Why Rudy Gobert is Worth Following

September 6th, 2016 | by Julia Mecham

It’s nearly impossible to overlook Rudy Gobert. I discovered that quite literally a couple years ago standing behind his 7’1” frame in line at the grocery store. He browsed the candy at the check stand, impulsively taking the bait on a Cookies ‘n’ Creme Hershey bar. I didn’t have time to tell him those are garbage. I was too busy doing what any good millennial would do—trying to discreetly prove this moment happened at all. I panicked and took a blurry photo that was just far enough away it’s unclear what the picture is and why it was taken. You know these all too well. These are the gems your aunt, the one who thinks LOL means “lots of love,” posts on Facebook constantly. I hoped in vain the right filter and caption could rescue my photo. Maybe Rudy might get a laugh if I tagged him. I searched for him on Instagram and that is when my feed changed forever.

 

Off to Orlando

A photo posted by Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) on

 

 

Rudy slipped to the 27th pick in the 2013 NBA draft, an oversight opposing teams can’t forget when the daunting presence in a number 27 Jazz jersey comes to town. The Jazz acquired Gobert through a draft night trade with the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Erick Green and cash considerations. Erick who? Exactly. Granted, at the time, some teams may not have needed Gobert’s strengths, but after his third NBA season, it’s clear he was sorely underestimated. Rest assured there is no reason to feel those same pangs of regret when deciding which NBA players to follow on social media. With the first pick in the 2016 NBA Social Media draft, I select Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz. Let me tell you why.

He is versatile. On that fateful day at the grocery store when I first discovered Rudy’s Instagram account, his post from Christmas Eve 2014 caught my eye.

 

Merry christmas !😎😂#joyeuxnoel #pimp

A photo posted by Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) on

 

Get a load of that red fur stole draped around his neck. I like to imagine he set up a self timer to capture this. This is everything I want in a draft pick–a self-deprecating, relatable comedic genius. I follow my fair share of NBA players on social media. Lebron James, Steph Curry, Kyrie Irving, Carmelo Anthony, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Love-but with Mr. Gobert the entertainment doesn’t come from stale promotions of his sponsors and a carefully curated pose. It comes in the goofy moments of real life. Rudy is not one dimensional. There is a little something for everyone here.

 

 

When just trying to watch @NBA summer league and a wild Spearow jumps in front of you 🤔

A photo posted by Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) on

 

This summer at the height of the Pokemon Go craze, Gobert was courtside with Spearow, surely studying the nuances of the NBA summer league game before him. He’s an everyman, folks, just as sometimes distracted as we all are.

 

 

With my all time favorite hero Link! Thanks to @nintendo ! #zelda #e32016

A photo posted by Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) on

 

Gamers may be excited to know he leans more toward the Gordon Hayward side of the gaming spectrum. This picture of him at the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo with his “all time favorite hero,” Link, from Zelda, says it all.

 

A photo posted by Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) on

 

If gaming isn’t your thing, Gobert stays relevant with occasional social and pop culture commentary, some that he apparently thinks need no further explanation.

 

 

A photo posted by Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) on

 

Although possibly not an original sentiment, hilarious nonetheless.

 

 

We almost there

A photo posted by Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) on

 

His most meta post to date, perhaps to keep himself in check.

 

Some of you may roll your eyes and wish Rudy would just stick to his game, but where is the fun in that? Gobert has the smarts to stay away from social media firestorms when he can resist, but when he can’t, it’s a sight to behold. In February, the Jazz organization took a poll among the players to determine which of their teammates have the best and worst style. This video revealed Joe Ingles, Rodney Hood, and Alec Burks bestowing the worst dressed award to our dear Rudy G. with the utmost certainty.


This may have come as a surprise to a young Rudy who, in a July 2013 conversation with David Locke about his interest in fashion, stated, “Uh…yeah, I mean, I start to like it, yeah. In France, I was just, you know, the school sportswear…I’m not like crazy, crazy guy, but I like to be classy for the dress code for the games.”

