Much has been made in recent weeks about a brewing locker room beef between Utah Jazz players.
Specifically, many have wondered if the relationship between Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, one that has never been particularly strong to begin with, was worsening.
This week, Mitchell aimed to address the gossip once and for all.
During a recent appearance on ‘Posted Up with Chris Haynes,’ Mitchell got brutally honest about the status of his relationship with Gobert.
“First of all, we’re good. I just want to go on record with saying that,” Mitchell said.’
“I think it’s interesting that stuff happens, and he and I have never played at this high of a level together since we’ve been here. So I make the joke, ‘For a group that hates each other, man, we’re playing pretty well.’
“And we can be even better. We’re good. We’re focused on winning. We have a common goal. I think that’s the biggest thing. You don’t always have to be the best of friends with people you work with. But at the end of the day, if you work towards a common goal that’s beneficial to the team, that’s what’s first. We want to win, and I don’t think either of us are worried about what’s being said around us.”
That being said, Mitchell did seem to contract himself ever so slightly later on in the conversation. While he maintains that everything between him and Gobert is fine – he didn’t seem to react particularly kindly to the big man’s comparison of him to Devin Booker on the defensive end.
“People have their own way of expressing things. I think the bigger way would have been just to do it in house, but it’s water under the bridge for me now, and for us as a group,” Mitchell continued.
“… When you have two people that are competitive, you want to ultimately be the best. I would take that as opposed to two dudes who just want to sit on their ass and do nothing.
“You have two guys who are going to go out there and compete. He’s a three-time Defensive Player of the Year. I’m a three-time All-Star. We’re going to find ways to get better individually and collectively as a group, and I’ll take that.”
Generally speaking, where there’s smoke – there’s fire. Obviously Mitchell is right about the Jazz players playing well despite all the outside noise. Their record speaks for itself.
But there’s a reason there is so much commentary about him and Gobert not liking one another. It’s not just appearing out of thin air.
Lonzo went all out. https://t.co/30NGLtDOH2
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 15, 2022
Mitchell’s interview with Haynes confirms that there is probably a minor beef between him and Gobert, namely because of how the latter has publicly called him out – but that both parties are also working hard to get past it and put the Jazz in a position to win.