Rudy Gobert says Jazz held players-only meeting after Donovan Mitchell, Quin Snyder drama

After a tough stretch for the Utah Jazz, only made worse by social media, the team decided it was time to talk.

And, according to Rudy Gobert, it worked.

The Jazz held a players-only meeting before their 121-115 overtime win against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night. Everybody talked, Gobert said, something they apparently needed.

Though they nearly blew a fourth quarter lead and had to go into overtime in Salt Lake City, Gobert thinks the message translated well.

“I think everyone felt like — we all felt like — we need to talk,” Gobert said, via The Athletic. “We know, obviously, there’s always going to be teams and people in the media trying to divide us. We know and we’ve seen it in the past.”

Quin Snyder’s wild rant about Gobert, Mitchell

Gobert’s comments came just hours after Jazz coach Quin Snyder went on a wild pre-game rant that lasted nearly 20 minutes.

Snyder, upset with narratives surrounding the team about their struggles and a tough relationship between Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, didn’t hold back — especially after a tweet on Jazz Twitter called the two out for allegedly not passing to each other.

“Let’s just not try to drive a wedge between some of these players and especially using numbers,” Snyder said. “We should be more responsible than that … We’re not playing great all the time. We want to play better. But you don’t get there by trying to say that one player’s not passing to another.”

Mitchell is apparently averaging just two passes — not assists, but passes — to Gobert per game this season. For obvious reasons, that’s not ideal.

Based on their history, Snyder understands the assumption that stat gives off.

“When it gets to the point where Donovan’s answering questions [about it after shoot-around], the inference there is that he doesn’t pass to him and there’s a problem between the two. So those aren’t illogical jumps,” Snyder said.

“I haven’t seen that. I haven’t seen that at all. They sit at the same table when they eat sometimes.”

Eating habits aside, Mitchell wasn’t as bothered by the noise as Snyder was. He admitted it was a “wild stat,” but said that mistakes happen and that he’s definitely missed an open Gobert from time to time.

Gobert, similarly, insisted he wasn’t paying attention to any outside chatter. After how he was treated following the COVID-19 shutdown a few years ago, he knows how tough that can be to handle.

“There’s always going to be noise,” Gobert said, via The Athletic. “We can’t be worried about that. I mean especially since, remember two years ago when I was getting death threats and s**t like that? So that was more noisy than basketball. So obviously, the noise is there.

“And in a way, it’s kind of a blessing that the noise is there for us. I mean, everyone has an opinion, and that’s why our game is so fun to watch and there’s so many things to pay attention to.”

That noise, he said, is exactly why the team needed to meet.

As for his relationship with Mitchell, though, Gobert knows it’s a two-way street.

“I think we both realize that it’s about helping each other out and embracing the moment,” Gobert said of Mitchell, via The Athletic. “If we do that, we know that good things will happen. Once again, it’s never going to be perfect. But if I do things to try to lift him up, and he does those things to try to lift me up.

“Some nights, things can go wrong. It’s basketball. You don’t win every game every night. Sometimes you have some bad nights. But if the trust is there, you’re in great shape. And that’s what we pretty much told each other.”

Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz
Rudy Gobert said the team held a players-only meeting after their latest struggles headed into the postseason. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

‘It’s about communication’

The Jazz have lost six of their last eight games and have slipped a bit with the season in its final week. Their only two wins in that stretch came against the Los Angeles Lakers — who are once again out of the postseason — and the Grizzlies, who they snuck by in overtime without Ja Morant available.

Utah, however, has clinched a playoff spot for the sixth consecutive year. The Jazz are in fifth in the Western Conference standings heading into Wednesday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but are just half of a game ahead of the Denver Nuggets and two games behind the Dallas Mavericks in the standings.

With just three games left, they likely won't move much in the standings. So, Gobert isn’t focused on that.

His goal heading is just getting the team back on the same page.

“For us, it’s about communication during the game when things go wrong,” Gobert said, via The Athletic. “We felt like we were just getting disconnected. And other teams could see with our body language and everything. So for us, just embrace the moment and embrace the opportunity. And at the end of the day, we’re making the playoffs, and no matter who’s in front of us, we’ve got to give it our best shot.”