For the NBA’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Rudy Gobert has managed to dunk on himself an awful lot in 2020.
To say it hasn’t been the Utah Jazz big man’s year is a massive understatement.
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Gobert’s year got off to a relatively normal start, but the French centre’s role in the NBA becoming the first major sporting code in the world to shut down due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic made him both a pariah and a punchline.
The game between the Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 12 was the first game to be postponed due to what would become a global pandemic, with Gobert the first to test positive for the disease.
Making matters worse for Gobert was vision of him joking about the disease in the days prior to his positive test - going so far as to deliberately touch every microphone placed in front of him at a press conference just days before his positive test was returned.
Jazz teammate Donovan Mitchell also caught the virus, leading to reports of a rift growing between the pair.
Rudy Gobert’s bizarre Serena Williams gaffe
Fortunately Gobert and Mitchell both made swift recoveries, but the big man hasn’t quite been able to prevent his foot from entering his mouth since.
As protests against police brutality, systemic racism and racial inequality broke out in the United States and later across the world, Gobert saw fit to share what he thought was an inspirational Facebook post from tennis superstar Serena Williams.
There were two problems - it was not actually the tennis star’s Facebook post, it was written by a white woman of the same name, and the subject matter was hardly something you would expect from the tennis great.
Rudy Gobert really shooting 0% these last few months lmao pic.twitter.com/zMFYzrTunv— sreekar (@sreekyshooter) June 21, 2020
Taking an ‘All Lives Matter’ tone, the post asked people to mind their own business when it comes to politics and compared those who reject opposing viewpoints to those who are genuinely racists and bigots - a point unlikely to be made by the tennis champion, herself a proud and vocal campaigner for Black Lives Matter.
Gobert captioned the post ‘Couldn’t have said it better myself’, tagging the real Serena Williams.
Had the Jazz star looked more closely at the profile in question, he’d have noticed the author made it clear she was ‘not that Serena Williams’.
Needless to say, Gobert deleted the tweet post haste, but not before NBA Twitter got their shots off at his expense.
Rudy Gobert, continually: pic.twitter.com/fSve7W394Z— Dave: DNP - CD (social distancing) (@daveusesthis) June 21, 2020
Lol I cannot believe Rudy Gobert found ANOTHER way to piss Donovan off— Mark Russell Pereira (@Mark_R_Pereira) June 21, 2020
It was a good run guys
rudy gobert continues to take L's lmao— Eric "Wang" Huang (@ERIC_HUANG_EN) June 21, 2020
The NBA is locked in ongoing discussions to resume their season starting from July 31, with the leading 22 teams to be hosted at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.