SALT LAKE CITY — Through all the drama that has surrounded Utah Jazz franchise cornerstones Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell over the past few weeks, the usually media-savvy Mitchell has remained virtually silent in addressing it, even after Gobert on Sunday said in an Instagram Live video with TV host Taylor Rooks that the pair finally spoke recently after about a month.
On Wednesday night, Mitchell appeared in an Instagram Live video with rapper Fat Joe, and although it was evident he wanted to avoid discussing his rift with Gobert, he did say after Fat Joe brought up the now-infamous incident on March 9 when Gobert touched numerous items of audio equipment during a press conference in Salt Lake City, “We ain’t even gonna talk about that. We’ve moved on.”
Mitchell, who has been staying in New York, then continued, “I’m ready to hoop. I’m ready to hoop, man. I love my family, but I’m ready to get on the court and just get out there and play.”
On his weekly appearance on 1280 The Zone Thursday morning with David James and Patrick Kinahan, Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles reiterated his stance that the team won’t be negatively impacted on the court by the rift between franchise cornerstones Gobert and Mitchell.
Referring to a podcast he was on a few weeks ago with The Athletic’s Sam Amick in which he expressed that sentiment, Ingles said Thursday, “I’d be even more confident now saying that we’re going to be totally fine. I was confident back then saying it, otherwise I obviously wouldn’t have said it. I’m not going to say something I don’t believe in.”
Ingles noted that Gobert and Mitchell “obviously had a little bit of a frustration there,” but he added that many in the organization were frustrated over various aspects of what happened March 11 in Oklahoma City as Gobert’s positive test for the coronavirus led to the NBA suspending play.
“I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. I believe our team will be completely fine. They’ve spoken. We’ve all spoken. We’ve been in the group chat. It’s completely, we’re going to be fine.” — Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles
The Aussie said his biggest frustration was feeling the need to get home to his wife Renae and their young twins, and that he himself didn’t speak to anyone on the team “for the first 10 days, two weeks, because my one and only concern was my family and making sure they were OK.”
Ingles then again stressed his feeling about the team moving forward.
“I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. I believe our team will be completely fine. They’ve spoken. We’ve all spoken. We’ve been in the group chat. It’s completely, we’re going to be fine,” he said.
On Sunday via Instagram Live, Gobert said he and Mitchell are focused on winning, and Ingles’ final comments on the matter backed that idea up.
“I don’t know what else people need to say if they both want to win here. It seems pretty confident that they’ve decided that they want to play together and win together here, so until further notice, I think everyone will just worry about the earthquakes rather than those two.”
Before talk of the rift came up, Ingles discussed the idea of the NBA returning if players were in a “bubble” in a city such as Las Vegas. Major League Baseball star Mike Trout has opposed it for his league, and Ingles said, “I think I would be right there next to my friend Mike Trout.”
Ingles raised the question of what would happen if someone were to test positive for the coronavirus once play resumed, saying, “Then we’re kind of back to square one again,” but ultimately said, “I don’t know. I’ll let the big bosses make the decisions.”