Donovan Mitchell Frustrated with Jazz, Set to Play in Game 2 of Playoffs
Take this one however you like, but it is a weirdly interesting story.
According to numerous sources, Donovan Mitchell was “definitely frustrated and upset” with the Utah Jazz after the team chose to hold him out of a Game 1 loss.
The reason being, the team’s doctors didn’t want to risk him re-aggravating an injury. Mitchell clearly felt that he was capable of playing, but the Jazz were simply looking out for the long-term health of their superstar shooting guard who recently signed a five-year, $196 million extension with the franchise.
In short, the Jazz sat Mitchell and he was angry.
“I will tell you this: Donovan’s relationship with the organization was damaged this week,” said ESPN’s Brian Windhorst on his podcast on Tuesday. “Is it damaged to the point where it can’t be repaired? I’m not saying that. Is it something that they’ll get past and he’ll just move on and it will just be a blip on the radar screen? Maybe. Maybe they’re in The Finals in two months and who cares? Maybe they win the next four games and it’s totally forgotten. But right now, Donovan is hurting. He’s really hurting the way this happened.
“Something else that’s important, he was out five weeks give or take. April 16th I think the injury was and now we’re at the end of May. Five or six weeks. Early on in the recovery process, he was not recovering well. And so he stopped working exclusively with the team and he hired and brought, and he already had his own trainer, and he brought in his own trainer to begin rehabbing with that trainer.”
The Jazz are currently down 1-0 in their first round series to the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies but remain heavy favourites, especially with the impending return of Mitchell.
“Regardless of what it means in this moment in times, what it means going forward for Donovan Mitchell and the Jazz is something to keep an eye on,” added Windhorst. “I know he has just signed this huge contract extension and it hasn’t kicked in yet. I’m not saying anything there. I’m just saying damage was done. Damage was done here.”
Not that you asked, but my thoughts go something like this: Super competitive dude really wanted to play in a playoff game. Team doctor said he’s not healthy enough to play. The team, led by a front office clearly in win-now mode, had to make the tough call of sitting Mitchell. Mitchell got angry and that was compounded by the Game 1 loss.
Is the relationship between Mitchell and the Jazz damaged? Maybe, but I struggle to think that this one instance would damage an entire relationship. Mitchell was angry because he couldn’t help his team win a playoff game. He will be back on the floor for Game 2 and this story will soon be a thing of the past.
Disclaimer, if I happen to be completely wrong, welp, maybe it’s time to panic a little bit Jazz fans.