July 27, 2021

Rudy Gobert reflects on last season’s COVID-19 microphone incident: I was trying ‘to liven the mood’

Rudy Gobert’s microphone encounter last March has been viewed and criticized countless times in the months that followed.

The Utah Jazz big man was even partially blamed, unfairly, for the NBA season shutting down temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, more than nine months later as the Jazz get their 2020-21 season underway, 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 was not going to be able to interview us, right next to us, and, you know, we obviously didn’t know as much as we know now, and I only did that to try to liven the mood a little bit.

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

Rudy Gobert’s positive test led to NBA shutdown
Gobert, as he wrapped up an interview session, jokingly went out of his way to touch every single microphone and recording device in front of him. Gobert was also reportedly touching players and their belongings in the locker room repeatedly, too — which didn’t go over well.

He then tested positive for the coronavirus just days later, which prompted the league to suspend play completely almost instantly on March 11.

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