Alex Jensen Rumors
While getting in a workout at Utah’s practice facility during an off day, Gobert met Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen, who was also in his first year with the team. They connected quickly. “Alex was the one guy that I felt like believed,” Gobert says. “Obviously the organization believed in me, or else they wouldn’t have drafted me. But on the coaching staff, Alex was the guy. We naturally got drawn to one another.” Jensen appreciated how Gobert would be in there every single day. “I don’t have to ask. He’s asking me,” Jensen says. “And he wants to play really bad and he thinks he should. So I thought, ‘This is something you can work with.’” But Gobert wasn’t playing, averaging under 10 minutes while appearing in just over half of the Jazz’s games as a rookie. He missed more shots than he made, and logged more fouls than blocks. Gobert instead started in the G League. But he didn’t want to. He came to the United States to play in the NBA, not the G League. “I saw that as a failure at first,” Gobert says.
Jensen is the only member of the coaching staff who’s been in Utah as long as Gobert, having stayed on after Quin Snyder replaced Tyrone Corbin. The two have grown close. Jensen visits Saint-Quentin for Gobert’s annual basketball camps. Jensen’s wife is friends with Gobert’s mom, and his two young daughters think every basketball player is named Rudy. Gobert calls Jensen “pretty much family,” and it’s important to him that he’s always honest. “Having someone that I feel like tells me the truth and not just what I want to hear, in this league and in life in general, is what I’ve been trying to do,” Gobert says. “I think a lot of guys would rather surround themselves with people that just tell them yes, yes, yes. Sometimes it’s not always good for your growth.”
Tony Jones: Alex Jensen has withdrawn his name from consideration for the University of Utah job, league sources tell myself and @chriskamrani. Jensen had great conversations with Utah AD Mark Harlan but ultimately decided the timing wasn’t right.
Ben Anderson: Quin Snyder on Alex Jensen & the @UtahMBB coaching vacancy. “He’s incredibly important to our program and to me personally in so many ways. Whether it be game management, the things that people see the most of, our preparation process & teaching, he just checks all those boxes.”