UTAH JAZZ

Mitchell Clears Gobert Tension Rumors With Chris Haynes

Feb 15, 2022, 2:04 PM
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell told GQ that headphones were one of his 10 essential items (Photo ...
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell told GQ that headphones were one of his 10 essential items (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Donovan Mitchell sat down with Chris Haynes to dismiss rumors of ongoing issues with him and his All-Star teammate Rudy Gobert.

Mitchell discussed a series of issues in an hour-long podcast with the NBA insider.

The guard covered a variety of issues including being named to his third All-Star team, rumors of turmoil in the Jazz locker room, and his happiness living in Utah.

Tension With Gobert

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been stories of tension between Mitchell and Gobert off the floor.

In recent weeks, those stories have again resurfaced as the Jazz hit their worst skid during the Mitchell/Gobert era with the team dropping 12 of 16 games during January, and Gobert seemingly calling out the team’s lack of effort on defense around him.

Mitchell dismissed the rumors with Haynes and pointed to the team’s success as a sign of cohesion on the roster.

“We’re good, I just want to go on record of saying that,” Mitchell said. “I think it’s interesting that stuff happens and him and I have never played at this high of a level since we’ve been here.”

The Jazz currently sit in the fourth seed in the West, 3.5 games back of the Memphis Grizzlies, and have the longest winning streak in the conference at six games.

Mitchell also added that as long as he and Gobert share the same interest in winning a championship, the locker room will be fine.

“You don’t always got to be the best of friends with people you work with,” Mitchell said. “But at the end of the day, if you work towards a common goal that’s beneficial to the team, that’s what’s first — we want to win.”

Though the Jazz 36-21 record may have not met expectations with one game left before the All-Star break, the team is 23-8 when its starting lineup is healthy and will be a tough out in the postseason.

Happiness In Utah

In addition to questions about whether Mitchell is satisfied playing alongside Gobert, there have also been reports that the guard may prefer to play in a larger market.

Over the last two decades, the Jazz have seen their star players leave the team to go play in larger markets, beginning with Karl Malone joining the Los Angeles Lakers, Deron Williams being traded to the New Jersey Nets, and Gordon Hayward signing with the Charlotte Hornets.

“That whole notion of just being happy — I’m very fortunate to play this game, Mitchell said, “to play this game and to be in the NBA.”

However, the guard said he’s seen the articles speculating about his satisfaction living in Utah and went as far as to approach his teammates individually about any concerns.

“My teammates, they’re so great, they make my life so easy,” Mitchell said. “They were like, ‘Shut up.’ It’s really easy you know what I mean, so for us, we come in every day, show up to work, and we do our job.”

Listen to Haynes entire podcast at this link.

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