The French National Team wrapped up EuroBasket play with a bronze medal win over Serbia over the weekend, but the interesting summer notes for Jazz fans didn’t stop there. On Monday, Rudy Gobert appeared via phone on Tony Parker’s podcast, known as “The Tony Parker Show” on iTunes, and had a few heretofore unheard things to say about his potential future with the Jazz.
The following is a French-to-English transcription of a portion of the podcast, during which Parker asks Gobert in very plain terms about his plans for the years ahead, and his comfort level in Utah. A big thanks to Max Jacoby for alerting Salt City Hoops to the podcast, and for taking the time to transcribe this portion for those of us who don’t speak fluent French. For those who do and wish to listen to the entire broadcast, it can be found here (the section in question begins at roughly the 21:30 mark). The relevant transcription:
Tony Parker: Concerning your contract, in any case, there won’t be any problems with Utah, it’s going well and you want to stay there?
Rudy Gobert: Me, I want to stay there.
Jacques Monclar (co-host, jokingly): He’s gathering information.
Tony Parker (also jokingly): I thought we could get him for the Spurs, but I know Utah won’t let him leave.
Rudy Gobert: Frankly, I like it there and I like the project. Of course, we all know how the NBA works, but I don’t think Utah will let me leave and I like it there. I think our future is bright.
This isn’t world-altering news, but it is one of the first times Rudy has addressed his future in Utah with any real specificity since his breakout season. This is in part because it’s still a bit early on most fans’ radar for such talk — Gobert doesn’t need to have an extension worked out until over a year from now, and the general assumption is that with a skyrocketing cap corresponding nicely with the large raise he’ll be due, keeping him around at a big number won’t be a concern.
That’s likely correct, but this is still a very positive thing to hear Gobert say. He’s proven recently that he’s not shy about expressing his true feelings in any situation, whether or not it’s politically correct to do so — he might not air a laundry list of issues if he was unhappy with the Jazz, but it’s a safe bet he also wouldn’t have gone to such lengths to point out his happiness with the organization if he hoped to be elsewhere.
Also relevant are the multiple references just in this short block to Utah’s own intentions. Both Parker and Gobert directly imply that Utah will do everything in their power to keep Rudy in town as long as possible. Again, this isn’t unexpected in any way, but given the players who have walked away from the Jazz in free agency in recent years, both restricted and unrestricted, it’s positive reinforcement that Rudy already gets this sense from Utah’s brass.
There were a few other nuggets to be found in the podcast, again courtesy of Max Jacoby: