Coronavirus destroys stars’ relationship
NBA stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell have both recovered from coronavirus, but the Utah Jazz teammates' relationship may not be as fortunate.
Gobert was the NBA's "patient zero", with news of his positive test for COVID-19 immediately leading to the league suspending its season on the night of March 11. Mitchell tested positive by the following day, and soon, there were reports of frustration coming out of the Jazz locker room after Gobert had been "careless" leading up to his diagnosis, according to ESPN.
Nearly a month has passed, but the relationship between Gobert and Mitchell apparently has not been fixed by time.
"It doesn't appear salvageable," a source told The Athletic.
Gobert and Mitchell had shared space regularly in two travel days leading up to Gobert's positive test, according to The Athletic. The Jazz had reportedly taken steps to educate their players about the virus and also took safety precautions, but Gobert did little to show he took them seriously - including infamously touching the microphones and recorders of reporters after a press conference in an attempted gag two days before he tested positive.
While it is not known whether Gobert transmitted the virus to Mitchell, or vice versa, or if they both got it in some other fashion - a point the Jazz have tried to reinforce to Mitchell - The Athletic reported the damage may be done already.
The day after he tested positive, Gobert issued an apology "to the people that I may have endangered" with his "careless" actions.
"It took a while for me to cool off," Mitchell said on Good Morning America last month. "I read what (Gobert) said and I heard what he said. I'm glad he's doing OK, I'm glad I'm doing well. I'm just really happy, to be honest, that it's just - I hate to say it's just two of us, but it wasn't the whole party."
At the time the NBA suspended its season, the Jazz were 41-23 and held the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference with Mitchell and Gobert as arguably the team's two most important players.
"I'm confident our team is going to be totally fine," Australian forward Joe Ingles told The Athletic. "I heard Donovan's response, or whatever it was, to that question, and a part of that is on Donovan and Rudy to sort out if he's frustrated with him or whatever.
"But I have no doubt when we go back to training, or when our season starts again, our team is going to be what we have been and what we are.
"I'm confident our team will be completely fine. The chemistry will be fine."
This story originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission
Originally published as Coronavirus destroys stars' relationship