The Utah Jazz demolished the Minnesota Timberwolves earlier this week, picking up a 136-104 road win. In the aftermath, a pair of Timberwolves players — Anthony Edwards and Patrick Beverley — talked about three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, only they did not strike a reverential tone. Beverley called him out for not guarding the other team’s best player, while Edwards said Gobert doesn’t scare him, instead naming Dallas Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis the best rim protector in the NBA.
The quotes were eyebrow-raising, in large part because they came after the Timberwolves lost at home by 32 points. Unsurprisingly, they caught the attention of the Jazz, and after the team picked up a 118-96 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night, players and coaches had Gobert’s back. This included Joe Ingles saying that he thinks Edwards, Beverley, and co. do not watch enough basketball.
Joe Ingles on Rudy Gobert slander: “I don’t understand. For Edwards to say that Porzingis is more intimidating is hilarious. Obviously, they don’t watch enough basketball. Maybe Porzingis blocked him once or something. I don’t know.”
— Ryan Miller (@millerjryan) December 10, 2021
Gobert was also asked about the comments, saying, “I wouldn’t say it impacted me. It’s not the first time. People take shots at me for no reason. I come here every single night to help my team win and be the best Rudy I can be.”
“I never take shots at anyone. I receive a lot of shots, I don’t take any shots,” he went on to say, according to Ryan Miller of KSL.com. “I just focus on myself. When you’re the best in the world at something, people become insecure and try to discredit what you do; it’s gonna happen. It’s not the first time, it’s not the last time. I just keep being Rudy, keep being myself and keep getting better every single night.”
The Jazz have won their last six games in a row and will take on the Washington Wizards on Saturday evening. Their next game against the Timberwolves is on Dec. 23.