UTAH JAZZ

Donovan Mitchell Will Not Participate In Slam Dunk Contest

Jan 18, 2019, 10:32 AM | Updated: 11:37 am
Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz accepts the 2018 Verizon Slam Dunk Contest trophy at Staples ...
Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz accepts the 2018 Verizon Slam Dunk Contest trophy at Staples Center on February 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell will not defend his Slam Dunk contest title during the upcoming All-Star Weekend, according to a report from the Deseret News.

In a tweet from sports writer Eric Woodyard, Mitchell was quoted as saying he wanted to focus on the latter part of the season, rather than defending his slam dunk title.

The Jazz have struggled over the first part of the season, but have battled back over the past 10 games, going 8-2 during that stretch. Only three other teams have played as well over the same time period – the league-leading Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors.

Mitchell earned his first Western Conference Player of the Week award, as well.

Mitchell shocked the NBA world with his athletic dunks that included using another hoop to throw an alley-oop off of to windmill slam on the other.

He broke out a Darrell Griffith jersey and dunked over his younger sister and comedian Kevin Hart.

Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz dunks over Kevin Hart, Jordan Mitchell and Hendrix Hart in the 2018 Verizon Slam Dunk Contest at Staples Center on February 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Mitchell’s next dunk was an alley-oop off of the back board and caught the ball, cocked it back with his right hand for the slam.

Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz and Larry Nance Jr. #24 of the Cleveland Cavaliers compete in the 2018 Verizon Slam Dunk Contest at Staples Center on February 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

He needed 47 points from the judges to beat Larry Nance Jr. Mitchell took off his city edition Jazz jersey and revealed a vintage Toronto Raptors Vince Carter uniform. The then rookie, did a 360 slam that Carter did years ago.

The second-year star has indicated that he hasn’t ruled out the Rising Stars Game on Friday, February 15. This is the game that is compiled of rookies and sophomores in the NBA.

Mitchell wants to put his focus on the second half of the season and push for a playoff spot with the Utah Jazz and not focus on entertaining the fans in the Dunk Contest.

He became the first Jazz player to win the Dunk Contest since Jeremy Evans in 2012 and was the seventh player in team history to participate in the contest.

The NBA All-Star Weekend will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, February 15-17.

All-Star voting concludes on Monday before starters and captains are revealed on January 24 then the reserves are announced on January 31 on TNT.

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