UTAH JAZZ

Wade, Mitchell Share Special Bond In Final Meeting

Dec 12, 2018, 9:43 PM | Updated: Dec 13, 2018, 3:42 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah –  It was the seasoned veteran versus the up-and-coming superstar. On Wednesday, Donovan Mitchell and Dwyane Wade shared the court for the final time.

Wade, one of the most prolific shooting guards of all-time announced that he will retire at the end of the 2018-19 NBA season embarking on a retirement tour. Wednesday’s game had special meaning for both Wade and Mitchell.

No, it isn’t a rivalry, but rather a master-and-apprentice relationship.

When the Jazz drafted Donovan Mitchell in the 2017 NBA draft, his unique athleticism and skill set drew comparisons to Dwyane Wade.

“I kind of model myself after him and the way he plays,” said Mitchell.

To model his game after Wade, Mitchell went right to the source, Wade himself. Wade took Mitchell under his wing and a relationship quickly formed.

“I’ll call him when I’m watching film, aski questions on the phone,” said Mitchell. “I’m surprised he hasn’t gotten tired of it.”

“Not a lot of guys are like that, where they take you in, listen, answer your questions, whether its life or basketball,” said Mitchell.

“I wish I was that good that young,” Wade joked after the December 2nd meeting between the Jazz and Heat. “That kid is special.”

“That young man reached out to me this summer,” added Wade. “We talked on the phone for two hours, I don’t talk on the phone with nobody for two hours.”

Wade, Mitchell Swap Jerseys, Have Parties

After that game in Miami, Mitchell and Wade swapped jerseys and posed for a picture.

“It was surreal,” said Mitchell. “To look back at it, you’re playing against your idol.”

 

On Tuesday, ahead of Wade’s final stop in Utah, Mitchell had a surprise of his own for Wade, organizing a retirement dinner at Valter’s Osteria Italian restaurant with members of both the Jazz and Heat. Mitchell gifted Wade with a cake commemorating Wade’s “last dance” as well as a rocking chair for his retirement.

“Playing against him one last time, I’m glad to have that opportunity,” said Mitchell. “He’s done a lot for this game – I’m really excited.”

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