Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert are the two best players on the Utah Jazz. After leading the team to the top of the Western Conference last season, they had big expectations entering this season, but things have been rocky for some periods.
They are back on track to have a terrific ending of the regular season and try their luck in the playoffs, but some things need to be sorted before they start a new chapter in the intriguing 2021/22 season.
A lot has been said about Mitchell, Gobert, and their relationship. Things haven't been perfect between them in the past couple of years, and every now and then we learn about something that isn't working between the stellar duo. Spida made sure to shut down all those rumors, saying he has no problem with Gobert and is on the best terms with him.
“First of all, we’re good. I just want to go on record with saying that,” Mitchell told on 'Posted Up with Chris Haynes.' “I think it’s interesting that stuff happens, and he and I have never played at this high of a level together since we’ve been here. So I make the joke, ‘For a group that hates each other, man, we’re playing pretty well.’
“And we can be even better. We’re good. We’re focused on winning. We have a common goal. I think that’s the biggest thing. You don’t always have to be the best of friends with people you work with. But at the end of the day, if you work towards a common goal that’s beneficial to the team, that’s what’s first. We want to win, and I don’t think either of us are worried about what’s being said around us.”
He also touched on Gobert comparing him to Devin Booker on the defensive side, admitting he would have preferred if those things were discussed internally, but Mitchell said it's all good.
“People have their own way of expressing things. I think the bigger way would have been just to do it in house, but it’s water under the bridge for me now, and for us as a group,” Mitchell told Yahoo Sports. “... When you have two people that are competitive, you want to ultimately be the best. I would take that as opposed to two dudes who just want to sit on their ass and do nothing. You have two guys who are going to go out there and compete. He’s a three-time Defensive Player of the Year. I’m a three-time All-Star. We’re going to find ways to get better individually and collectively as a group, and I’ll take that.”
Talking about his aspirations for the future, he didn't hesitate. Winning an NBA championship is the main goal for him while improving his level however he can.
“An NBA champion — that’s the goal. MVP is the goal. Hopefully, more than one of both. That’s the goal,” Mitchell told Yahoo Sports. “Multiple championships. I want to win. That’s what I strive for. Every morning I wake up, every time I work out, we want to win a championship. How do we go about doing that? How can I be the best Donovan that I can be for my team and go out there and compete and win? So if you don’t see it for yourself, then you’re never really going to get there.”
He's been linked with a move away from the Jazz in the past couple of months, but Mitchell is happy where he is. Utah has a good chance to compete this year, although they will find big competition in the Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns and last-season first-round rivals Memphis Grizzlies.
They have a terrific duo willing to do the work to take the squad to the promised land. It remains to be seen if they can lead this team to the championship or at least return to the Finals, like Karl Malone and John Stockton did in the 90s.