Rudy Gobert adds bulk, confidence

Published July 10, 2014 9:52 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

"You look taller," somebody said."I'm just bigger," Rudy Gobert responded with a smile.The Jazz's young center still stands at 7 feet, 2 inches Wednesday as he spoke with reporters following the team's second day of summer league practices.But entering his second season Gobert has packed on some extra muscle — and looks to be ready for a bigger role.As a rookie last year, Gobert made 45 appearances, averaging 2.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and roughly one block in nine minutes a game.This time around, Gobert says he's packed on about 10 pounds, and he feels more comfortable and confident on the floor."It's totally different," Gobert said. "I feel way better. My game, my confidence. I feel way better."Part of that is experience and part of that is the team's new coaching staff. Gobert, as was the case with Trey Burke and Dante Exum earlier this week, lauded the freedom allowed in new coach Quin Snyder's offense."I think I will be better because I play with less pressure," Gobert said. "I just play. For every player, freedom is always better. … I was a little bit under pressure [last season] and I was a rookie so that was even harder."A few extras from this morning:• Gordon Hayward was the main topic of conversation, though the conversation was pretty one-sided as Snyder offered up mostly no comments and deflections about the restricted free agent.• Gobert said he never talked basketball with Hayward this summer. The two communicated but the topic of conversation about the World Cup and the French national team.• Gobert said he is back to 100 percent after having his appendix removed last month in California.• Forward Derrick Favors was in the gym Wednesday, working with coaches.• Rodney Hood was asked how Dante Exum compared to his former Duke teammate Jabari Parker, but the Jazz rookie wasn't about to go there. "That's for GMs" to decide, he said.

— Aaron Falk

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