Rudy Gobert's DPOY redeems reputation of darkness retreats
Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert. Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Rudy Gobert's Defensive Player of the Year award redeems reputation of darkness retreats

It didn’t work out as well for Aaron Rodgers, but Rudy Gobert’s darkness retreat helped lead to his fourth Defensive Player of the Year award.

Gobert did a 64-hour darkness retreat in Oregon last summer after the Minnesota Timberwolves’ season ended, an experience he described as “basically meditation times 1,000.” He sat in the darkness, received food through a slot in the door twice a day and reflected on his life.

He also thought about defense. Part of his time in the darkness was spent considering how the Timberwolves designed their defensive coverages. He met with Minnesota coach Chris Finch not long after he returned to the light — and subsequently, Minnesota had the NBA’s No. 1 defense this season.

While Gobert did consult with Rodgers before deciding to do his retreat, the results for him seem to have gone a lot better. Rodgers used his retreat to help make his decision on joining the New York Jets, before his season ended on the team’s first offensive series.

Rodgers also may have used his retreat to think about running for vice president with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., terrible supposed "jokes" about Jimmy Kimmel and alleged Sandy Hook conspiracies.

But perhaps he simply needs another darkness retreat to get his mind right. After all, just like the Timberwolves, the New York Jets could use a better defense.

Once his award was announced Gobert joined "Inside the NBA" to discuss his win.

“It’s great teamwork,” Gobert said. “We love to get individual awards and all these things, and it’s great but you can’t do it alone. ... This year, training camp, we came Day 1 and said we wanted to be a top defense in this league. Every guy has bought in. Everyone has put in the work every single day, and now we’re here with one goal in mind, to try to get this championship.”

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