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Utah Legislature Votes To Recognize Donovan Mitchell After Shaq Controversy

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) laughs as he plays against the Golden State Warriors at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The support for Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell has reached the state’s legislature. On Tuesday, representative Kera Birkeland, a Republican from Utah House District 53 introduced a resolution to recognize the “exemplary service of Donovan Mitchell to the Utah Jazz.”

Mitchell has been the focus of controversy in the NBA after the guard was criticized by TNT hosts Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley.

O’Neal, commonly known as Shaq, suggested Mitchell wasn’t capable of being the best player on a championship-level team. Barkley meanwhile argued that Mitchell was incapable of helping a basketball team beyond his scoring acumen.

The bill includes a list of arguments recognizing Mitchell’s contributions within the state and elsewhere in his short time with the team.

“Donovan has provided backpacks, school supplies, and most importantly, his time, to Utah students;” the bill reads.

“WHEREAS. Donovan launched the SPIDACARES, a foundation to empower women following the example set by his mother and sister; and WHEREAS, Donovan has consistently demonstrated his decency by freely and abundantly giving to local communities and charities while volunteering his time to help his fellow Utahns.”

In addition to recognizing Mitchell, the bill lists a series of lowlights from Shaq’s career.

“WHEREAS, the Jazz eliminated Shaq and the Los Angeles Lakers from the playoffs in 1997 (4-1) and 1998 (4-0);” the bill stated. “WHEREAS, we are not talking about 2000, 2001, 2002, or 2006 right now, the years in which Kobe Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers and Dwayne Wade’s Miami Heat won championships for Shaq; WHEREAS, Kazaam has a 5% rating on rotten tomatoes.”

The resolution also included one other unique suggestion.

“BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the House of Representatives consider making the
64 “Spida” the official state arachnid.”

The bill passed on the house floor 67-5.


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