If you haven’t seen it by now, you’ve either been sleeping or in a cave with Aaron Rodgers for the past 14 hours. We had another NBA skirmish Tuesday night, but this time it escalated into an all-out brawl with everyone’s favorite Warrior, Draymond Green, at the center of the chaos. And of course the player he got his hands on (or arms around his neck) was Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert. A guy who might be the most respected player in the history of the NBA.
For a player with so many accolades, Gobert is treated like just another scrub by many of his peers. No one is saying he didn’t do his part to earn their disses by not taking COVID seriously at the start or whining about being snubbed for an All-Star selection in 2019.
We get that he is a idiot to touch the microphones and jokes about what we knew very little about in March 2020. A grown man crying about not being selected for the All-Star team is self-explanatory. That behavior will get you beat in the NBA whether you like it or not. Gobert can just be an emotional guy, but that hasn’t won him much respect among his NBA peers.
Players in the league don’t like him and hold the Frenchman in low regard. Forget what he accomplishedthree-time defensive player of the year, six-time All-Defensive and four-time All-NBA selection. Gobert has made the All-Star team three times since shedding so many tears nearly five years ago.
Take a player like former no. 1 overall pick Kwame Brown. He was mocked endlessly (until the last few years) because they were labeled a “bust” for not living up to expectations. During Brown’s 12-year NBA career, he became a journeyman bouncer around the association and became a laughing stock thanks to the likes of Stephen A. Smith. Someone who really has no place fooling anyone, but we’ll leave that for another day.
Some consider Brown the greatest bust in NBA history, but even he never received the treatment other players receive that Gobert receives today. Brown’s teammates may not have respected his game, but they didn’t hand him over either. Many venomous words were hurled at Brown during and after his NBA career, but no fists were thrown or forearms pressed against his throat.
The disrespect of Gobert is on a whole other level than anything we’ve seen in the NBA. There were players who liked Brown when he played. They just realized at a certain point he would never live up to what people expect from a No. 1 overall pick. But these guys in Gobert’s era don’t like him. They seem to think he’s soft, and Gobert hasn’t exactly proven anyone wrong. We do not advocate violence, but self-defense is another matter.
Green has had it for Gobert since he cried over didn’t make the All-Star team years ago. Things might have been different if Gobert had stood up for himself years earlier, and maybe he wouldn’t have been locked in a midcourt MMA grip during this Warriors-Wolves In-Season Tournament matchup. But it can provide the juice needed to make the tournament more engaging. Aside from the alternate courts, these feel like mid-November regular season contests.
“It’s kind of funny because before the game I was telling myself Steph (Curry) isn’t playing, so I know Draymond is going to try to get ejected. Whenever Steph doesn’t play, he doesn’t want to play without his old Steph, so he does anything to get kicked out. It’s all good,” Gobert said after the game. “I hope the league will do what needs to be done because it’s just clownish behavior. There’s not much to say, it’s clownish behavior.”
Gobert probably could have kept his comments to himself after the game. Green did go too far, though many would argue he came to the aid of teammate Klay Thompson, who tackled Gobert. It was just the excuse Green needed to try his new hold. Gobert needs to play at basketball because we know he’ll keep walking away and turning the other cheek whenever he’s scorned. One thing about Green is he embrace and play the villain rolling well Something Gobert can probably learn from.