SALT LAKE CITY, UT - FEBRUARY 1: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz and Vince Carter #15 of the Atlanta Hawks pose for a photo with a fan prior to a game on February 1, 2019 at vivint.SmartHome Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Atlanta's Vince Carter offers words of encouragement for Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell

by Aaron Falk

The best dunkers will try to challenge Rudy Gobert—just not usually the way Vince Carter did on Friday night.

The 42-year-old Carter found the Utah Jazz center on the court after Friday night’s game between the Jazz and the Atlanta Hawks and offered him some words of encouragement and a challenge to keep getting better.

“He just told me to keep going,” Gobert said. “He told me eventually people are going to start recognizing. To keep doing what I was doing.”

Carter has eight times been an NBA All-Star during his illustrious career, and his words meant something to Gobert.

“I appreciate it,” Gobert said. “It’s a guy that I really have a lot of respect for. Having him come to me and telling me that, it means a lot.”

Carter also had some words for Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell.

“You can just see the maturation in his game, how comfortable he is,” Carter said. “That’s what you want in a young guy who’s in his second year. Now you see, you understand how the season goes, you understand how the NBA game is played. He just looks comfortable out there.”

Mitchell wore one of Carter’s old Toronto Raptor jerseys during last year’s Slam Dunk Contest, and Carter has called Mitchell one of his favorite dunkers in the league today.

“I just have an appreciation for what he’s done for the game,” Mitchell said. “Especially for me as a dunker. That’s all I used to do. I didn’t care about anything else. It’s all I wanted to do. So that’s pretty special for me to hear that.”

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