Skip to main content

Windhorst explains why the Mitchell drama is "a laughable series of events"

Donovan-Mitchell

Sunday morning, Donovan Mitchell practiced with the team and joyfully told the media he is looking forward to finally playing again. He'd been out since April 16 with an ankle injury - at first, it was expected he'd be back a lot sooner, so Mitchell was very eager to get out there. Then a few hours before the game, news broke he wasn't going to play. 

This is a laughable series of events, except this is the Playoffs and the stakes makes it not a laughing matter. He [Mitchell] practiced three consecutive days and went through shootaround Sunday morning, which meant not only he thought he's going to play, but so did his teammates. They drop a game to the 8th seed, and less than 24 hours later, he's cleared. He even went out and had a warm-up session before the game; I think sending a message he was ready to play, and it wasn't on him. 

Brian Windhorst, ESPN

The most important news is that Mitchell has been cleared and will play Wednesday night. With their star in the lineup, the Jazz have every expectation to retake control over the series. Windhorst mentioned this decision didn't only frustrate Mitchell but his teammates as well. 

So what's this all about? In all the reports you can find, the most important sentence is the one saying Mitchell brought in his own training team after his ankle didn't recover as expected. This is a conflict that's happening a lot more in recent times - players have their own guys, who are not employees of the team, who they trust more. But, the team is the one that decides who's ready to play. 

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

When they got down to the final decision, his [Mitchell's] training staff and the Jazz training staff were on the opposite sides of the issue if he should play. That is something beyond this series, into the future, to keep an eye on. 

Brian Windhorst, ESPN

If you're wondering how serious this can get, just google Kawhi Leonard and San Antonio and see what comes up. Windhorst stressed Mitchell was activated less than 24 hours after Game 1 of the series - the implication being he was probably good to go, and the decision not to play him could've been a power move to make sure everyone knows who runs the show. As Tony Jones from The Athletic wrote, "Ruling a guy out four hours before a game when he wasn’t even on the injury report is pretty much unheard of."

Winning is the best deodorant, and if Mitchell stays healthy and the Jazz win a few, I'm sure everyone on the team will focus on the ultimate goal. But if things go south in this series, and Mitchell goes to Cancun feeling a certain way about the way Jazz handled this, there's going to be a lot of sleepless nights in Utah. 

Jazz coach Quinn Snyder tried to set the focus quoting the most popular US coach right now, someone he says should be mandatory viewing for all coaches. "Be a goldfish." 

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan in action against the Boston Celtics

“They never won the championship when they had 28 teams and so much parity in the league” - Michael Jordan once dissed the Boston Celtics’ early championships

While the C's are always praised for being a historic franchise and having the most championships many, including Michael Jordan, feel there's a caveat in regards to their achievements.

(11) Dwight Howard, (10) Kobe Bryant, (6) LeBron James and (5)Jason Kidd react on the bench

"They're totally different as far as their personalities" - Dwight Howard on the biggest differences between Kobe Bryant and LeBron James

According to DH12, one preferred to be straightforward and quiet, while the other was the type to blast music and let his work do the talking.

LeBron James

LeBron James calls out the media for their treatment of Kyrie Irving compared to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones - "I was kind of disappointed"

LeBron calls out the media for having double standards when reporting about Kyrie Irving and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones

San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (right) and teammate Stephen Jackson (3) talk to each other

“How are we gonna explain this to Pop?” - How a bloody paintball match almost got Stephen Jackson and Tim Duncan in deep trouble

Fortunately, a busted lip was all the penalty Stephen Jackson had to endure for not following Gregg Popovich's instructions.

Houston Rockets' big man Hakeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson

"We were the original 'Twin Towers'” - Ralph Samson on playing with Hakeem Olajuwon in the Houston Rockets

Ralph Sampson looked back at his legacy with Hakeem Olajuwon as the original "Twin Towers."