Rudy Gobert's $205-million extension was a pretty big deal for the NBA community, who expressed surprise and shock at the fact that a guy with so many limitations offensively could get paid so much money.
For Shaquille O'Neal, it's been a talking point of his for months. According to Shaq, it's rather fortunate that Gobert was able to secure such a heavy bag, and he has been on the record to flame him for it several times in the past.
Well, in a recent chat with the media, O'Neal once again spoke about Gobert and his enormous contract, admitting that he is a little jealous of the Jazz star...
(">via The Rex Chapman Show)
“I’m jealous, but I’m happy. I’m jealous because I always thought that you had to have Michael-Jordan, superb-type numbers to get that type of money. That’s what it was in my era, but I’m happy for the kids.
Rudy Gobert is not the average-type, big-guy NBA player no more. ‘Cause the average big they’re looking for now is a guy that can pick-and-pop and do whatever. Rudy Gobert’s big, tall, plays hard, plays great defense, Defensive Player of the Year.
You’re not gonna be LeBron. You’re not gonna be Kobe. You’re not gonna be Shaq. You’re not gonna be Garnett. But I think there’s a lot of big guys even today that can do what he can do. So when I tell the story, people think, ‘Oh, you’re just jealous.’ Yeah, I am jealous he’s making $250 (million).”
Rudy's deal dwarfs the 7-year, $120 million, extension Shaq signed with the Lakers back in the day -- so it's clear to see why he's a little flabbergasted.
And while Rudy is nowhere near Shaq's level or that of Michale Jordan, it is his importance to the team and the impact he makes defensively that explains why he's got such a nice paycheck.
This season, with the Jazz having the best record in the NBA, it's hard to say they didn't make the right call. Of course, we'll just have to wait and see if they can continue their play throughout the playoffs when it really matters.
(start at 27:26)