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What Rudy Gobert said at his introductory press conference with the Minnesota Timberwolves

The former Utah Jazz center spoke fondly but frankly about his tenure with the Jazz, as well as his future with the Timberwolves

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FILE - Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert arrives for Game 3 of the team’s NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks on April 21, 2022, in Salt Lake City. Gobert has been traded by the Jazz to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a massive package of players and draft picks, a person with knowledge of the blockbuster deal said. Utah is getting four first-round picks between 2023 and 2029, along with Patrick Beverley, Malik Beasley and a first-round pick this year in Walker Kessler.

Rick Bowmer, AP

For nine years, Rudy Gobert patrolled the paint for the Utah Jazz, becoming one of the preeminent defensive forces in the NBA, an All-NBA caliber center and a cornerstone for one of the winningest franchises in professional basketball.

Gobert, of course, is no longer with the Jazz, having been traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Walker Kessler, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro and multiple first-round draft picks.

On Wednesday, that trade became official as the NBA free agency moratorium period came to an end, and Gobert was introduced as the newest member of the Timberwolves.

Gobert wasn’t quite finished with the Jazz, though, and fielded multiple questions regarding his former team in his introductory press conference in Minneapolis.

What Utah and the Jazz mean to Rudy Gobert

Gobert was nothing but positive when reflecting on his time in Utah.

  • “Obviously Utah is the only team I have played for for nine years,” Gobert said. “I have some amazing memories and I am really grateful for all the time I spent there and the great relationships I built that will stay there. That will never change.”
  • “I thought it would be really cool to spend my whole career in the same place,” he continued. “I spent nine amazing years in Utah and we built something that was really unique and that will never go away even though we never won a championship. Those years were great years in terms of winning. We won the most games in the NBA over the last four years. We didn’t win a ring, but that is a pretty cool accomplishment. Those years made me a better player and a better person.”

Why Rudy Gobert believes the Jazz traded him

Gobert was open with his thoughts on why Utah elected to trade him.

  • “Losing (former head coach) Quin (Snyder), Quin was there for eight years and was a big part of what we were doing,” Gobert said. “Sometimes, the window for winning is not always big. For us in Utah, that is kind of what happened. I think the organization felt that we had maybe passed the window that we had over the last few years.
  • “I think the team would still be a very competitive team,” Gobert added, “but they felt like with all the assets that they could get for me that it was better for them to go that way. ... It is never easy. You never know what is right and wrong and sometimes you have to make decisions, and that is what they did.”

How Rudy Gobert views his trade to the Minnesota Timberwolves

Gobert ultimately believes his trade to Minnesota will benefit both the Jazz and the Timberwolves.

  • “I think it could potentially be a win-win situation,” Gobert said. “They (the Jazz) also put me in a great situation to win. I am really grateful for that. They put me on a team that I can keep flourishing and hopefully win a championship. For them, I really hope that they can get better and better and hopefully get to that stage where we were three years ago.”