Rudy Gobert: “Victor Wembanyama is an amazing talent”

Before flying to the United States and fully returning to the new NBA season, his first between the wolves and this is the first in a different jersey than the Jazz, Rudy Gobert stopped by our microphone to finally take a look at theEuroBasket.

A Euro that clearly ended on a bad note for France, was narrowly beaten in the final by Spain and had to settle for a silver medal. Proof that money doesn’t (always) bring happiness, because the Blues came to Germany to leave with gold around their necks, and nothing else.

In any case, this is what Rudy Gobert, the French vice-captain, told us a month ago. A few weeks later, we can’t say that his fifth international medal has completely filled him up. Although, at the age of 30, at least he encouraged him to improve further, to finally win collectively.

This will help for the future, we will come back stronger. »

Between the Olympics and the EuroBasket, it has now made it two consecutive defeats in the final for France. Who hurts you the most: 2021 against the United States or this year against Spain?

It’s hard to compare. I can’t speak for everyone, but I think many will respond [la défaite] this year, because it’s the Euros and not the Team USA opponent. But a gold medal at the Olympic Games is still something incredible… After all, you lose in a final in any case, so it’s hard to get and it motivates you to come back better. »

Against Spain, you failed to score like in previous games (6 points and 6 rebounds in 27 minutes). How much did the Spanish defense hinder?

We didn’t get the ball in like we wanted. [Les Espagnols] succeeded in destabilizing our passing game and imposing pressure situations on us. As for me, I wasn’t aggressive enough. But it motivates me to improve, to not depend so much on the players around me, to let my team win and to evaluate the game more. »

How do you explain your collective failed start to the end, which forced you to chase the score throughout the game?

It is a story of small details, such as inconsistent and insufficiently accurate passes. I wouldn’t say we missed it [de notre finale]because it is also Spain [qui a joué un rôle là-dedans]. I haven’t watched the game yet, but I think I will watch it again in the near future, to understand and analyze what stopped us from the beginning of the game. with [les Espagnols] quickly took the lead and, even if we picked up in the third quarter, unfortunately we ran after the score, so it was difficult. Also, we felt they were having fun, unlike us, because we were 20 points behind… »

In a way, doesn’t this Euro 2022 final against Spain remind you of the 2019 World Cup semi-final against Argentina? Where you’ve lost against a more disciplined team, which is collectively blameless and who punishes each of your mistakes…

I see the idea, but I don’t like comparing the two contexts. Without wanting to find excuses, when we faced Argentina in 2019, we were washed out. We beat Team USA and, the next day, we got up at 6 a.m. to get on the plane, while the Argentinians quietly waited for us in the hotel for a day. There, we faced Spain who, tactically, put us in check and took us out of our rhythm, our comfort zone. We never played our game. There were some good sequences, especially taking the score, but between us losing the ball and their address, it hit us. »

Are you frustrated by the lack of additional team creators?

Clearly. Now, you can’t replace experienced players like Nando’s [de Colo] and Nicholas [Batum] for example. They are in every competition and they have been there since my debut in the French team. It is when they are not there that you realize that everything becomes more complicated. But these transitional periods like this are part of sport, none of them are permanent. It gives us an opportunity to improve and that is a positive thing. We gained experience and we were pushed to our limits without our facilitators. So this will serve us for the future, we will come back stronger. »

Regardless, I’m here to win and that won’t change. »

Finally, wasn’t this loss in the Euro final the biggest failure of your career?

There are two ways of looking at things. It will obviously be disappointing to pass up this new gold medal opportunity, but nothing happens by chance in life. It motivated me to go the extra mile and I knew I had to do it, to become the player I knew I could be. Sometimes these losses create this little spark in your head that allows you to do what it takes to get through [ce cap supplémentaire]. So if I have to lose two finals in a row to get to this level, that’s fine with me. »

How do you see the possible arrival in the team of French players like Joel Embiid and Victor Wembanyama? Especially since they are playing your position…

They are two different situations and two different players. As for Victor, he’s an amazing talent, I can’t wait to see him grow and see him evolve. He has a unique mentality and knows no limits to what he can do. I can’t wait to see him join the France team. As for Joel, let’s wait and see how it develops. He still has a lot of questions around him, so we will talk about it when the time comes. »

You are one of the captains of the Blues but, in the event of the arrival of these two players, your role may change. Are you comfortable with this potential change?

Like I said, we’ll see when the time comes, things always change. For now, these are just speculations, so it’s hard to say anything about it. No matter what happens, I’m here to win and that will never change. »

I can be in a different position from what I was before at Jazz. »

What’s next for you now that EuroBasket is over?

I will stay a few days in France to rest, then I will return to the United States, for Wolves’ Media Day. […] My presence is important, it is important to show that I am directly present. There, I found out that all my friends were already in Minneapolis, they were watching my games together, it was cool. They send me photos and messages during the tournament, I’m glad to see their support. »

Earlier you talked about the type of player you thought you could be. We saw this summer that if you receive good balls in attack, you can score 15-20 points in a game. Has your offensive usage been discussed with your new coach, Chris Finch?

Definitely. [Les Wolves] know what I can do to hurt and they also know that trust is a magical thing. When you give a player confidence, he is able to shine and reach his full potential. So I think I can be in a different position than I was with the Jazz and it’s going to be beneficial to the team in the long run, plus it’s beneficial to me. »

Interview in Paris, September 19, 2022
Photo credit: FIBA.com

Rudy Gobert PERCENTAGE Bounces
time Crew GM Minimum Shots 3 points LF Off Def Early pd party Int bp CT Points
2013-14 UTH 45 10 48.6 0.0 49.2 1.1 2.3 3.4 0.2 1.3 0.2 0.7 0.9 2.3
2014-15 UTH 82 26 60.4 0.0 62.3 3.2 6.2 9.5 1.3 2.1 0.8 1.4 2.3 8.4
2015-16 UTH 61 32 55.9 0.0 56.9 3.4 7.5 11.0 1.5 2.7 0.7 1.9 2.2 9.1
2016-17 UTH 81 34 66.1 0.0 65.3 3.9 8.9 12.8 1.2 3.0 0.6 1.8 2.6 14.0
2017-18 UTH 56 32 62.2 0.0 68.2 3.0 7.8 10.7 1.4 2.7 0.8 1.9 2.3 13.5
2018-19 UTH 81 32 66.9 0.0 63.6 3.8 9.0 12.9 2.0 2.9 0.8 1.6 2.3 15.9
2019-20 UTH 68 34 69.3 0.0 63.0 3.4 10.1 13.5 1.5 3.2 0.8 1.9 2.0 15.1
2020-21 UTH 71 31 67.5 0.0 62.3 3.4 10.1 13.5 1.3 2.3 0.6 1.7 2.7 14.3
2021-22 UTH 66 32 71.3 0.0 69.0 3.7 11.0 14.7 1.1 2.7 0.7 1.8 2.1 15.6
Total 611 30 65.3 0.0 63.8 3.3 8.3 11.7 1.3 2.6 0.7 1.7 2.2 12.4

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