Before Rudy Gobert became known as the Stifle Tower, before the 7-footer became the anchor of a stout Utah Jazz defense under head coach Quinn Snyder, he knew next to nothing about the NBA. Growing up in France in the early 1990s, Gobert didn’t have much exposure to the hoopers playing overseas … that is, until he got to watch Space Jam.
“I was watching Space Jam a kid. That’s pretty much the only thing I knew about the NBA,” Gobert told the media at shootaround on Friday ahead of the team’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. “Once I got, like, 13 or 14 years old, I started watching a lot of videos on Youtube and nba.com and I started following the NBA more.”
Gobert was speaking in reference to a report that the NBA may swap out their annual game played in London in favor of Paris by 2020, a concept he whole-heartedly supports.
“There’s a tremendous amount of fans (in France) that love basketball, that follow it every day even thought the games are at 2 or 3 in the morning,” Gobert said. “There’s so many fans that would love to have the game in France.”
The NBA needs to make a Parisian basketball game happen just so thousands of hopeful hoopers don’t think the NBA is full of enormous monsters and Bill Murray in a poorly fitting headband.