Skip to main content
Larry Brown Sports Tagline. Brown Bag it, Baby.
#pounditMonday, January 24, 2022

Donovan Mitchell

Ricky Rubio calls out Shaq for ‘hating’ on Donovan Mitchell

Shaquille O'Neal

Ricky Rubio is standing up for one of his former teammates.

The Utah Jazz defeated the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday by a 129-118 final. After the contest, Donovan Mitchell gave an interview to TNT’s “Inside the NBA” and received a criticism from Shaquille O’Neal. O’Neal claimed that Mitchell does not have “what it takes to get to the next level.”

Rubio tweeted his thoughts about O’Neal’s comment on Friday.

“Come on. Stop hating,” wrote Rubio. “He HAS it. Just go and watch his first playoff series as a rookie. Game 6. Last year playoff etc… hard worker, never says anything wrong, all heart, elite scorer, humble, great teammate and he just keeps getting better year after year.”

Rubio and Mitchell were teammates on the Jazz for two seasons from 2017 to 2019. The team reached the 48-win plateau and earned a top-five seed in the Western Conference in both years. The Jazz have also been a playoff team in every single season since Mitchell, still only 24, was drafted.

Granted, O’Neal is known for taking very petty shots at today’s stars. But his act certainly seems to be wearing thin among the league’s current players.

Video: Shaq, Donovan Mitchell share awkward exchange

Shaquille O'Neal

Shaq and Donovan Mitchell shared an awkward exchange after the Utah Jazz’s 129-118 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday night.

Mitchell had 36 points, seven rebounds and five assists in his team’s win. He was interviewed by TNT after the game.

Shaq admitted to Mitchell that he was a big fan, but he said Mitchell doesn’t have what it takes to get to the next level. Mitchell responded very quietly to Shaq’s point.

O’Neal was very clearly trying to motivate Mitchell, but the effort seemed to fall flat.

If Mitchell wants motivation, it might come from Charles Barkley, who said he expects Mitchell to have more rebounds and assists than he does. Of course, go back and read what Mitchell said in 2018 that he wanted to improve, and it won’t surprise you.

Donovan Mitchell responds to Utah company dumping Jazz suite over kneeling, BLM support

Donovan Mitchell

Donovan Mitchell responded on Thursday to a Utah company’s decision to cancel its suite at Jazz games.

Salt Lake County-based SME Steel Contractors sent a letter to Jazz owner Gail Miller on Sept. 9 announcing its decision to cancel its suite at Vivint Smart Home Arena. The company began licensing a suite annually since 1992 and estimates it has spent $6 million on suites over the years.

The company is upset with the way the NBA, its teams, and its players have politicized the sport. They took issue with players and coaches kneeling during the national anthem, as well as messages around courts supporting the Black Lives Matter political organization.

“The recent actions of the NBA — including the owners, coaches and players of the Utah Jazz — have converted a beloved entertainment venue into a forum for dissemination of political propaganda which is divisive and completely out of step with our company and its values,” they said in their letter.

The company acknowledges that teams and players are free to express their views, but says there may be consequences, such as the company’s response.

“They cannot, however, force paying customers, to be subjected to their ostentatious acts of disrespect for our country and its values, without any consequences.”

The company said it would not keep its suite until Black Lives Matter logos are removed from the arena and kneeling during the national anthem is stopped.

Mitchell, who is the team’s young, star player, responded on Twitter Thursday. He said the company had the right to cancel its suite, while he and his fellow players have the right to kneel for the anthem.

Mitchell is incorrect about having a constitutionally-protected right to kneel in the workplace. The U.S. Constitution’s free speech rights do not apply to workers in the workplace, though the NBA is allowing (and arguably encouraging) him and other players to do so.

Mitchell was one of the stars of the bubble even though the Jazz lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Denver Nuggets. The 24-year-old averaged a career-high 24 points per game this season and made his first All-Star team.

Report: Donovan Mitchell will sign five-year max extension with Jazz

Donovan Mitchell

Donovan Mitchell was heartbroken after the Utah Jazz were eliminated from the playoffs on Tuesday night, but he’s going to have plenty more opportunities to bring the franchise a title.

Mitchell is eligible for a rookie maximum contract extension this offseason, and. Following Utah’s 80-78 loss to, he admitted to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports that he was concerned about potentially suffering an injury during the NBA restart and jeopardizing his future earnings. Mitchell did not want to let his teammates down, however.

“There are younger guys who aren’t established in this league and needed this time to show their value,” Mitchell said. “It would have been selfish of me to stand in the way of that. I couldn’t let my contract get in the way of the bigger picture.”

Fortunately, Mitchell did not suffer an injury. He averaged 36.3 points per game in the seven-game series against the Nuggets, scoring more than 50 twice. According to Haynes, Mitchell and the Jazz already have a handshake agreement in place for a five-year contract extension worth roughly $160 million this offseason.

The ending of Tuesday night’s game was as brutal as it gets for the Jazz, but Mitchell further cemented himself as one of the game’s biggest stars. Signing him to a max extension is a no-brainer for Utah.

Donovan Mitchell heartbroken after Jazz lose Game 7 on last possession

Donovan Mitchell

The Denver Nuggets beat the Utah Jazz in a tight Game 7 that featured a thrilling finish that left Donovan Mitchell heartbroken.

The Nuggets took an 80-78 lead on a pretty hook shot by Nikola Jokic with 27.8 seconds left in the game on Tuesday night in Orlando, Fla.

Then with 17.4 seconds left, the Jazz took the ball out looking to tie the game or take a lead in the first-round playoff series-deciding game. Utah’s Mitchell turned the ball over, Torrey Craig missed a shot, and then Mike Conley barely missed a three-pointer to win the game.

What an ending!

Mitchell scored 22 points on 9/22 shooting in the game, which was his second-lowest point total of the series. He averaged 36.3 points per game during the series.

The Nuggets have now advanced to the Western Conference semifinals and will face the No. 2 seed Clippers.