Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert have had one of the most scrutinized teammate relationships in the NBA over the last couple of years. Now the two players may be providing further cause for scrutiny.
Speaking with reporters Friday, the Utah Jazz center Gobert was critical of his team and compared them to the elite teams in the Western Conference.
“When I watch some of these other teams like the Suns or the Warriors, those guys are a step ahead of us in terms of winning habits,” said Gobert, per Eric Walden of the Salt Lake Tribune. “They take every game personally. [Suns guard] Devin Booker is playing his a– off defensively. I’ve been watching him compared to two years ago.
“Guys like that, they buy in,” Gobert added. “You can tell they take pride in playing defense, stopping their man, doing whatever they can defensively to stop the other team and be a part of a winning culture. I think we’re not there yet, but I think we’re gonna get there.”
Walden added his own opinion about Gobert’s comments, writing “Rudy Gobert subtweet?”
A “subtweet” is internet slang for when someone is talking about another person without directly mentioning their name.
The Jazz guard Mitchell appeared to agree with Walden and “liked” Walden’s “subtweet” post.
Donovan Mitchell just liked a tweet of a quote of Rudy Gobert indirectly subtweeting/complaining about Mitchell not playing defense. pic.twitter.com/TrfcFNJ34Q
— Khiz (@KhizHoops) January 14, 2022
Utah has lost four games in a row. Gobert missed all four contests due to health and safety protocols, but Mitchell played in three of them.
It is interesting that Gobert would specifically mention Booker, who plays the same position as Mitchell and has a similar role for his team as the No. 1 scorer. It is also especially interesting given the history between Gobert and Mitchell. The two players have had reported issues over the last couple of years that really boiled over with their infamous beef at the start of the pandemic.
The general consensus with Mitchell and Gobert is that they will never be good friends but that they can probably co-exist just fine as colleagues. But even their working relationship could now be teetering precariously again, especially with the recent rumors that Mitchell may want out of Utah.