Mike Conley Says Rudy Gobert Makes Same Impact on NBA Games as LeBron James, Steph Curry

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Golden State Warriors
Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves are the best team in the Western Conference and that’s thanks to two players who were not on the team two years ago, Mike Conley and Rudy Gobert.

Related: Anthony Edwards Credits Timberwolves Win to Rudy Gobert Cussing Out Teammates at Halftime

Both guys have brought a level of professionalism off the court and defensive accountability on the court that has unlocked the true talents of Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns. Conley wasn’t just the key to unlocking Gobert, he was the key to unlocking the entire team.

Rudy Gobert makes LeBron James, Steph Curry level impact?

But when asked by NBA insider Mark Medina (Sportskeeda, Sportsnaut, FOX Sports Radio) about his friend Rudy Gobert and why he was snubbed from the All-Star game, Conley said it’s disappointing to see the league dismissing Rudy because he is the one who makes the Wolves go. That Rudy makes just as big of an impact on winning as, wait for it, LeBron James and Steph Curry.

“I think he’s not treated like a superstar because he doesn’t do the superstar things, offensively, that LeBron [James] and Steph [Curry] do. But he has the same impact on a game. People gameplan for him like they gameplan for others. You gameplan differently for Steph as you do for somebody else. But with Rudy, you do have to gameplan for his gravity offensively. If he goes to the offensive glass, they’re bringing two or three people. Knowing the film session, they are saying, ‘You got to box out. All three of us have to be there. We have to be in the paint.’

Mark Medina – Sportskeeda

Is Mike Conley crazy?

At face value, we might see fans and players across the league lose their minds over a comment like this one. Conley comparing Rudy Gobert to LeBron and Steph may seem insane to casuals.

Related: Rudy Gobert Says He’s a Hall of Famer, Is He Right?

But in reality, Gobert brings such an insane improvement to the Minnesota Timberwolves’ defense and rebounding, not to mention the maturity and accountability he brings to the locker room, that it’s impossible to deny the effect he has on winning.

In fact, you could argue that in 2024, he has a greater impact on winning than Steph and LeBron, because neither of their teams are winning at near the level of the Wolves. While Minnesota sits atop the West, it’s the Lakers and Warriors who are struggling to remain in the play-in tournament conversation.

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