He may come from France, as the great and well-coiffed Beldar Conehead once explained in the 1980s comedy classic. But Rudy Gobert and his game were no laughing matter for opponents at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.
Gobert was a beast inside, scoring just shy of 12 points and 10 rebounds per game. When you tack on the 2.5 rejections he put back in their faces, it's time to get that weak, this-guy-can't-play talk outta here and realize he's coming into his own as a player.
For many moons, it was believed that Gobert was a bit of a weakling. Last season was about as unimpressive a debut as a rookie could have--and it had many wondering if his two-year, $2.2 million contract he signed last year was worth it.
When you factor in that all of the $2.2 mil of the cash he's collecting is guaranteed, then you probably wondered if the Jazz were making a mistake. Now you can take a deep breath and relax--this 7-foot-2-inch specimen with a ridiculous wingspan is improving, and how.
Most other-worldly beings do improve, be it their social skills or their table manners, their English proficiency and whatnot, and Gobert was no exception. This time around in Vegas, however, Gobert didn't have Derrick Favors or Enes Kanter looking over his broad shoulders. Gobert has worked on his offensive game this off-season and his defensive game paid dividends.
The court was Gobert's to command, and he took full advantage, starting with the first game against Philadelphia, in which he scored 11 points, had 9 rebounds and smacked down two blocks.
Game two was more of the same, as Gobert manhandled Milwaukee with 13 points, nine boards and a whopping, game-changing five blocked shots. If Gobert reminded you of Mark Eaton, it's because he was beginning to look like the 7-foot-4 Jazz legend.
Gobert's third game was his lowest output of the NBA Summer League in terms of rebounding (six) but he still had 12 points and one block. In his final game in Las Vegas, Gobert saved his best one for last, throttling Portland with 11 points and 15 rebounds in 28 minutes, all tournament-highs for the Frenchman. Gobert sat out the fifth game of tournament but by that point, he had done all the work that he needed in Vegas to appease Jazz fans going forward.