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What has the Utah Jazz’s three-time DPOY center been up to in the early days of this offseason? Well, he dyed his hair green — a move that I fully endorse (green is my favorite color) — he spent a few days trading virtual jabs with Shaquille O’Neal and then topped it all off by calling out Skip Bayless.
The back-and-forth between Shaq and Gobert was harmless. On a podcast Spice Adams told Shaq that if the two centers were to have played against one another, Gobert would hold Shaq to 12 points. Shaq responded by saying that it would be more like 12 points in three minutes.
Gobert responded via social media by saying that he would “lock” Shaq up — though the actual reply was more flowery and included a padlock emoji.
Knowing Gobert, I would say that he thought the exchange was funny and lighthearted and nothing more than both centers being prideful.
Gobert said as much via Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks when she interviewed Shaq after having reached out to Gobert.
“‘I don’t have beef with Shaq,’ he said,” Rooks told O’Neal. “‘Yes, I do think I could lock him up. I’m never going to look at someone, whoever it is, and say, ‘Yeah, you would score 40 on me.’ That’s not my mentality.’”
Then came Bayless, the infamous Fox Sports host.
“Rudy, you’ve got to wake up, you’ve got to wise up and you’ve got to shut up and give it up,” Bayless said on his show “Undisputed,” “Because you are nothing but a finesse defender. You are a fake tough guy.”
When Gobert responded to Bayless, it didn’t seem as lighthearted or friendly.
“Would u speak to me that way if you were standing in front of me @RealSkipBayless?” Gobert asked via Twitter. “I’m cool with the constant disrespect and opinions about who I am as a player and I CHOOSE to let these things slide but it seems like people are getting way to comfortable.”
Gobert added more later on.
“Only two people on this earth are allowed to talk to me that way @RealSkipBayless,” he said. “And you’re not one of em.”
At the end of it all, I can’t help but wonder, who are the two people allowed to talk to Gobert in that way. One has to be his mother, but who is the other?
New with the Jazz
Stat of the week
The Memphis Grizzlies kept their postseason alive, beating the Golden State Warriors in an elimination Game 5 on Wednesday night, in a 134-95 blowout. It was the largest margin of victory for a team facing elimination in the playoffs and it was the second largest Warriors loss in a game where Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green have all played together.
From the archives
This week in Jazz history
On May 8, 2017, the Golden State Warriors defeated the Utah Jazz, 121-95, in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals, winnings the series 4-0.
How to pass the time in the offseason
Now that the Jazz season has come to an end, it means that I have some time to catch up on the things that I love but don’t have enough time for during the NBA season. A lot of you have asked how I fill my time. Well, I love watching live sports so I’ll be taking in some Salt Lake Bees and Real Salt Lake games, but I’m also almost always reading a book (or two, or three), working on a jigsaw puzzle, watching some sort of binge-worthy TV show and listening to many podcasts. So I thought this would be a good place to suggest my latest way to pass the offseason time and also take your suggestions.
I only just found out that the guys from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” have a podcast, so I started tearing through that this week. For those that are a fan of the show, I think that you’ll like the pod. For those of you who are not a fan of the TV show, this probably is not the one for you.
It is supposed to be an episode by episode rewatch/discussion of the show, but it often turns into show creators Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton and Rob McElhenney laughing and just talking about whatever they want. It’s jumped up pretty high on my list of pods I like listening to while cleaning or running errands.
- Joe Ingles and Derrick Favors’ Twitter exchange that left Jazz fans emotional (Deseret News)
- NBA Offseason Buzz: All Eyes on Utah Jazz Stars (Bleacher Report)
- Jazz icon Frank Layden came to Utah a coach but became much more (KSL.com)
Around the league
Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant will miss the rest of the postseason.
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic was named NBA MVP for second straight year.
The NBA introduced new awards and a redesign of the playoff trophies.
Up next: NBA playoffs
May 13 | 5:30 p.m. | Game 6 | Boston Celtics @ Milwaukee Bucks | ESPN
May 13 | 8 p.m. | Game 6 | Memphis Grizzlies @ Golden State Warriors | ESPN
May 15 | TBD | Game 7 if necessary | Philadelphia 76ers @ Miami Heat | TBD
May 15 | TBD | Game 7 if necessary | Dallas Mavericks @ Phoenix Suns | TBD
May 15 | 1:30 p.m. | Game 7 if necessary | Milwaukee Bucks @ Boston Celtics | ABC
May 16 | 6:30 p.m. | Game 7 if necessary | Golden State Warriors @ Memphis Grizzlies | TNT
The Eastern Conference Finals will be played on:
- May 15, 17, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29 if MIA-PHI, BOS-MIL, PHX-DAL all finish in 6 games.
- May 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29 if any of those series finish in 7 games.
The Western Conference Finals will be played on:
- May 16, 18, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 if both PHX-DAL and MEM-GSW finish in 6 or fewer games.
- May 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 if either series finishes in 7 games.