Donovan Mitchell may be tearing the nets for the Cleveland Cavaliers these days, but his love for the Utah Jazz – the franchise he spent the first five years of his careers playing for – appears to not have wavered one bit. In an interview with Kelsey Russo of The Athletic, Mitchell sat back and reflected on just how much it means for him as a first-time All-Star starter in front of a Salt Lake City crowd whose love for the explosive scoring guard remains months after the blockbuster trade that sent him to the Cavs.
In particular, Mitchell hammered home the point that he doesn’t want to take anything for granted – both the big and little things and everything in between.
“To be there my first time as a starter back on the team that I was a fan of as a kid, there’s just so many different things you can point to” Mitchell said. “And at some point in time, probably Thursday or Friday, I probably sit there, and kind of decompress and just appreciate the moment because at the end of the day, you’ve got to appreciate the little things because that’s something that I’ve really been big on this year is appreciating the little things.”
Donovan Mitchell then expressed his gratitude towards the Jazz franchise for putting their trust in the then-21 year-old shooting guard straight out of a two-year stint in Louisville.
“You learn to appreciate those things because they saw me grow up. I was a young kid, just happy to be drafted and then given a role to be one of the leaders on the team early, making the playoffs, having big moments, having struggles, ups, downs and to grow into who I am today, I’m forever grateful, forever thankful,” Mitchell added.
The Jazz and the Cavs’ trade back in the offseason was simply one of those rare win-win transactions where every party involved will feel happy with the outcome. Lauri Markkanen, the main piece the Jazz acquired for Donovan Mitchell, is also an All-Star starter in his own right following a breakout 2022-23 campaign. Meanwhile, Mitchell will get a chance to make a deep playoff run alongside the Cavs’ young core.
Thus, expect there to be plenty of cheers once more from the Salt Lake City faithful when Mitchell takes the court on Sunday in his fourth All-Star game appearance.