Things aren’t going super great for Donovan Mitchell when it comes to his battle against Ben Simmons for Rookie of the Year. Never mind the stats for a minute, the back-and-forth between the two has reached a fever pitch.
On Tuesday, the Utah Jazz rookie arrived to his home arena wearing a hooded sweatshirt that appeared to be a dig at Simmons. Unfortunately for Mitchell, because of the text that was written on the hoodie, it was actually in favor of Simmons being classified as a rookie, despite the Sixers wing having been drafted in 2016.
As that photo made the rounds on social media, ESPN published a story featuring comments from Mitchell. The Jazz guard said he didn’t care about Simmons’ apparent disrespect after the Sixers ball-handler said he wasn’t impressed with other rookies.
“I really don’t care,” Mitchell told ESPN. “The biggest thing for me is that we’re in the fourth seed and fighting for the third seed. If I’m worrying about individual awards, I’m giving up on my teammates and what we’re trying to build here. Clearly, I’m not the one losing sleep over this. I don’t care.”
“I got concerned at first,” he told ESPN. “I thought it was something serious. Then I heard about what he said and I was like, ‘whatever.’ That’s not my concern.”
But that’s not even the juicy part. In an addendum to his story, Chris Haynes tweeted out a quote from Mitchell that didn’t make the article. In the quote, Mitchell tried to make an analogy comparing Simmons’ situation to getting an extra year to study for an exam.
The strangest part, for me at least, is that this appears to be a direct reference to a joke I tweeted out on Monday. Here’s my tweet, then Mitchell’s quote:
Social media is weird, man. Quick, who was the Rookie of the Year in 2010? Right. Who cares. At least both these dudes are legit franchise cornerstones.
Too bad we won’t get to see them square off again this year unless it’s in the NBA Finals.