Rudy Gobert's departure from the Utah Jazz in some ways seemed like only a matter of time. The team with their core of Gobert and Donovan Mitchell had seemingly run their course and changes were needed after yet another playoff disappointment, as they lost to the Mavericks despite Luka Doncic missing a couple of games.
They ended up trading him to the Minnesota Timberwolves for 4 first-round picks to go with some players and Gobert shared a heartfelt message on social media after the news came out. Despite not going all the way and winning that championship, Gobert still achieved a lot with the team, as he won 3 Defensive Player of the Year awards and was a 3-time All-Star, which prompted a fan to ask if he deserves to have his jersey retired by the team.
NBA Twitter was, in fact, quite divided when it came to this topic.
"If a 3x DPOY doesn’t get your jersey retired I don’t know what does"
"No he’s the most overrated center ever"
"With this argument the magic should retire Dwight Howard’s jersey for his 3 DPOY with the team, multiple more all stars and lead his team to the finals, if Dwight doesn’t get his jersey retired then no Rudy shouldn’t either"
"They probably should. Few players in NBA history have been as dominant on D as Gobert, playoff issues aside."
"No!!!! He never delivered any playoff success. He wasn't ever the teams best scorer. Sure, he's a defensive superstar, but nothing but personal accolades to show for it.."
"Easily, how you gon retire Mark Eaton and not Gobert 😂"
"Yes, Utah has a low threshold for player jersey retirement. Dantley, Maravich, Stockton, Hornacek, Malone, Griffith, and Eaton are all listed along with 2 coaches, an owner, and an announcer. Gobert was in Utah longer than Dantley, Hornacek, or Maravich."
"yea, they should. even though he doesn’t have a ring his accomplishments are HOF worthy"
"About one of the only bright spots in the franchise so yes absolutely"
"Too little time and didn't get them to even a conference final. Don't think it would have much meaning"
"Not even a question. So much unnecessary hate towards a generational defender. HOFer."
"Cool he won some awards but what did he do to help them win in the playoffs"
"The bar is too damn low. I understand if he passed and retired there but honestly, no."
"Nope. if he was so great they wouldn’t have traded him. The great ones have a say in if they leave or not. There is a reason Mitchell is still there and Gobert is not."
"Definitely he is the best center in franchise history second best big after Malone"
"Bro imagine having a Gobert jersey up in the rafters omfg"
"You forgot: 0x success in Playoffs so answer is no"
"Retiring the number of a dude who couldn't get you past the 2nd round is nasty"
"He’s the third best player in team history, so yea."
"I’m not a big Gobert guy, but there’s no doubt he’s done a lot for that franchise. A Jersey retirement is well deserved."
The argument that some playoff success is needed for a jersey retirement is fair, but the Jazz haven't done much in the postseason with the exception of the Karl Malone-John Stockton years, which would mean a host of other names wouldn't have gotten that honor.
As some pointed out, if Mark Eaton got his number retired, then Gobert is definitely going to get his as well, despite so many being against it. He played a big role in uplifting that franchise after some rough times and leaves Salt Lake City with many in the area being very appreciative of his contributions to the team over the years.