Sometime around 4:30 p.m. local time on Monday, Rudy Gobert walked out of the 21c Museum Hotel on the west end of downtown Oklahoma City and boarded the bus, passing 7 blocks. Head to the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Nine and a half months ago, Gobert walked out of the same hotel and walked into a car about 20 blocks from the University of Oklahoma Medical Center to be tested for COVID-19. It seems ridiculous that Gobert may actually have coronavirus, but after testing negative for streptococcus and flu, his nose was wiped off with a swab. Less than 24 hours later, just about 10 minutes before the Oklahoma State Thunder and Utah Jazz’s scheduled tip on March 11, he tested positive for the virus, triggering a series of events that will last forever. Changed the NBA…and the entire sports world.
On Monday, Gobert walked a long way along the corridor to the locker room he had never seen in March. His teammates were locked in for an hour, surrounded by unknowns and fears. They formed a circle. , Wearing blue surgical gloves and masks, waiting for health officials to arrive to test them.
Jazz coach Quin Snyder smiled and said, “I walked into the office and remembered to stay there for a while.” “I wouldn’t call it PTSD because it’s not that extreme, but there will be Memories.”
For Gobert and the Jazz, Monday’s game is a full-minute moment. Although they don’t want to make it the focus of the night, it is inevitably a moment full of memories. Snyder said they didn’t spend much time talking about it, but they reminded themselves of small things, such as being in the same hotel, watching the locker room or walking into a stadium without fans.
“I have the same [hotel] Room, believe it or not,” Donovan Mitchell said, “It’s ironic.
The Jazz won the game 110-109, and Mitchell hit a bank player with 7 seconds left to provide the final deposit. The Thunder had a chance to win the buzzer and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander drove to the right, but Gobert’s towering figure and his albatross arm met during the game. Gilgeous-Alexander had a short layup, Gobert grabbed the rebound and the ball in his hand made the buzzer sound.
Gobert said: “It’s just basketball. I just focus on winning.” “The only one [big] All the memories returned to the same hotel. It’s strange. “
Gobert’s life changed in March. He tested positive a few days after touching the reporter recorder on the table in front of him. This shows that a new agreement made by the league separates players from the media. To prevent the spread of the virus. Take his carelessness as an example, he became a zero patient in the NBA. He accepted the responsibility and apologized, and then spent two weeks fighting the virus and dealing with strong symptoms, including odors that he could not smell or smell for months.
Snyder said: “Rudy was insulted. In hindsight, we have a better understanding of the virus.” “I think Rudy fully realized that some mistakes were made, and these mistakes are different from all of us. The people commit it time and time again.
“At that moment, this is a very important thing; in Rudy’s situation, he has the opportunity to deal with it. When we encounter adversity, we always challenge ourselves to make you better. I think Dee emerged from a challenge. A place to grow. Not only Rudi, but all of us.”
Many changes have taken place since March, including people, places and things.
Mitchell said: “This year is the same year. “It feels like forever, but I don’t think we think about it too much. We came here for a while and it was like’OK, we’re back. ‘”
The March match was also a turning point in the Gobert-Mitchell relationship. After Mitchell tested positive the next day, the pressure on the spread of the virus increased. The entire chemistry of the Jazz locker room is being questioned, and many people openly wonder whether some price must be paid. Will jazz trade one of their stars? Can they solve it?
Mitchell admitted that it took him “a period of time to calm down” and the two remained silent for a long time. When the NBA recovered from the Florida bubble, Gobert and Mitchell were forced to face the problem and repair the fracture. They reunified with a unified goal: to win.
Monday’s game was great for many reasons, but for Mitchell to score and Gobert created the winning station, it showed the formula that the Jazz hoped for. Snyder mentioned the growth the team has experienced since that night in March, but it is more important than winning a basketball game nearly ten months later.
The coach said: “I think all of us have a greater appreciation for what we think of as a normal life.” “You can’t help but remember that night; it’s very important for both teams, it’s really important for the league. And it is. , The contrast between that point and where we are now, the season, the interruption, the bubble, the return and the game again-it seems to be a lifetime since then.”