Charlotte Hornets v Utah Jazz
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - APRIL 1: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz goes up for a dunk during the game against the Charlotte Hornets on April 1, 2019 at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Rudy Gobert ties Karl Malone for a Jazz double-double record

by Aaron Falk

The air in the gym wasn’t moving, but Rudy Gobert was.

It was July in Gobert’s hometown of Saint-Quentin, France, and Gobert was spending an afternoon lifting weights with Jazz strength and conditioning coach Isaiah Wright and running drills with assistant coach Alex Jensen.

“I think he’s just barely starting to hit where he can take off from,” Wright said. “We’re just barely scratching the surface on Rudy Gobert.”

Eight months later, Gobert credits the work he did this summer with the success he’s having this season. On Monday night, Gobert notched his 62nd points-rebound double-double of the campaign—tying Hall of Fame big man Karl Malone for the most by a Jazz player in a single season.

“I take a lot of pride in my consistency this year,” Gobert said. “First of all, I haven’t missed any games. No load management. No [stuff] like that. … I take a lot of pride in being healthy. I worked very hard this summer on my body to try to not miss any games. It’s paying off so far.”

Gobert’s season has been about more than just clocking in, though. The center had 18 points and 18 rebounds in Monday’s 111-102 victory over the Charlotte Hornets, which will only add to career high averages in both categories.

“I remember when I first got here, he couldn’t catch. He couldn’t run. He couldn’t do anything. He was coming off the bench,” Jazz forward Joe Ingles said. “He’s worked hard to get to where he is. He’s obviously gotten better defensively, but he’s gotten better offensively every year too.”

Gobert has added more than 30 pounds to his frame since being drafted in 2014.

“I’ve done a lot better nutrition-wise. I’m working on my lower body, my explosiveness,” he said.

With five games left in the regular season, Gobert will look to continue his run and top Malone’s single-season record, which has stood since 1987-88. He also wants to be able to play all 82 games for the second time in his career.

“Some nights, you’re tired,” he said. “But I just like to go out there and help my team win and not let my team down. It’s the least I can do.”

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