Mitchell, Jazz Teammates Come Out To Support Allen, Niang
TAYLORSVILLE, Utah – When the Utah Jazz’s Grayson Allen and Georges Niang were assigned to the Salt Lake City Stars of the NBA G League, they were sent with plenty of support from their teammates at the big league club.
Donovan Mitchell almost immediately quoted tweeted the Stars’ tweet and urged Jazz fans to come support Allen and Niang. Mitchell’s fans took notice and Stars drew a sizable crowd, with many likely hoping to see “Spida.”
— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) December 3, 2018
Sure enough, with less than a minute remaining in the first quarter of the game against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Mitchell, along with teammate Royce O’Neale, walked into Bruin Arena. Immediately, fans who came for a glimpse of low-cost professional basketball at the Redwood Road campus of SLCC reached for their phones and some even tried to approach Mitchell for an autograph.
— Salt Lake City Stars (@slcstars) December 4, 2018
They were soon joined by Ekpe Udoh and Raul Neto in their seats located in between the Stars’ bench and the scorer’s table. Ricky Rubio also showed up to support his teammates. Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsay was also in attendance, though his presence at Stars games was not as uncommon.
Niang Appreciates The Support
“I just think it shows the culture that the Jazz have built, constantly supporting us and being behind us,” said Niang after the game. “I think that’s awesome. Those guys don’t know how much it means to us to have them here supporting. Even some of the guys in the front office and coaching staff were here. That means a lot.”
Utes In The Arena
A pair of Utes were also in attendance. Dakarai Tucker, who played for Utah from 2012-2016 suited up and started the game for the Vipers, while his former Utah teammate and current San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl walked and took a seat in the second quarter. Poeltl was in town for the Spurs’ matchup with the Jazz on Tuesday.
Teammates Exit Early, Leaving Niang ‘Upset’
Perhaps not wanting to cause a frenzy after the game or wanting to spend valuable time with their families, Mitchell and others left before the end of the game. For Niang, he was a bit salty after the game that his teammates missed one of his spectacular dunks in the fourth quarter.
“I’m upset about that,” he said jokingly. “I would have gotten some cool points for that.”