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‘I don’t think there’s any debate’: Rudy Gobert could miss playoff game after birth of son

DENVER — Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert is questionable for Monday’s Game 2 due to personal reasons.

The reason? Gobert is now a father.

Gobert’s first child, a baby boy, was delivered Monday morning, according to ESPN. It’s uncertain whether he’ll be able to travel back to Denver in time for the second game against the Nuggets.

Such a situation was something Gobert had planned for heading into the playoffs.

In March, the longtime Utah Jazz center said the baby would be born sometime during the playoffs, so he’s been preparing for this exact situation.

“It has been clear for me from the beginning, I would do anything I can to be there,” Gobert told reporters during Minnsota’s trip back to Utah in March. “I don’t think there’s any debate to have.”

He expressed confidence that his coaches and teammates would be eager to see him have that moment with his family, no matter what was happening in the postseason.

“That’s what I love about them, we have a level of human connection and empathy for one another that I think is really good,” he said. “And I think all the guys will be literally telling me, ‘Don’t play. Go.'”

That’s just what he did.

“It’s amazing,” he said. “It’s a blessing. It is something that I’ve always wanted in my life.”

Gobert still might make it back to Denver where the Timberwolves will try to take a 2-0 series lead against the defending champions. Gobert had 6 points, 13 rebounds, and three blocks in the Timberwolves’ Game 1 win.

He has averaged 13.2 points, 11.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in five playoff games this season (all wins). Minnesota has outscored opponents by 74 points in Gobert’s minutes.

“Him being a great defensive player, he helps us,” said guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker. “All of us have different tools that we bring to the team. I believe in every one of my teammates to step up. All season we have played a few games shorthanded … and we found ways to win.”

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