Questions still surround relationship between Utah Jazz stars as NBA season restarts

By Vincent Frank
Oct 14, 2019; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) listens to teammate center Rudy Gobert (27) after a foul against the Sacramento Kings in the second quarter at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

It was all the way back on March 11 that the 2019-20 NBA season was suspended after Utah Jazz star center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. One day later, teammate Donovan Mitchell also tested positive.

2019-20 NBA season returning

With the season set to resume next month at Walt Disney World in Orlando after what would be a four-plus month hiatus, there’s lingering concern over the relationship between Gobert and Mitchell.

“Jazz sources are adamant that they can and will, even if they won’t be singing kumbaya by the campfire, noting that they’ve had numerous, positive conversations with each other and in various virtual group settings over the last several weeks,” ESPN’s Tim MacMahon reported. “But the question still lingers, particularly since Mitchell has declined to address his issues with Gobert publicly.”

Utah Jazz drama

Reports following Mitchell’s positive test indicated that his relationship with Gobert is not repairable. Sure the Jazz have tried to spin this publicly, but it’s about a lot more than basketball. Gobert joked about the virus before testing positive. And while he’s not the sole reason the season was suspended, it did not help.

The backdrop here is a basketball community that saw the mother of Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns pass away from the virus. As we’ve seen with the north of 110,000 Americans who have lost their lives during the pandemic, this is something to take seriously.

Utah Jazz season

Utah entered the suspended portion of the season having posted a 41-23 record, good enough for the fourth seed in the Western Conference. Both Gobert and Mitchell were in the midst of All-Star seasons.

The new format guarantees that Utah will earn a spot in the playoffs after the team finishes off the regular season with eight games. It is currently just three games out of the No. 2 seed in the conference. On the other hand, Utah is a mere 2.5 games ahead of the seventh-seeded Dallas Mavericks. Needless to say, the relationship between Gobert and Mitchell will be an important story in Salt Lake City once the season resumes.