Rudy Gobert never chases blocks. It’s not in his nature. Well…check that. There was this one specific time.
On the cusp of a triple-double against the Chicago Bulls, the French Rejection tried for something he’s never done — 10 blocks in one game. He came agonizingly close, only to see an altered shot fall through the hoop.
“I just tried to block it. I did!” Gobert said of his last chance at swat No. 10. “But it was an unlucky roll.”
No matter, the Frenchman ended with 21 points, 10 rebounds, 9 rejections (career-high), and more importantly the win.
Gobert saw incredible heights in 2021. The 7-foot-1 center collected accolades like stuffs at the rim. He earned his third NBA Defensive Player of the Year award (2018, 2019, and 2021), leading the league in boards (960), defensive boards (720), blocks (190), defensive win shares (5.2), and defensive rating (100.6).
The DPOY announcement came less than 24 hours after another world wonder from the Stifle Tower. Gobert sealed Game 1 against the Clippers with a block on Marcus Morris Sr. The Clipper marksman tried Gobert at the perimeter, and the two-time All-Star was up to the task. Swat!
Gobert continued filling out his trophy case during postseason announcements. Five-time NBA All-Defensive First Team selection (2017-2021) and three-time All-NBA Third Team selection (2019-2021). A decorated year for the kid from Saint-Quentin.
“I feel like I have this responsibility every night,” Gobert said. “I come in every single night trying to be the best that I can be for this team and anchor this team defensively.”