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#pounditTuesday, March 2, 2021

Articles tagged: Donovan Mitchell

Utah governor throws shade at Shaq over Donovan Mitchell criticism

Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O’Neal is now taking shots from elected state officials.

The retired Hall of Famer and current TNT analyst responded this week to the backlash from his critical comments about Utah Jazz All-Star Donovan Mitchell. O’Neal said that he was only giving Mitchell constructive criticism and motivation. He also added a “You’re welcome, Utah,” for good measure.

Utah governor Spencer Cox then responded to O’Neal’s remarks in a tweet. Cox sarcastically said that he would criticize O’Neal for being a bad TV commentator in the hopes that O’Neal would get better.

O’Neal’s comments about Mitchell seemed hardly good-natured at the time. They also drew swift condemnation from some of Mitchell’s NBA peers.

Now O’Neal can be certain that he has offended the entire state of Utah by dissing Mitchell, including their highest-ranking government official.

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.

Jazz take shots at TNT crew over Twitter following win

Shaquille O'Neal

There is some serious tension at the moment between the “NBA on TNT” crew and the Utah Jazz, and even the people in charge of team’s official Twitter account are getting in on the fun.

The Jazz won their seventh straight game on Thursday night with a 129-118 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans. Despite Utah’s recent success, Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley and the TNT crew do not believe they’re in the same class as the Los Angeles Lakers and other top teams. Following the game, the Jazz took a couple of shots at the TNT analysts on Twitter.

The second tweet was a response to an awkward exchange Shaq had with Donovan Mitchell on live TV. Shaq told Mitchell after Utah’s win that he said earlier in the night that Mitchell doesn’t “have what it takes to get to that next level.” Mitchell wasn’t quite sure how to respond. You can see the video here.

Barkley also said he wants to see Mitchell get more rebounds and assists. Mitchell shouldn’t be too offended by that considering what he said about himself back in 2018.

The criticism from Shaq and Barkley should become an asset for Mitchell and the Jazz. Teams are always searching for sources of motivation, and that should be a big one for Utah.

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.

Standout performers of the NBA playoffs so far

Luka Doncic

Following the most unprecedented regular season in the history of the NBA, the 2020 playoffs have officially kicked off. Familiarity truly does breed contempt, and housing all of the postseason adversaries in one compound has only furthered the intensity.

Here are four of the standout performers from the first week of the NBA playoffs.


Every generational superstar has a defining moment or game in their career when their greatness becomes abundantly clear. Kobe Bryant’s came during the 2000 NBA Finals when he was just 21 years old, as he led the Lakers to a game four victory in overtime after Shaquille O’Neal fouled out. For LeBron James, it was scoring 25 straight points as the Cavaliers upset the Detroit Pistons in 2007. Despite it only being the first round of the playoffs, Luka Doncic’s Game 4 performance was his moment.

Nothing signifies the gravity of a moment quite like a “double BANG” from Mike Breen. The only thing more impressive than the shot itself was that it served as the exclamation point to cap off Doncic’s 43 points, 17 rebounds, 13 assists triple-double effort. After rolling his ankle in the Maverick’s Game 3 loss, there was little reason for optimism in Dallas until Doncic delivered the most memorable game of the postseason so far. Doncic’s game has never been based around quickness; even on an injured ankle he’s been able to penetrate the Clippers’ defense at will.

In the playoffs, the Mavericks have simplified their offense. They regularly allowed Doncic to seek the mismatch he desires by forcing a switch through a ball screen. Watching Doncic dissect the defense is puzzling at times, as it appears almost as if he is lumbering around the screen until the moment he detects the opening and in one powerful burst he’s gone. His underrated explosion and size are reminiscent of James Harden, and factoring in the number of stepback threes each player makes, their shot profiles are remarkably similar.

The ultimate compliment for an NBA player comes from their opponents; look at what some of the NBA’s best had to say about Doncic.


Donovan Mitchell has great answer for question about 50-point game

Donovan Mitchell

Donovan Mitchell had a big game for the Utah Jazz on Sunday night, and he did not let it get to his head.

Mitchell scored 51 points in Utah’s 129-127 win over the Denver Nuggets to take a 3-1 lead in the first-round playoff series between the teams. He shot 15-for-27 including 4-for-7 on threes and 17-for-18 at the free throw line in the win.

Mitchell scored 57 points in Game 2 of the series and now joins Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson as players with multiple 50-point games in the same playoff series. He was informed by Jared Greenberg during his postgame interview about this accomplishment and had a humble response.

“They won; I haven’t done anything yet,” Mitchell said of Jordan and Iverson. “All we did was win Game 4. 50 is 50, but we’re looking to close the series out. I’m honored to be in that category — don’t get me wrong — and I’m very humbled and blessed, but we still have another game left.”

That’s a great attitude. He is not getting caught up in his individual accomplishments and instead is focusing on his team’s goals. Eliminating the No. 3 seed from the playoffs would be a big major accomplishment. It would also set up a potential second-round playoff matchup against either the Clippers or Mavericks.

Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell shares one of the big challenges of the NBA bubble

Donovan Mitchell

NBA teams are arriving in Orlando and beginning their time in the bubble setting in Disney World. For Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, we’re learning what one of the big challenges he says he is facing so far — and it is something that may surprise you.

Mitchell says that eating healthy will be a challenge. He expressed temptation over some of the snack options.

He’s not the only player to make a complaint about some of the junk food snacks.

The first 48 hours upon arriving in Orlando apparently were more difficult than what it will be like after that, in terms of conditions. The food options are expected to improve, and if players make enough noise, maybe they will get healthier snack options.

Mitchell’s Jazz are 41-23 entering the resumed season, which is good for fourth in the West. Mitchell recently said things are “good” between him and teammate Rudy Gobert despite previous issues related to the coronavirus.