Rudy Gobert on how the COVID-19 incident on the microphone impacted him

Rudy Gobert’s microphone meeting last March was seen and criticized numerous times in the months that followed.

The great man from Utah Jazz was even partly to blame, unfairly, for the temporary closure of the NBA season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, more than nine months later, as Jazz begins its 2020-21 season, Gobert is still working to make sure people know why he was joking about the coronavirus pandemic that day.

“It came from a good intention,” Gobert told ESPN on Thursday. “It was the first day that we found out that the media wouldn’t be able to interview us, right next to us, and, you know, we obviously didn’t know as much as we do now, and I only knew that to try to liven up the mood a little.

“It was, of course, if I could go back in time, I wouldn’t do that.”

Rudy Gobert’s positive test led to the NBA’s closure

Gobert, at the end of an interview session, jokingly went out of his way to touch every microphone and recording device in front of him. Gobert would also have repeatedly touched the players and their belongings in the locker room – which did not work well.

He then tested positive for the coronavirus a few days later, which led the league to suspend the game almost instantly on March 11.

“It was great that the NBA reacted as fast as it did because having thousands and thousands of people in an enclosed space, side by side, while there were a lot more people with positive tests … it was really the smartest thing to do to try to save as many lives as possible, ”said Gobert, via ESPN.

As the first person in the league known to have contracted the coronavirus in the early days of the United States pandemic, Gobert was scared.

“Just all the unknowns – a lot of things, and there are still, a lot of things we don’t know about this virus, let alone at the moment,” he said, via ESPN. “And being the first professional NBA player to test positive has brought a lot of thoughts to my mind. It was just looking at things and asking me if you’re going to be okay, if you’re not going to be okay. Thinking about my family that couldn’t stay with me. It was a lot to process at the time.

“But once I was able to sit down and realize it wasn’t just me, the whole world was going through this, and some people were losing their jobs, losing family members … I mean, it was a difficult time for all of us. “

‘Hopefully we will turn the corner soon’

Gobert is in a much better place now.

Not only is he cured and healthy again, but he signed a massive $ 205 million five-year extension with Jazz this week – which marks the biggest deal for a center in NBA history.

He lost 20 points and had 17 rebounds in his 120 to 100 win against the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday.

The coronavirus pandemic, however, is still occurring across the country. There were more than 213,000 new cases a day last week, according to The New York Times, and more than 2,600 deaths a day.

Of course, the coronavirus is still something that Gobert thinks about constantly.

“I think everyone in the world now has that word in mind,” he said, via ESPN. “You know, it’s something that we hear every day. It is something that really affected our lives, indirectly or directly. So it’s something we’re all going through now and, hopefully, we’ll be around the corner soon. “

Utah Jazz Center, Rudy Gobert
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert is still being questioned about his microphone incident in March. (AP / Marcio José Sanchez)

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