An NBA player with a base salary of $41 million could spend his free time doing just about anything. Gobert's preference? Total silence. Total darkness.
After a bumpy first season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Gobert figured it was time for a reset as he prepared for his second stint with the team. A reset in the form of a retrofitted cot. Prior to the season, Gobert visited Sky Cave Retreats in southern Oregon. Sky Cave retreats runs "darkness retreats." According to Chris Hine of the Star Tribune, "People are left alone in a room with basic necessities — food, water, a bathroom and a bed— but they are alone, in darkness, for days, cut off from the outside world." Aaron Rodgers, Ayahuasca advocate and quarterback of the New York Jets, credited these retreats with helping him leave Green Bay and ask for a trade.
Rudy Gobert is feeling the best he's ever felt - here's why
In other words, Gobert took a page out of Aaron Rodgers' playbook, (not Ayahuasca) and it's really paying off. Rudy Gobert told Hine how darkness forced him to realize his mindset's power. "You realize your mind is so powerful and your mind is going to be your reality. What you project is going to be what you live." Gobert said. "If you're in the dark and you think about negative things, you're going to see negative things. You don't have a choice but to project positive things."
Per Scott Berman, the owner and operator of Sky Cave Retreats:
"The darkness on some level, it almost simulates a near-death experience, you pretty much die to the world. There's no one to connect with. Everything that's meaningful in your life, that gives you purpose and worth is gone. All of a sudden it's, 'What really matters?' People then come to that gratitude for everything we have."
After the retreat, Gobert said he's feeling the best he's ever felt. Gobert said, "I hope they expect me, because I'm going to do whatever it takes to help this team be a top defense, and the numbers will speak for themselves." As of right now, the Timberwolves have the best defensive rating in the league at 106.6. They're first in the league in opponent field goal percentage, second in opponent three-point percentage, and second in blocks.
On the season, Gobert averages 12.4 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game. Safe to say, the numbers speak for themselves. They started the season 7-2, their most impressive start in 22 years. They're currently 13-4 and Gobert has undeniably contributed to their success and impressive defense thus far.