NBA

Rudy Gobert talks title aspirations after huge Timberwolves trade

By Sports Desk July 07, 2022

Rudy Gobert insists the Minnesota Timberwolves will not be happy "just to be a good team", having left the Utah Jazz in pursuit of an NBA title.

The Timberwolves gave up a huge haul – including three unprotected future first-round draft picks – to take Gobert from the Jazz.

The three-time Defensive Player of the Year now joins two former first overall selections in Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards.

Gobert "fits perfectly" in the Minnesota lineup, coach Chris Finch says, and the incoming center has lofty aspirations.

Although the Timberwolves have not won a playoff series since 2004, making the postseason only twice in that time, Gobert is looking to take his new team all the way.

"The goal is to win a championship," Gobert said. "I came here for that.

"I didn't come here just to be a good team; I came here to try to take this team to the Finals and accomplish that."

The Frenchman suggested such aims were no longer realistic with the Jazz, where he spent the first nine seasons of his NBA career.

Utah were a far more regular playoff outfit, reaching the postseason in six straight years, but they never got beyond the second round and were facing an offseason of change even before Gobert's departure, with coach Quinn Snyder quitting.

"The window for winning is not always big," Gobert explained. "For us in Utah, that's kind of what happened.

"I think the organisation felt like that. We had maybe passed that window that we had over the last few years.

"I think it's still going to be a very competitive team. It just felt like with all the assets that they could get for me, it was better for them to go that way."

Related items

  • Horizon, Storm score wins as P.H.A.S.E 1 Elite 1 Caribbean Basketball League gets underway in Kingston Horizon, Storm score wins as P.H.A.S.E 1 Elite 1 Caribbean Basketball League gets underway in Kingston

    It was a packed house at the National Arena in Kingston for the start of the P.H.A.S.E 1 Elite 1 Caribbean Basketball League on Saturday.

    The day started with the Elite 1 Horizon recording a blowout 110-64 victory over Elite 1 Rivers thanks to a man-of-the-match performance from guard Bobby Gray, who dominated with 23 points and eight assists.

    The game was close after the first quarter with the Horizon holding a 20-19 lead before they stretched the lead to 18 at the half, leading 49-31. Things got uglier after three quarters with the Horizon swelling the lead to 25, leading 84-49, before completing a dominant victory.

    The second game saw Elite 1 Storm complete a 79-64 victory over Elite 1 Waves.

    In a much closer encounter, the two teams battled throughout the first three quarters and were only separated by two points by the time the fourth quarter came around, with the Storm holding a 53-51 lead.

    That fourth quarter, however, saw the Storm play very smart basketball to come away with the victory.

    Guard Joel Bailey was voted man-of-the-match thanks to his 17 points, five rebounds and three steals. Teammate Drelan Tripplett also chipped in with 18 points and six assists.

    The action continues Sunday when Elite 1 Horizon battle Elite 1 Waves in the first game and Elite 1 Storm face Elite 1 Rivers in the second.

  • Intense battle expected between Team Horizon and Team Rivers as P.H.A.S.E 1 Basketball tourney tips off in Kingston Saturday Intense battle expected between Team Horizon and Team Rivers as P.H.A.S.E 1 Basketball tourney tips off in Kingston Saturday

    When the P.H.A.S.E.1 Academy’s Elite 1 Caribbean Basketball Summer League (E1CBL) tips off at the National Indoor Arena in Kingston on Saturday, August 13, one of the more highly anticipated match-ups, will be the game between Team Horizon (Red) and Team Rivers (Blue) as it will feature the number-one draft pick Nicholai Brown against the talented Dave Black, who are both looking forward to the contest.

    Brown believes his team will be ready and expect to win based on what he believes will be the foundation of Team Horizon’s success.

    “Going into this league, just the basic things of basketball, playing defence,” he said.

    “I am a good defensive player so I am expecting my team to play good defence because from good defence comes great offence. So I am expecting my teammates to play good defence and each player, whether we are playing zone or man so I am expecting good things from them.”

    From a personal standpoint, Brown, Team Horizon’s co-captain, said he is eagerly anticipating going up against Black, who is co-captain of Team Rivers.

