The early end to their season likely stings for the Utah Jazz, but big man Rudy Gobert knows that feeling a little too well.
Before Utah’s Game 6 matchup with the Dallas Mavericks, in which the Mavs won 98-96 to eliminate the Jazz from the postseason, Gobert got stung in the face by a bee. And not just any bee, either – his bee.
Yes, the three-time Defensive Player of the Year has a hive and got stung before one of the biggest games of his life. But before the eventual loss, NBA legend Charles Barkley had a lot to say about Gobert’s incident.
He had one simple message for the center: “Bees are not a pet.”
Charles Barkley slammed Rudy Gobert for owning bees
The bee in question stung Rudy Gobert near his right eye. He then posted a photo of his swollen face on Instagram and wrote, “It be your own bees sometimes.”
Was that intentional wordplay? Probably not, but he deserves credit if it was.
The three-time All-Star said it hadn’t affected his vision, so the sting wouldn’t impact his play on the court. He also told reporters he bought a beehive about a year ago due to its benefits for the environment and the fact he loves honey (h/t CBS Sports). However, it’s supposedly the third occasion in which one has stung Gobert. This time, a beekeeper recently worked with him to change the queen, so the bees weren’t too happy.
How does Charles Barkey feel about all this? It seems he doesn’t care about the reasoning; Chuck doesn’t think bees should be pets.
“Come on, man; bees are not a pet,” Barkley said on the April 28 episode of Inside the NBA. “The guy makes $30 million a year; go down to the damn [supermarket] … and get some damn honey. Bees are not a damn pet.”
It sounds like Barkley won’t be purchasing his own hive anytime soon.
Rudy Gobert and the Jazz are entering a pivotal offseason
Gobert scored just 10 points on 3-of-6 shooting in Utah’s Game 6 loss to Luka Doncic’s Mavericks. But he only averaged 12.0 points in the series, so his performance likely had nothing to do his bee sting.
The loss, though, has now started a pivotal offseason for the Jazz in which the team could make significant changes.
The Gobert-Donovan Mitchell pairing isn’t working. They haven’t taken Utah past the conference semifinals during their five years together. It may be time for the team to blow things up.
Just not entirely. Tony Jones of The Athletic wrote that the Jazz are reportedly “committed to building around Donovan Mitchell.” So, perhaps Gobert could be on his way out of town.
However, that idea isn’t definite. Gobert has spent his entire career in Utah and could continue doing so. But if the Jazz want to improve their roster around Mitchell, trading the 7-foot-1-inch big man from France might be their best option. Gobert just led the NBA in rebounding (14.7 per game) and field goal percentage (71.3%) this season. His value is extremely high, and Utah could receive a lot in return.
The path forward is simply unclear right now, but Gobert may have to move his beehive to another part of the country this offseason.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference