Rudy Gobert explained the reason why he refused to take criticism from Shaquille O’Neal seriously, citing the example of LeBron James.
Ever since signing a near-supermax contract with the Jazz, the 2-time DPOY has been under an intense scanner. He’s playing practically in the same vein as earlier, and the Jazz are rolling this season. They’re right at the top of the NBA standings, with a 16-5 record thus far.
Mike Conley looks back to his best self on both ends of the floor, and he’s acting as the perfect link between defense and offense. Rudy Gobert continues to dominate the paint region like no one in the league. Donovan Mitchell, meanwhile is having possibly the best season of his career thus far.
The Jazz will likely retain homecourt advantage if they continue to play as they have thus far. It’s not out of the realm of possibility for them to actually be sitting pretty at the top of the league standings. They’re definitely great value for their current standing, possessing a 9-2 record against plus-500 teams.
Rudy Gobert cites LeBron James to explain why he isn’t taking on Shaquille O’Neal
The French Rejection, or the Stifle Tower (whichever you prefer) is now Shaq’s favorite target for criticism. The Lakers legend simply refuses to back down from his desire to start a feud that nobody wants to watch. This was Rudy’s response to that issue to Sam Amick of The Athletic:
“And obviously the better you get, the more people talk and the more people are either going to praise you or adopt you or criticize you, so I kind of started to embrace it and take every kind of criticism as, in a way, a compliment.”
“I mean, look at LeBron James. He was actually the most criticized player of our generation, and he’s the one who has accomplished the most, so I would say when you start playing well, you’re going to have a lot of people criticize you and people praising you. But you can’t let that affect you.”
Updated NBA plus-minus leaders:
1. Mike Conley +215
2. Rudy Gobert +173
3. LeBron James +168
4. Kawhi Leonard +152
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) January 27, 2021