While it's unclear how Rudy Gobert contracted the coronavirus, the Utah Jazz center is being treated like the league's patient zero as the NBA suspended play shortly after his diagnosis was announced. Along with receiving heat from fans, Gobert also made things tense in the locker room. During an appearance on Good Morning America, Donovan Mitchell spoke about his health following news that he had contracted the coronavirus and the current state of his relationship with Gobert.
"To be honest...it took a while for me to cool off," Mitchell said when Robin Roberts asked if Mitchell had spoken to his teammate since they both tested positive for the virus.
Gobert was the first NBA player to test positive for the coronavirus. This was quickly followed by news that Mitchell had also contracted the illness. After this news broke, reports started to surface claiming that Gobert was being reckless in the locker room and not taking the virus seriously. In fact, during a media briefing about the coronavirus, Gobert made a point to touch all the microphones before leaving the press conference.
NBA insiders claim Gobert's behavior regarding the virus has caused a rift between the two Jazz stars, which has spread to Gobert being ostracized by the locker room.
"[T]he Jazz are fortunate that they don’t have to get back together and start playing games again right now," ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski told Scott Van Pelt, per MSN Sports. "There is a lot of work to do to repair relationships – not just between Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, but others in the locker room. There’s a lot of frustration with Gobert."
Since becoming the NBA's public enemy No. 1, Gobert has released a video statement. During the clip, the center apologized for his "careless" behavior, explaining that he didn't feel any symptoms at the time of his antics.
Mitchell told Good Morning America he was aware of Gobert's apology. He's also happy that both he and his teammate are doing well and were able to catch the virus before things got serious.
"I read what [Gobert] said, heard what he said," Mitchell continued. "Glad he's doing okay, glad I'm doing well. I'm just really happy that it was only two of us. It wasn't the rest of the [team]. Neither him or I have children at home. I know some teammates who have children at home, some staff who have children at home. I'm glad we were able to contain it as much as possible."