Monson: Pity the foolish coaches who left Rudy Gobert off the All-Star team

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27). Utah Jazz vs Memphis Grizzlies, NBA basketball in Salt Lake City on Friday Nov. 2, 2018.

You know by now that Rudy Gobert was not named as an All-Star reserve by NBA coaches, the announcement made an hour or so ago — and much of the response from people who study the game, beyond those voting coaches, does not agree.

Count me among those responders.

It’s got nothing to do with any kind of homerism or rooting for the local guy. Got no interest in or inclination toward that sort of thing.

But in my 40 years of watching and covering basketball, it’s been uncommon to see a player do some of the things Gobert has done this season, especially dialing in on the overall effect he has had on the games in which he’s played. Rarely do teams have to game-plan around a player the way they must around Gobert, particularly at the defensive end, but also when the Jazz are on attack.

It is rather remarkable that the coaches, who you would expect to see beyond the obvious, didn’t pick up on or value the plethora of contributions Gobert gives the Jazz.

He leads the league in field goal percentage. He leads the league in dunks, in screen assists, in disallowing shots, not just by way of his blocks, but via the favored shots that aren’t even taken by opposing players because they know Gobert lurks nearby.

The man changes games, the way they’re played, the way they turn out.

Gobert is not your traditional All-Star, in that he doesn’t score 30 points a game. Instead, he averages 15 points and 13 rebounds. But as Clippers coach Doc Rivers said it, his contributions at both ends amount to an equivalent of 40 points a game.

Imagine the vote if he averaged that.

He is the best defensive player on the planet, and that should count for a whole lot, at least in the minds of coaches who continually preach to their players the importance of defense.

The difference here is that Gobert actually listens to and takes to heart what his own coach — Quin Snyder — preaches. Let’s call BS on those coaches who do the lecturing, and then ignore the value of defense in this particular vote.

It’s understandable that the All-Star game itself has turned into a joke when it comes to making an effort at that end. It’s as though players collapse in the face of peer pressure not to D up in this contest because that would somehow be uncool to try to make another star look bad as he fiddles-and-faddles around.

But that isn’t what this vote is about. It’s not the suitability of a player for participating in what really is a meaningless exhibition. It’s recognition — and a lost bonus — for what a player has accomplished in a given season in games that do count.

Gobert has meant more to his team this time around than a number of those who were recognized by the fans and the coaches. The point is, he’s earned a spot in the All-Star game. He deserves it. It’s an injustice for him not to be included.

Jazz officials already have spoken out, complaining about the way this vote went. And that’s fine, it’s what you would expect. But, secretly, they might be glad he got snubbed — on account of the fact that an angry Gobert, a disrespected Gobert, is a dangerous Gobert.

Pity the fool that next tries to take the ball to the rim when the Jazz center is anywhere within the area code. He should have earned the nod of the coaches — and now they are the ones who will pay for it as the season marches on. They are the real fools.

GORDON MONSON hosts “The Big Show” with Jake Scott weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on 97.5 FM and 1280 AM The Zone.