Donovan Mitchell’s personal training staff at odds with Jazz staff?
Tensions over Donovan Mitchell’s injury situation are suddenly clouding the Utah Jazz’s first-round playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies. Now it sounds like some infighting within the team framework is part of the issue.
Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune reported on Monday that there may be a power struggle of sorts between Mitchell’s personal training staff and the team’s training staff over who gets to make the decisions on Mitchell’s recovery. But Larsen does note that the Jazz training staff has an excellent reputation. They were a co-recipient of last year’s Athletic Training Staff of the Year Award from the National Basketball Athletic Trainers Association (though that was for their efforts with the NBA’s first COVID-19 case).
The All-Star guard Mitchell suffered an ankle injury in April that has now kept him out over a month. The Jazz made him a late scratch for Sunday’s playoff opener against Memphis, ultimately a loss that cost them their homecourt advantage. Mitchell was said to be furious about the decision.
The Jazz have now said that Mitchell will play in Game 2 on Wednesday. But when a team’s training staff does not see eye-to-eye with their star player’s personal training staff, it can definitely get ugly. That is what we saw with another player a couple of years ago.