an NBA court.
But, Gobert is not opposed to having one off the court.
“Guys need to stop acting like they’re going to do more than play basketball on the court,” Gobert said. “Nobody is going to do (expletive) so let’s stop acting like we’re about that life, because most guys are not. ... But if someone wants to fight, I’m easy to reach. I’m really easy to reach. I’m just not going to do it on social media.”
So, I guess if you’re ready to put on some gloves and get into the ring, Gobert is ready for the challenge.
New with the Jazz
Stat of the week
The characters at the center of Thursday’s tussle at Vivint Arena are both leaders in key stats this season. Through games played Thursday, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert leads the league in rebounds with 15.5 per game, and Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner leads the league in blocks with 3.2 per game.
This week on ‘Unsalvageable’
Check out “Unsalvageable: A Utah Jazz Podcast,” hosted by Deseret News Utah Jazz beat reporter Sarah Todd and lifelong Jazz fan Greg Foster (no, not that Greg Foster). This week, the crew discusses the tragic death of Izzy Tichenor.
From the archives
This week in Jazz history
On Nov. 7, 2008, Jerry Sloan becomes the first coach in NBA history to record 1,000 wins with the same club, when the Utah Jazz beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 104-97. The win was the fifth straight for the Jazz which Sloan said was more important to him than the record. In the grand scheme of things, Sloan added that, “Winning’s fine, but that’s a short-lived thing. Losing sticks with you for a long time.”
- Mitchell, Ingles vow to help family of Izzy Tichenor and fight for change (Deseret News)
- Snyder challenges shooting narratives as Jazz beat Hawks (KSL.com)
- Rudy Gobert’s style of play isn’t flashy, but it is impactful (Salt Lake Tribune)
- Eric Paschall is remaking himself into a perimeter defender for the Jazz (Salt Lake Tribune)
Around the league
Denver’s Nikola Jokic suspended one game after altercation with Markieff Morris.
Bulls center Nikola Vucevic to miss several games after testing positive for COVID-19.
Penny Sarver, wife of Suns owner Robert Sarver, sent messages to former Suns employees about recent allegations against her husband.
Nov. 13 | 3 p.m. | Utah Jazz vs. Miami Heat | NBATV
Nov. 16 | 8 p.m. | Utah Jazz vs. Philadelphia 76ers | TNT
Nov. 18 | 7 p.m. | Utah Jazz vs. Toronto Raptors | AT&T SportsNet
Nov. 20 | 8 p.m. | Utah Jazz @ Sacramento Kings | AT&T SportsNet
Nov. 22 | 7 p.m. | Utah Jazz vs. Memphis Grizzlies | AT&T SportsNet