Rudy Gobert is one of the best defensive players and rim protectors in the league. He is known for being the anchor of the Utah Jazz defense, and it is clear that his presence allows perimeter players to be more aggressive when playing defense. He is also a solid interior finisher, in particular as a lob threat. Currently, Rudy Gobert is averaging 15.5 PPG, 14.8 RPG, and 1.1 APG while shooting 71.2% from the field.
Despite his obvious defensive talent, there are times when Rudy Gobert gets criticized by analysts and fellow players. One of the players who has publically criticized Rudy Gobert is Draymond Green, and the Warriors forward once claimed that he doesn't want to be mentioned in the same sentence as the Jazz center.
You keep mentioning me in the same sentence with him, we're not alike...
Rudy Gobert has since been asked about his relationship with Draymond Green. The Jazz center claimed that Draymond Green is actually "nice and respectful" when they interact in person. Gobert also added that he takes all the criticism "as respect" and added that if he was an "average player", people wouldn't talk about him. Tristi Rodriguez of NBC Sports relayed the news.
“I’m not talking about him,” Gobert said. “When I see him in person, he’s always really nice and respectful. So as long as that stays the same. I think that what’s being said about me on podcasts, it’s not just Draymond, it’s a lot of guys that try to discredit what I do every night, who I am as a player. It’s part of it. But for me, I will always take it as respect. If I was an average defensive player, an average player, they wouldn’t talk about me. I will always take it as respect.”
The criticism towards Rudy Gobert also partly stems from the Utah Jazz's relative lack of success in the playoffs. Many claim that he gets exposed during the playoffs, but part of the Utah Jazz's downfall in the postseason comes from their lack of elite perimeter defense.
As of right now, Rudy Gobert looks like he'll be a Hall of Famer in the future. Hopefully, he gets the respect he deserves at some point, and though he may have limitations as a player, what he provides to a team is fantastic.