Donovan Mitchell’s expectations of himself led to an NBA All-Star bid, but he wants more


U.S. Team’s Donovan Mitchell, of the Utah Jazz, moves to the hoop against World Team’s, Bogdan Bogdanovic, of the Sacramento Kings, during the NBA All-Star Rising Stars basketball game, Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, in Charlotte, N.C. | Chuck Burton, Associated Press

CHICAGO — At some point, Donovan Mitchell developed a chip on his shoulder.

It might have been when he was drafted 13th overall in 2017, a lottery pick, but not considered one of the best in his draft class. It might have been when he was runner-up for Rookie of the Year honors, losing out to Ben Simmons. It might have been when he was knocked out of the playoffs.

“There were times where I thought I was going to be picked fifth or sixth because I felt like I was at that point,” he said of feeling passed over in the early stages of the NBA draft. “Once you get drafted though that’s just step one.”

No matter when it was, Mitchell feels like he has something to prove. He expects a lot from himself.

Because his own expectations are so high, he’s pushed himself to excel and has been rewarded with a very charmed young NBA life.

“I’ve said before that I didn’t think I would be here but I’m at a point in my career where this has to be it,” Mitchell said of the success that he expects.

Although Mitchell is making his All-Star debut this weekend, he hasn’t lived an NBA year without heading to the All-Star host city and taking part in at least one of the weekend’s events. Mitchell has never experienced a non-playoff season. He has been recognized as one of the young talented players that will usher in the next era of the NBA.

On Friday night, Mitchell sat courtside during the Rising Stars Challenge and was a part of the broadcast team commentating as the game played out.

Had fun With my bro @Original_Turner doing the @NBAonTNT broadcast tonight with @BAndersonPxP #LifeAfterBasketball

— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) February 15, 2020

The Rising Stars Challenge is a game that highlights the best and brightest of the NBA’s freshmen and sophomore players. It’s a game that Mitchell was selected to play in both of his first two years.

As he watched his childhood friend Eric Paschall of the Golden State Warriors on the court, he reminisced about how far kids who used to live across the street from each other have come. As he spoke of Paschall being selected 41st overall in the 2019 draft, a little bit of the chip that Mitchell carries with him started to come out.

“It’s not about where you get picked,” he said. “You just go out there and compete and hoop.”

It’s that competitive spirit that has driven Mitchell to the success that he’s had thus far in the NBA. It led to him winning the Slam Dunk contest his rookie year. It led to playing in the Rising Stars Challenge consecutive years. It …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News


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