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Utah Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey 'flabbergasted' by Rudy Gobert's All-Star snub
Utah Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey was watching the TNT pregame show on Thursday night, along with plenty of other NBA fans, awaiting the announcement of the All-Star reserves.
“As you can imagine, we were quite anxious, while quite confident that Rudy, based on complete merit, would make it,” Lindsey said.
But the omission of center Rudy Gobert left Lindsey and the rest of the Jazz organization stunned.
“Flabbergasted, disappointed, disgusted, I guess would be some adjectives to describe our collective mood,” Lindsey said. “We’re not very happy with the coaches’ vote. Ownership, [team president] Steve Starks, [head coach] Quin Snyder, myself—there’s no way to put into words our disappointment.”
The Jazz (29-23 and winners of eight of their last 10 games) have been one of the league’s best defensive teams this season and Gobert, the NBA’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year, is a huge reason why. But the 26-year-old Gobert (who is averaging a career-high 15 points per game while leading the league in field goal percentage) has been impressive on both ends of the court this season.
“Winning, winning with integrity, winning with defense, winning with unselfishness, winning with presence, winning with efficiency,” Lindsey said. “You don’t even have to really study very hard on advanced metrics to understand that just about every metric you look at he is in the top five or top seven in the league.”
Here’s a quick rundown of where Gobert ranks among all NBA players in some key statistical areas:
1st — 8.9 win shares
1st — 65.0 field goal percentage
1st — 6.1 screen assists per game
1st — 707 total contested 2-point attempts
1st — 189 total dunks
2nd — 113 total blocks
3rd — 666 total rebounds
4th — 2.2 blocks per game
4th — 65.0 effective field goal percentage
5th — 12.8 rebounds per game
5th — 19.5 rebound percentage
8th — 17.2 Player Impact Estimate
“You could just go on and on,” Lindsey said. “… I’m not sure how I could put it in such a way without using a bunch of four-letter words to tell you how I really feel. You wonder what people are looking at.”
In recent days, Jazz head coach Quin Snyder has been vocal in his support of Gobert’s All-Star status.
“So much of what Rudy does—I won’t say it’s thankless, but you have to look for it. Then you realize I need to thank him again,” Snyder said recently. “… He’s not going to have a line all the time that looks like a line from some of the other guys that make the All-Star game. But I would argue what he’s doing is even more unique and valuable. It’s not only as impactful, it’s more impactful.
“If you want to see what’s impactful for our team, just dig into for 30 seconds and look at all the things he does. It’s phenomenal.”
On Thursday night, Gobert’s teammates took to Twitter to voice their displeasure with their center’s All-Star snub.
... Rudy is not an AllStar?? I guess defense and winning means nothing— Ricky Rubio (@rickyrubio9) February 1, 2019
Gobert was left off a list of reserves that included San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, Golden State’s Klay Thompson, Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns, Denver’s Nikola Jokic, Portland’s Damian Lillard and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook.
“There’s not any one person that was voted on the reserves that doesn’t deserve it,” Lindsey said. “But there’s no one person, in my opinion, that deserves it more when you understand impact.”
Lindsey said he expects the moment to fuel a fire in Gobert and his teammates the rest of the season.
“It’s going to reveal character, the character of Rudy, the character of the organization,” the general manager said. “We’ll certainly have a response and we’ll rally around our big guy. If people aren’t paying attention to Rudy and the Jazz, we’ll make sure they pay attention to the competition and the results.”