SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz took on the Dallas Mavericks Thursday night. Donovan Mitchell with a sore hamstring and Rudy Gobert with a bee sting.
Gobert posted on his Instagram story a picture of his swollen eye, writing “It be your own bees sometimes.”
“I’ve always wanted to have some and a year ago we put up a hive at the house,” he said. “It’s been going great.”
The NBA All-Star said he changed the queen bee a few days ago and now the other bees are upset.
“Queens will live about five years but they’re really productive in their first couple of years,” said local beekeeper Julie Arthur. “A lot of beekeepers will switch out the queen and putting a new queen into the colony can make bees a little bit grumpy.”
Watch Rudy Gobert's entire "bee" press conference below
Arthur is the president of the Wasatch Beekeepers Association and keeps around six hives in her backyard. She’s a Jazz fan, and is happy knowing Gobert and her share the same hobby.
“I love the fact that he’s a beekeeper,” she said. “I didn’t know he was a beekeeper until this happened.”
Gobert assured his swollen nose and eye won’t throw off his game, saying this is the third time he’s been stung.
“I always feel great the next few days after for some reason,” he said. “Look it up, it’s not a joke.”
Arthur said it’s called “apitherapy” and that some people seek out bee stings to help with multiple sclerosis, chronic Lyme disease and tendinitis.
“In particular, the bee sting might have made him feel better just because of the venom therapy and how it acts in the body. It encourages your body to produce extra blood cells,” she explained.
She wants to make it clear that honeybees are not the enemy, and so does the Salt Lake Bees baseball team.
Gobert said he got stung a couple days ago, so maybe the swelling’s gone down since then.
The team tweeted Thursday, “The Salt Lake Bees deny any involvement in this terrible act and wish @rudygobert27 a speedy recovery and a wonderful game 6 #gojazz.”
Fans outside the Vivint Arena wish the same.
“We can’t let Dallas take over it,” said Maurice Veloz. “We really need it so bad.”
“It almost makes me wonder, ‘Is that going to throw his game off for tonight? How is that going to affect him?’” said Jessica Atchison. “But then in the end I think: this is Rudy. He’s going to play awesome and play through it and if anything this is just going to make him play harder.”
Arthur said Gobert’s nose and swelling is actually not too bad. She’s seen others with far worse reactions.