Donovan Mitchell was understandably emotional following his team’s exit of the NBA playoffs on Tuesday.
The Jazz star left it all on the court, scoring 22 points — including the final 14 for his team — and grabbing nine boards in the 80-78 Game 7 loss, which sent his team home despite at one point boasting a 3-1 series lead. The images of “Spida” lying on the court and then heading toward the locker room show a man who gave everything he had — he averaged 36.3 points and 37-and-a-half minutes played for the series — yet still suffered the disappointment of defeat.
Despite his emotional state, Mitchell was able to keep everything in perspective following the loss, saying what he felt was “nothing” compared to families who lost loved ones to police brutality.
“The pain that’s on my face right now, and the way I feel — I can only imagine what’s going through these victims’ families,” Mitchell said. “And I know I’m probably going to go back there and cry again and s—, but I just wanted to go out and say. … Look man, this is a game. People lost their family members to police brutality and racism and s—. And I can only imagine.
“So I want to say that. I want to get that out there. The way that I’m feeling right now is nothing compared to that. And I appreciate the NBA and everybody in this league for continuing to push that message, because it’s not stopping. I just wanted to say that, whether we won or lost, that was going to be the first thing I said.”
Mitchell’s comments align with many of his contemporaries in the NBA — including Chris Paul, Doc Rivers, LeBron James and more — following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., on Aug. 23.
Props to Mitchell for continuing to use his platform, even following a loss, to speak out on social justice.
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