 

 

Squaaaaad! 😎🍊. Off to the bay today. #feelingbetter #gettingbetter

A photo posted by Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) on

 

There’s our guy in the back not dressing like a crazy, crazy guy. Just a classy, classy one.

 

Apparently his teammates disagree. After the Jazz tweeted the big video reveal, Rudy retweeted and responded, prompting his French national teammate, Evan Fournier, and Jazz point guard Raul Neto to contribute some of their own thoughts about the matter.

Neto is decidedly not a fan of the neon salmon pants. Yes, I had to invent a color to describe them.

With the recently departed Trevor Booker now removed from the Jazz fashion scene, Rudy’s hopes of climbing the team’s style ranks should grow, but it may require that he make a few changes to his wardrobe. As a fan of the spectacle, I feel like a friend who earnestly writes “Never change,” in bold print in Rudy’s yearbook. The taste, the distaste, the struggle–it’s all part of his charm. Who else can oscillate between a few underwhelming Tim Duncan “dad” pieces and occasional sparks of Russell Westbrook– inspired flair so well?

Aloha.

A photo posted by Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) on

 

Luckily, Instagram is the best place for us to gawk at these selections. Case in point: the boxy Hawaiian shirt he wore on the team’s preseason trip last October that he may have borrowed from your high school history teacher’s closet.

 

 

These oversized black and white slippers. Any NBA player who admits he’s wearing these around the house is a friend of mine.

 

BREAKING: Tonight’s game shoes.

A photo posted by Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) on

 

My personal favorite are these custom Nike shoes he wore for the 2015 Rising Stars game. I can see Rudy with a glue gun carefully placing each jewel of the Jazz note in its proper place for maximum bedazzlement. The Statue of Liberty detail was surely a nod to the game’s location in Brooklyn, but I prefer the metaphor of Rudy being France’s gift to the United States.

Rodney Hood said of him, “Rudy’s swag is better than the clothes he wears.” May it ever be so.

Rudy’s panache serves him well in his Twitter court commentary too. He is the perfect combination of self-deprecating and confident. He encourages his team after a win and demands more of himself after a loss. Though it’s unlikely he’ll ever make it on the cover of GQ, he posts plenty of pictures that belong on a poster. Sure, there are those where he’s dunking over a crowd or swatting a shot into the stands. But who has the humility to invite ridicule when you’re on the other end of that poster?

 

This, after a solid team victory over the Toronto Raptors that included this DeMar DeRozan throw down over Gobert that was anything but impersonal.

Every inch matters.. 😂😂/ Chaque centimètre compte.. Anyway big game in Dallas tonight! Let’s get this one

A photo posted by Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) on

Two days later, Gobert posted this Instagram of the same play.

In a postgame interview Gobert described his increased effort after getting dunked on, “Yeah, of course, I try to go back the next time. It’s not the first one. It’s not the last one. I’m still going to come back the next time.”

When asked what it is, exactly, that contributes to Gobert’s fashion woes, Alec Burks said, “You can’t find that in your size.” From Gobert’s tough rookie season, spent alternating between the D-League and the Jazz bench, to overcoming injury troubles and emerging last year as one of the premier rim protectors in the league, clearly Burks’s words don’t describe Rudy’s XXXL heart as much as they do the sleeves of his sweatshirt that struggle to keep up with his wingspan. I’ll be keeping an eye on both, though, and you should too. This guy is not to be overlooked.

Way to bounce back tonight. That bench reaction tho… 🐒🔥

A video posted by Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) on

Julia Mecham

Julia Mecham

Julia Mecham is a lifelong Jazz fan who, after not making the NBA herself, became a guitar teacher. She also moonlights as a wedding singer, but often risks her profession by cheering too loudly for the Jazz. You can follow her internet voice on Twitter @Julia_Mecham.
Julia Mecham
Julia Mecham

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One Comment

  1. Paul Johnson says:

    I personally like everything about Rudy–even the interesting fashion choices. He’s our guy!!

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