Rudy Gobert is a guy that has always taken a lot of pride in his defensive expertise. Moreover, he knows he’s been snubbed from All-Star Games and DPOY awards in the past, so he makes the most of every opportunity to remind everybody who’s the best rim protector in the league.
That’s why he didn’t take Damian Lillard’s comments lightly after the Portland Trail Blazers’ star claimed that Hassan Whiteside is the best defensive big man in the league.
So, when asked about the matter following the Jazz’ triumph over Portland, Gobert took a major shot at Whiteside by simply answering: “Tell his coach to put him in at the end of the game.”
Didn’t catch it at the time, but Rudy Gobert’s response last night to Damian Lillard claiming Hassan Whiteside is the best defensive center in the league was priceless: “Tell his coach to put him in at the end of the game.” pic.twitter.com/HIEreImRb1
— Eric Walden (@tribjazz) December 27, 2019
Let’s remember Whiteside has been benched through key stretches and clutch-time minutes since his days with the Miami Heat, as he’s a bit of an offensive liability and seems careless in the defensive end from time to time.
As a matter of fact, that’s one of the reasons why Whiteside was reportedly unhappy at Miami, as coach Erik Spoelstra decided to trust Bam Adebayo in the clutch despite him being the best rim protector on the team.
Whiteside’s talents as a shot-blocker and physical presence down low have never been doubted, but his work ethic and engine have raised a lot of questions throughout the years, and the same can’t be said about Gobert.
Also, this isn’t the first time the Stifle Tower has taken a shot at Whiteside, as we can remember from this cryptic exchange with Evan Fournier back in 2016, when they basically called him a stat-padder for not caring about his team’s success. (Blancoté translates as Whiteside in French)
— Evan Fournier (@EvanFourmizz) January 20, 2016
Whiteside and Gobert are going to see plenty of each other from this day to the playoffs, so we’re definitely going to hear more about this feud between two of the league’s finest rim protectors.