The Utah Jazz have lost 11 of their last 14 games and tensions seem to be running high.
Amid trade talk and chatter about upgrading the roster, what has seemingly gone unnoticed is the growing rift between stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.
Apparently, it is reaching something of a fever point.
During a recent episode of The Hoop Collective, ESPN NBA insiders Brian Windhorst and Tim MacMahon went into detail about the pair’s rapidly deteriorating relationship.
According to MahMahon, the relationship between Mitchell and Gobert is “passively aggressively awkward.” Windhorst seemed to support that general sentiment.
“It’s the most underplayed story in the league, I think,” Windhorst added.
“The Jazz are struggling a lot. This team had big expectations and they’re getting passed by frankly. They are not on the level they were a year ago. Donovan and Gobert, even though they’re both under long-term contract, are under each other’s skin. There’s all kind of subtweeting and passive aggressive stuff going on.”
There is also a belief that if this were occurring in a bigger market, say New York, the dynamic between Mitchell and Gobert would be getting a lot more attention.
“Gobert and Mitchell have been at each other’s — I don’t know if I can say at each other’s throats. … If these guys played for the Knicks or Nets or even the Suns or something, Stephen A. (Smith) would be talking about this on First Take, because it is two All-Star level players.”
A few weeks back, Mitchell and Gobert exchanged very public jabs through the media. Because of their history, many immediately wondered if this was a sign of issues to come.
Shortly after Gobert made his comments, rumors immediately arose about him possibly getting traded. Since then, nothing has materialized on that front.
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For all their woes, the Jazz are still fourth in the West. That’s how good of a start the team had before its collapse.
There is still time to right this ship, but it starts with improving the relationship between Mitchell and Gobert. Will that ultimately happen? Time will tell.
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