    “The first match is going to be great. We are playing against Dave (Black). He is a great player. I have always wanted to play against him. I have seen what he can do over the week that I have been playing with him,” Brown said.

    “I think all my teammates are looking forward to playing against Team Blue. They are as excited as I am. My teammates are all good competitors so it’s going to be a good game.”

    Meanwhile, Black said Team Rivers plans to play exciting basketball that will entertain the fans.

    “After the first practice, I think we have good chemistry going into Saturday’s game. We just want to get up and down the court fast and play some exciting basketball,” Black said.

    “We have a lot of talent on our team and we just want to go out there and compete. We had our first practice yesterday (Wednesday) and this morning (Thursday) and our expectation is to win the tournament.

    “I think we have one of the best teams. In our first game, we’ll be trying to get stops, trying to go on the break and playing exciting basketball not only for the coaches but also for the fans. We want everybody to have fun watching some great basketball.”

    The Caribbean’s biggest basketball entertainment event of the season is being hosted in collaboration with the Jamaica Basketball Association.

    The tournament starts at 5:00 pm with an opening ceremony, followed by competition between the four teams in the league - Elite 1 Rivers, Elite 1 Waves, Elite 1 Horizon, and Elite 1 Storm. Each team comprises top-tier professional players from Jamaica, Barbados, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Ghana.

  • P.H.A.S.E 1 Academy Elite 1 Caribbean Summer Basketball League commences this weekend P.H.A.S.E 1 Academy Elite 1 Caribbean Summer Basketball League commences this weekend

    The National Arena in Kingston comes alive this Saturday, August 13th with the first games of P.H.A.S.E.1 Academy’s Elite 1 Caribbean Basketball Summer League (E1CBL)- the Caribbean’s biggest basketball entertainment event of the season, which is hosted in collaboration with the Jamaica Basketball Association. 

    The event starts at 5:00 PM with an opening ceremony, followed by heated competition among the four teams in the league; Elite 1 Rivers, Elite 1 Waves, Elite 1 Horizon, and Elite 1 Storm. Each team comprises of top-tier professional players from Jamaica, Barbados, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Ghana.  

    Spectators will also be treated to entertaining half time shows headlined by some of Jamaica’s most popular artistes. 

    The exciting competition continues August 14 starting at 6:00 PM, and on August 17 at 4:00 PM.  It will culminate with a celebrity game, third place playoff and the championship game on August 20th which will start at 4:00 PM. 

    CEO and Founder of P.H.A.S.E.1 Academy Wayne Dawkins, says the E1CBL is the consummate family event, and is inviting people to come out and witness basketball like they have never seen it before in Jamaica. 

    “We are going be bringing them a professional basketball atmosphere that a lot of people only see on TV. We will have high flying basketball players, dancers, music and entertainment topped off by an energetic crowd. It’s the ultimate family entertainment event,” he said. 

    Tickets for the event are available at Emkay Sports at 11 Oxford Terrace in Kingston, and cost $200 for students, $500 for bleachers, and $1000 for VIP. Persons can also reach out to the E1CBL via Instagram @e1caribbeanbasketballleague to purchase tickets. 

    The E1CBL is sponsored by the Jamaica Basketball Association, Elite 1 Recruiting Platform, Ribbiz, TurboStats, Global Pipeline Agency, KFC, Phoenix Health Complex and Vision Centre, Athletic Fusion, Suretime Medical, Habliborange, Herbs, Facey Pharmaceuticals, and Confectionery and Snacks Jamaica. 

    P.H.A.S.E.1 Academy was founded by Jamaican Canadian and former basketball player, Wayne Dawkins. For the past 25 years, P.H.A.S.E.1 Academy have been organizing and hosting basketball leagues and tournaments in Canada and the US and Africa. These events have contributed substantially to the growth of the youth sports industry. 

    P.H.A.S.E.1 Academies are located in Canada, Jamaica, the United States, and Africa. Our student-athletes have access to expert staff, elite training methods, top competition, and exposure to greater opportunities. Over the years, we have assisted in the development of more than 500 athletes in receiving scholarships to study and play post-secondary sports and move on to become professional athletes.

     

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.