CLEVELAND — There were supposed to be two representatives from the Utah Jazz on Sunday night at the 2022 NBA All-Star Game, but center Rudy Gobert ended up being the lone Jazz player in the NBA’s annual showcase game.

Gobert and Donovan Mitchell were both selected by NBA coaches as All-Star reserves for the third consecutive season but Mitchell couldn’t play in the game due to an illness.

Gobert did his best to make a splash during the game by showing off his spin moves, and dunking prowess but the center only played 12 minutes, 33 seconds and racked up six points and six rebounds in his third All-Star appearance.

Related
Donovan Mitchell does not play in NBA All-Star Game

Gobert checked into the game at the 3:49 mark of the of the first quarter and stayed relatively quiet for the first few minutes, with a couple rebounds and a dunk off an assist from Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine.

But in the second quarter, Gobert showed off some craftiness. On the break with Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball and San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray, Gobert ran the length of the floor and Murray dished him the ball in the paint. Rather than just go straight up with it, Gobert did a 360 before flushing the dunk home.

“It was great, he set me up perfectly,” Gobert said. “I really like his game, he’s one of the players I really like to watch.”

Gobert checked in for his second stint with 4:51 left to go in the third quarter, but later checked out unceremoniously as the game became a 3-point shootout, featuring the NBA’s greatest 3-point shooter of all time, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry.

It was earlier on Sunday that Mitchell announced that he had a non-COVID related illness that would prevent him from attending the All-Star Game, after having missed the All-Star practice session on Saturday because he was feeling sick.

Though Mitchell was not able to play, he was watching and was rightly impressed by the night’s star of the show.

Curry scored a game-high 50 points and earned All-Star Game MVP honors and earning his team a victory as Team LeBron beat Team Durant, 163-160.

Not only did Curry earn the night’s highest honor, but he left Cleveland as the new holder of a laundry list of All-Star records. Curry set new marks for the most 3-pointers in an All-Star quarter (6), half (8), game (16) and is now the leader in All-Star history for total 3-pointers made (39). He came just shy of breaking Anthony Davis’ All-Star record of most points scored in the game — a mark Davis set in 2017 with 52 points.

Gobert was hoping to add his name to the list of players who contributed to the 48 3-pointers made in Sunday’s game, he never really had an opening to get off a shot from beyond the arc.

“I didn’t get the chance,” Gobert said. “Next time. In Utah it’ll be even better.”

Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, left, finishes off a dunk in front pf Utah Jazz’ Rudy Gobert during the first half of the NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022, in Cleveland. | Charles Krupa, Associated Press

The night in Cleveland was a star studded event that honored the league’s 75th anniversary and 75 greatest players of all time. But there was also a nod to the future with Cleveland Cavaliers owners Dan and Jennifer Gilbert passing a ceremonial ball to Utah Jazz owners Ryan and Ashley Smith in a prerecorded video.

The Smiths, who were in attendance on Sunday, also did a short interview during the game and said that they can’t wait to show off Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas when the NBA’s 2023 All-Star Game is hosted in Utah.