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“They’ve said their piece to each other,” Dennis Lindsey, the NBA club’s executive vice president of basketball operations, said. “They’ve both visited at the ownership level, at management level, at the coaches level, at the players level with each other.”
Gobert was the first NBA player to test positive for the virus, prompting the league to indefinitely suspend the 2019-20 season March 11.
The 7-foot-1 center was previously captured on video joking about the virus — touching reporters’ tape recorders and microphones at the end of an interview session just two days before preliminary test results suggested he had the virus. Gobert has since apologized for his actions.
Even so, his joking attitude toward the virus reportedly rubbed 6-foot-1 shooting guard Mitchell the wrong way. After Mitchell tested positive soon after, the teammates’ relationship was described as “unsalvageable,” according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
But Lindsey said that’s no longer the case.
“They’re ready to put this behind them, move forward, act professionally,” the team official said during a Zoom meeting Tuesday. “Look, the night of March 12th was really unprecedented. It brought a microscope to our team, and we get it. With that said, we’re very pleased with the collective makeup of our group — Donovan, and Rudy in particular — and we look forward to moving forward.”
On April 12, Gobert acknowledged he had spoken with Mitchell for the first time since the season was suspended. Mitchell has yet to publically address their relationship since he acknowledged it took “a while for me to cool off” during a March 16 appearance on “Good Morning America.”
“It is true that we didn’t speak for awhile, a few days, but we did speak a few days ago and, you know … we’re both ready to go out there and try to win a championship for this team,” Gobert told reporter Taylor Rooks, according to the Tribune. “It’s all about being a professional. And, you know, everyone’s got different relationships, it’s never perfect — people that are married, it’s never perfect. So me and my teammates, it’s far from perfect.”
Gobert testing positive for the virus preceded a series of events that seemed to bring the coronavirus outbreak to a new level of seriousness in the U.S.
On the evening of March 11, President Trump announced he was new limits on travel between the U.S. and Europe, actor Tom Hanks and his wife disclosed they had tested positive for the virus while in Australia, the NBA suspended its season, and New York City canceled the nation’s oldest St. Patrick’s Day parade — all in a span of just a few hours.
Even if the Gobert-Mitchell feud is over, it remained unclear when they and other NBA players can return to the court — although Marc Stein of The New York Times reported that the NBA plans to allow teams to open practice facilities Friday in locations where permitted by local or state laws.
Meantime, Lindsey said Gobert and Mitchell were “fully participating in our Zoom workouts.”
“We fully expect the team to come together in a great way and continue to move forward as a group,” he added, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. “… And I think at the end of the day, Donovan and Rudy — I don’t want to speak for them on every matter, they’ll speak to themselves, moving forward.”
Both Gobert and Mitchell have achieved success on the court during their three years together with the Jazz.
Gobert won NBA Defensive Player of the Year for the past two seasons, while Mitchell led the Jazz in scoring during their playoff run after the 2017-2018 season. The shooting guard was averaging career bests of 24.2 points per game before the season was halted.