I'm In Love With A 7-1 Frenchman

There’s been plenty of time to dissect and criticize or praise the Rudy Gobert trade. It seems to be a very divisive subject throughout the circles of the NBA. The thing that kept popping in my head is that it was weird to not be super over-the-top excited about the Minnesota Timberwolves adding a player that is still in his prime and will eventually be enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame… but, honestly, I was skeptical.


I am now in love with a 7-1 Frenchman.

Frankly, the Timberwolves don’t win their season opener without Gobert’s presence. Be it the chemistry is still building, the oddness that always comes with a first game of the season (like the Pelicans throttling the Nets) or something totally different, the season opener felt like a game that the Wolves lose in previous seasons.

Gobert’s stat line with 23 points and 16 rebounds was simply nice. A couple highlight plays were truly the highlight of getting to fully embrace the Gobert experience.Rudy hitting a buzzer-beater floater that would have been a three-pointer if he would have gotten it off a half-step sooner was a play that you watch over and over again that you can’t believe actually happened. Nonetheless, it came off a great defensive play from Gobert himself.

Gobert is one of those players that you don’t fully "get" until he is wearing your team’s colors. Gobert and Patrick Beverly are completely different people, but they fit this same bill. Beverly is an annoying pest until he is your annoying pest. Gobert, to the casual observer, was a defensive savant that can’t hit anything further than a broomstick away from the rim offensively. It’s a whole new world with Wolves across his chest.

It is time to acknowledge that it is only one game and that one game being against a Wembanyama-wishing Oklahoma City Thunder. On the other hand, there wasn’t a whole lot of positives for the Timberwolves despite the victory. Gobert was the bright and shining positive.

The Wolves have the double-edged sword of a soft opening schedule. It makes mistakes much more survivable, but the Wolves won’t play a team that will be fighting for a top seed until their eighth game of the season when they play the Phoenix Suns. It’s going to be hard to accurately judge, though, how this all truly feels, Gobert included, when you have the honor of playing OKC and the San Antonio Spurs five of the first seven games.

Gobert seems to know who he exactly is on the basketball court which is something that the Timberwolves haven’t had in a star in while. Edwards is still figuring it out. Towns, even now in his eighth season, seems to still be trying to totally cement who he is.

You know what you are getting out of Gobert and it was a lovely breath of fresh air. Gobert is a new toy which makes everything easier to feel positive about, but you can just feel that he is an anchor the Wolves will be able to depend on.

They say the French are great lovers and I have no evidence to dispute that. I’m quite romantic about The Stifle Tower.