Donovan Mitchell doesn’t even have to try and show everyone why he’s awesome, it just sort of happens naturally.
Often times popular/famous professional or even collegiate athletes will use Twitter or other social media platforms as a way to interact with fans, but most of the time we can all feel it’s not 100% genuine. They might throw out a “what’s everybody getting into tonight,” type of tweet to get a feel for the fan base. But rarely do they actually show up.
Well, not in the case of Donovan Mitchell.
Louisville fans are all too familar with the character that is Spida D aka Donovan Mitchell. He’s been sort of a local legend around these parts before he even stepped foot onto the University of Louisville. But now fans out in Salt Lake City, are getting to see how special of a player they have, on what seems like a daily basis.
The popularity of Mitchell has seen a global uptick over the past few months as the NBA’s true Rookie of the Year (he was voted by the players for ROY, so he is the ROY in our books) has ventured to places all over the world. Even domestically we’ve seen Mitchell chased down the streets of New York after an autograph signing. Needless to say Spida D has become a world wide phenomenon.
And right when you thought it couldn’t get any better, Spida decided yesterday that he needed to take in the Fourth of July like a true Salt Lake City-ian(??).
At around 12:15 yesterday afternoon Mitchell took to Twitter with the following message:
I saw this and my first thought was to tell my wife that it was time to sell our house, pack our bags, move to Salt Lake City, and put together a bad ass fourth of July party, all just to get Donovan Mitchell to attend, but of course I knew that wasn’t plausible. (If my wife was willing it could have happened, just saying)
My second thought was, no way in hell does a player who averaged an incredible 20.5 points per game in his rookie season, won the slam dunk contest, received a lot of love from big time NBA vets and stars and won a playoff series take his precious talents to an average joe’s BBQ. But guess who was wrong? Me. Mitchell’s tweet got over 650 responses, and one lucky person was about to have their day, heck their year, hell their life made.
That is our guy Donnie Utah, aka Spida D, aka Donovan Mitchell, aka MY Rookie, attending a fourth of July party in Utah, playing pool basketball with a bunch of dudes who probably have the #45 jersey in their closet. What a time to be alive.
But let me zoom out for second and put this into a larger perspective for you, and just how big of a deal it was for Donovan Mitchell to attend this party.
Let’s go back to July 4th 2017. I’d almost be willing to bet that there isn’t anything specific that comes to mind for you, especially Utah Jazz related. But trust me, there is.
Exactly 365 days ago a certain Utah Jazz player, not named Donovan Mitchell, made a big splash and it looked as if this news could potentially set the franchise back significantly for many years to come.
That man was Gordon Hayward, who announced that after seven years as the face of the Utah Jazz, who was headed to the Northeast to play for his former college head coach Brad Stevens and the Boston Celtics.
You want to talk about a party foul. Imagine how different this party might have looked one year agofor these fans. Coming off their first playoff appearance since 2011-12 where they were swept in the first round by the Spurs, it looked like something special was finally happening in Utah. A storied franchise who had taken a turn south for a few years, was finally emerging back to relevance on the NBA scene, only to have it ripped out from underneath them by Gordon Hayward.
But 365 days can change a lot.
The former 13th overall pick, who no one saw doing what he did, became an overnight celebrity and one of the newest rising stars in the NBA. Not only did he average over 20 points a game, but he helped lead this Jazz team back to the playoffs, even when every said they couldn’t, and even won a series.
Showing up at a pool party seems insignficant on the surface, but this moment for Utah Jazz fans was bigger than you could imagine, and I though I wouldn’t have expected it, now that it’s happened I’m ashamed for doubting Spida. Donovan Mitchell’s simple act of kindness has brought the healing and trauma of losing a star player to free agency to an end, and only brightened the horizon for the Utah Jazz.
Needless to say, Utah fans you’ve got a special one here.
P.S. Donnie – Why don’t you come hang out at my place next year for the Fourth? The door’s always open.