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Hassan Whiteside On Practicing Against Rudy Gobert: "We Beat The Hell Out Of Each Other During The Day, And Then We Play Call Of Duty Together At Night."

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Hassan Whiteside and Rudy Gobert

Rudy Gobert is one of the best centers in the league and is a 3-time DPOY award winner. There's no question that his rim protection is crucial for the Utah Jazz system, and without him, their defense would be far worse than what it is now. It's clear that the Utah Jazz are not at their best during the minutes he sits.

The Utah Jazz signed Hassan Whiteside during the offseason, likely so he could fill a backup role behind Gobert. There is no question that Whiteside is a player that could be effective in a limited role, and he averaged 8.1 PPG and 6.0 RPG in 15.2 MPG over the course of the 2020-21 season. 

Hassan Whiteside has recently revealed what it's like to practice with Rudy Gobert. Whiteside stated that the two "beat the hell out of each other during the day", but that the two also play video games with one another in the evenings. The two centers clearly get along, and hopefully, that means good things for the Utah Jazz.

Hassan Whiteside and Rudy Gobert have had interactions before the Jazz, though they weren't necessarily positive. In 2019, Damian Lillard notably claimed that Hassan Whiteside is the best defensive center in the league. Gobert had a savage response to Lillard's statement and responded by saying "tell his coach to put him in at the end of the game", obviously referencing Whiteside's inability to close out games. 

Naturally, most fans assumed that there was beef between the two centers. In an article by Ryan McDonald of Deseret News though, Hassan Whiteside revealed that there was never any bad blood between the two.

There’s no rivalry or anything. We’re just competing. At the end of the day, I’m always happy to see a big man succeed in this league, especially somebody that blocks shots the same as I do.

There’s never been any rivalry. It’s been always just competing against each other, and we’re going to talk.”

The Utah Jazz will look to have another great regular season this year, and hopefully, get further in the playoffs. There is no question that they are a good team: they had a 2-0 lead on the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round, and the Donovan Mitchell/Rudy Gobert tandem has led them to a lot of success already. 

The goal now for the Jazz is to make a long playoff run and potentially make the Finals. They were the No. 1 seed for a reason last year, and the Mike Conley injury affected them in the second round. A lot of people think that the Jazz are a regular-season team: perhaps this is the year where they prove everybody wrong.