Despite Shaq’s criticism towards Rudy Gobert for his $205 million contract, he urges all NBA big men to take inspiration from the Jazz center and follow him.
After playing for seven seasons with the Utah Jazz, the organization decided to reward Rudy Gobert. This past offseason, the Jazz signed the Frenchman to a five-year, $205 million contract. The Jazz organization gave the team leadership responsibility to the All-Star duo of Gobert and Mitchell.
Very openly, former Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal heavily criticized Rudy. Shaq stated how a guy who averaged “just 11 points” could get such a massive contract.
“This should be an inspiration to all the little kids out there. You average 11 points in the NBA, you can get 200 million.”
Shaq on Gobert’s contract 💀
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) January 3, 2021
Although, recently the Hall-Of-Famer yet again passed some comments on the 7-foot-1 player. Surprisingly, this time Shaq had some praises for the 28-year-old. He appreciated Gobert’s defense, size and work ethic while urging other NBA big men to take inspiration and follow Rudy. Shaq stated:
“Rudy Gobert is not an average big guy NBA player no more. Because the average big, they’re looking for a guy who can pick and pop and do whatever. Rudy Gobert is big, tall, plays hard, plays great defense. Defensive Player of the Year. But he’s making 200 million.”
“So all you big guys out there? Look at him. Follow him. You’re not gonna be LeBron, Kobe, or KG. But I think there’s a lot of big guys even today that can do what he can do.”
Shaq’s previous criticism fired up Rudy Gobert to lead his team to the best record in the whole league
Shaq not only openly criticized Utah’s center, but also attacked Donovan Mitchell saying how Mitchell can’t lead a championship team. The critics only ignited the Jazz team to prove all their doubters wrong.
Soon after the harsh disapproval the team faced, Utah went on a long winning streak. Behind the leadership of Gobert and Mitchell, they currently have the best record in the whole league.
Their record is better than powerhouses like the Clippers, Lakers, Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers. The team is in red hot form, with an incredible 22-2 record at home.
Following their last season’s upsetting exit in the first round of the playoffs last season, the Jazz team looks more dedicated. With a 39-13 record, Utah can finish the regular season with the best overall record.
With only 21 games remaining in the regular season, the Jazz will look to close off the season strong, entering the playoffs.