The Rebounding King measures 2.15 m, spreads its wingspan to 2.36 m and wears 53. Rudy Gobert builds a wall in front of the France basket. The 30-year-old center is the most captured player in EuroBasket, 82 (10.3 per game compared to 6.8 for Willie and 5.4 for Garuba, the most outstanding in the Spanish team), a record that adds to the distinction as a Utah Jazz jersey. Best rebounder in the NBA last season with 14.7 balls per game.
Gobert has collected awards in the American League in this act of destruction for which he is extremely well equipped: he has also been named as the best defender of the championship, a member of the ideal defensive quintet, and maximum blocker of the competition, with He was a three-time All-Star participant (third French after Tony Parker and Joachim Noah). This past season, his last in Utah before playing the next season in Minnesota, he was the basketball player with the best two-point shooting percentage in the entire league, 71.3%. Of course it moves a few centimeters away from the rim.
Gobert is part of a lineage of European centers that are stomping into the NBA, with giants such as Jokic, Antetokounmpo and Sabonis. A club that Willy Hernangómez watches from afar, Spain’s Roof (2.09m), awaits a very crude fight under hoops this Sunday. Gobert is a master on defense, though he looks worse on the wrist for offensive perfection.
Willie shines in a shot with both hands, but Scariolo demands another turn without the ball. The French skyscraper plays its first final with the national team tonight after winning three bronze medals: at the 2014 and 2019 World Cups and the 2015 European Championship. Already in its debut in a major tournament, it left Spain their mark by eliminating Spain with a stellar performance in the quarter-finals. At age 22, he captured 13 rebels, one more than the pairing of Pau and Marc Gasol, and his stomp against the oldest brothers was the poster child for that victory in enemy territory. Spain will take revenge a year later in the EuroBasket semi-final against France at Lille with Pau Gasol’s 40 points.
abandoned by father
Seven years later, Gobert is still in muscle-showing paint. Basketball was not his favorite sport as a child, but he practiced boxing and karate (hence his strength) until he followed in his father’s footsteps, clocking 2.13 meters and 18 caps for France. Basket Her future was more inertia than business, also because the father left the family when Gobert was three years old and the mother was left alone with three children. Rudy had the challenge of getting into basketball and the NBA. Because of its size, it earned the nickname Gobzilla, in reference to the fictional Japanese monster.
He has built a career in the Mecca of basketball thanks to the defensive shield that will try to break into what is today Spain. He was also in the limelight because he was the first American League player to be publicly announced as having contracted the coronavirus. In March 2020, the Oklahoma-Utah game was called off as teams were already preparing on the track to begin the duel. Then Gobert was found to be positive, the balls were placed and the pavilion was evicted, beginning with the suspension of the season. A few days earlier, Gobert, without a mask, had perused the table and microphone in the press room when a journalist asked his opinion about the disease. The joke was not funny, Gobert had to apologize and donate half a million dollars to social services. “They think I brought COVID to the United States and blame me for shutting down the NBA,” he lamented.
This Sunday, Gobert leads France with abundant resources in the region. His opening partner under the rim, Yabusele, is the team’s top scorer (15 points per night on average), Hertel has assisted Lorenzo Brown (7.1) and Fournier (14 points) is also a threat from outside. In the game inside, Gobert is the law.
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