Rudy Gobert on hitting 1st career 3-pointer: ‘I feel like I lost my virginity’

Mike Battaglino
3 Min Read

Rudy Gobert has accomplished plenty during his basketball career, but when the 31-year-old hit a 3-pointer for the first time, it brought up some interesting feelings for the Minnesota Timberwolves star.

Gobert made the unprecedented shot while playing for France against Montenegro in a FIBA World Cup exhibition game. Video of the big man successfully practicing 3-pointers had circulated recently, so perhaps it was just a matter of time before he made one in a game.

As far as the NBA is concerned, Gobert has by far scored the most points without making a 3-pointer over the past 10 seasons. He attempted three in 70 games for the Timberwolves last season and had eight attempts combined in the prior two seasons with the Utah Jazz (four in each). He shot three 3-pointers in his first seven NBA seasons, which makes him 0-for-14 overall in his NBA career.

Despite the lack of a long-range threat, Gobert has been a consistent scorer in the league, averaging around 15 points per game over the past seven seasons. He was a first-round pick by the Denver Nuggets in the 2013 NBA Draft (No. 27 overall) and played his first nine seasons for the Jazz before being traded to the Timberwolves during the 2022 offseason.

He has made his name in the NBA by playing defense, not by 3-point shooting. He is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, most recently for the 2020-21 season, and six-time All-Defensive First Team selection.

He will be representing France at the 2023 FIBA World Cup, with an opening game against Canada on Aug. 25 in the Philippines. The French are ranked No. 3, behind the United States and Spain, in recent FIBA World Cup power rankings and among the second tier of betting favorites for the tournament, which will run until Sept. 10.

There are plenty of reasons for basketball fans to watch the tournament, including to see how favored Team USA will perform after some NBA observers harshly questioned the roster choices.

Watching to see if Gobert can make a 3-pointer in more heated competition could be another reason to tune in.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has focused on New York sports. He has covered the NBA and NFL for almost three decades and is still waiting for the next championship for the Knicks and Jets.