PHOENIX, ARIZONA - OCTOBER 28: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz reacts during the first half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena on October 28, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The NBA restart in Orlando kicks off with Rudy Gobert finishing a layup through contact. What a fitting way to start things off.

Rudy Gobert scoring the first points of the 2020 NBA restart is almost poetic. Sometimes, life imitates art and the Utah Jazz center would not be denied in his first look at the basket.

Gobert’s positive coronavirus case was the first domino to fall in the sports world. His positive case shut down the NBA and the rest of the sports world in the US followed soon thereafter.

To be clear, no one should be laying any blame at Gobert’s doorstep for this. Sure, he acted irresponsibly with his microphone touching antics, but no one understood the gravity of the situation at the time. We all know how serious COVID-19 is now.

In fact, Gobert testing positive was a catalyst for the entire country shutting down. The shutdowns in various parts of the country may have saved lives in the long run. We can’t know that for certain, but the point is Gobert should not be vilified for what happened in March.

At this moment in time, let’s all just appreciate the fact that we are watching NBA basketball again and that there are no positive cases in the Orlando bubble.

There are much bigger issues plaguing this country right now, but it is comforting to see stars like Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, and Zion Williamson battling on the court—even if there are only virtual fans in the computerized stands.

Thursday night’s doubleheader leads into Friday’s all-day affair of hoops. It’s truly a beautiful sight to see after months of uncertainty.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.