UTAH JAZZ

Mitchell Sits Down For Interview With ESPN’s Rachel Nichols

Apr 20, 2019, 4:36 PM
Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz walks up the court against the Houston Rockets during Game On...
Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz walks up the court against the Houston Rockets during Game One of the first round of the 2019 NBA Western Conference Playoffs between the Houston Rockets and the Utah Jazz at Toyota Center on April 14, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Prior to Game 3 of the Utah Jazz’s first round series against the Houston Rockets, Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell sat down with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols for a one-on-one interview.

Nichols is the host of a popular NBA show on ESPN, The Jump.

To begin, Nichols jumped right into asking Mitchell about his team’s mentality being down 0-2 to the Rockets in the playoffs.

“We’ve been here before, that’s how I look at it. We’ve been overlooked since last year, so it’s not like it’s unfamiliar territory with us,” said Mitchell. “They took care of two at home, that was their job they did and now we’ve got to go home and care of two at home. For us, as long as we do that we control what we do, we’ll be in good shape.”

Early Season Struggles

While Mitchell ended the regular season playing extremely well, it was no secret that he had his struggles early on in his second season. After Mitchell had an unbelievably successful rookie season, Nichols asked him how he was able to break out of his early-season slump.

“I think what made it worse was when we started losing as a team. We were losing games badly. We lost to I think Dallas by I think 50 points. It was times where you’re like ‘maybe I’m like a one-hit wonder,’” said Mitchell. “Maybe it’s just because no one knew who I was, I came in and just shocked the NBA. The biggest thing is that my teammates and coaches have my back. They all were like ‘it’s all going to turn around.’”

Advice From Stars

One thing that helped Mitchell break out in December and January of this season was the advice he got from NBA superstars like Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and the Jazz’s current playoff nemesis, James Harden.

Mitchell recalled speaking to Wade on the phone for two straight hours on one occasion.

“I just talked to him just about what to expect in year two. For me, having the bullseye on your back was a different situation to be in. Having everybody target you specifically I think really opened my eyes a little bit. And it’s one thing to hear it, and it’s another thing to go through it,” said Mitchell.

Love From Jazz Fans

Lastly, Mitchell was asked about his reaction to receiving a bridge named in his honor. Recenly, The Gateway Mall near the arena named its pedestrian bridge after Mitchell, adorning the structure with a giant mural of the Jazz guard. To Mitchell, it was huge honor.

“To be honest, it caught by surprise. I didn’t think it was going to be as big as it was. I really didn’t. I thought it was like something small, like small paint and then I go and it’s this big mural of me on there and there’s this big crowd of people. I was taken back when I got there. It’s just one instance. They’ve been great to me in Utah, they’re awesome,” said Mitchell.

To conclude the interview, Nichols chided Mitchell saying that if he’s going to have bridges named after him, that he better help his team win playoff games.

“I know, I think we have to,” laughed Mitchell.

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Mitchell Sits Down For Interview With ESPN’s Rachel Nichols