The Utah Jazz organization significantly changed its on-court strategy in 2017. They selected Donovan Mitchell as the number 13 overall pick and knew immediately that the Louisville star could be a key component in their lineup.
Donovan Mitchell, now a star for the Cleveland Cavaliers, acknowledges that his and Rudy Gobert's partnership failed despite making the Utah Jazz a legitimate playoff contender for several years. And when asked about his relationship with Gobert in an interview for The Athletic, he said, "On the court, it didn't work." They were good friends, but somehow that cohesiveness never transcended on the court during major games.
"You know, we gave Utah a lot of special moments. But you know, we didn’t get the job done. Him and I have a great relationship, despite what people may feel. On the court, it didn’t work. I don’t hate Rudy. He doesn’t hate me.
“It was just one of those things where it just didn’t work out, and I feel like we live in a world where everybody’s gotta hate each other and there’s gotta be some negative thing and that’s just not the case. When I see him on Sunday, I’m gonna give him a hug and smile and laugh. And when we’re on the court, it’s time to go at it. That’s really what it is.”
Jazz was always a contender but never the favorite.
The Utah Jazz were a serious contender in the postseason for half a decade. The team was confident while riding on the back of the duo of Mitchell and Gobert. But somehow, the franchise always faltered in the first or the second round of their postseason conference matchups.
The fans were in a state of despair as they were fed up with being knocked out of the competition every single season in the postseason, even when they could see other teams like the Suns and the Mavericks improving to a level that would make them serious contenders for the title. There were claims that the Jazz unit had lost all its camaraderie, and it was inevitable that Mitchell and Gobert would leave the franchise.
A team sport requires a "team" to flourish and win accolades.
The Cleveland Cavs of 2016, the Heat of 2013, the Warriors of 2022, and the three-peat Bulls all had one thing in common. They had players except for the star names on the roster who could act as the impact players during clutch plays and bring extra energy to the team, which is why these squads managed to win the titles.
This bit goes on to show that no matter how credible players you have on the roster that made some serious plays in the past and have become household names in the league, you got to have those role players who can do the necessary when the right opportunity comes for them to perform.