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Jazz star Donovan Mitchell dishes on upcoming season, shares love of Utah

FILE PHOTO -- Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell at team practice (Photo: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Jazz star Donovan Mitchel is dismissing worries about a “sophomore slump,” preparing for the upcoming season, and expressing his love for the state of Utah.

Mitchell, who had a phenomenal rookie season, says he and the rest of the team just aren’t listening to the haters.

“I’m not really here to worry about what’s being said or whatnot, because to be honest, last year at this time, we weren’t supposed to make the playoffs,” explains Mitchell. “If I start listening now, what does that say about me as a person?”

Mitchell says he’s looking forward to his second year on the court, and a league who knows him better.

“Being able to understand that there’s a difference in how people are going to play me this year, how they’re going to guard me,” says Mitchell.

Mitchell has watched nearly all the film of last year’s season, and it’s giving him perspective.

“For me, just being able to make adjustments,” says Mitchell. “I understand that’s not going to be easier, it’s going to be a lot harder.”

Utah’s love affair with Mitchell — for his playing on the court and his antics off the court — is something of a mutual attraction. He has been spotted at various places and events across the state, including college football games. He says he wants to explore the state and be accessible to the community.

“As a young kid, I wanted to have the opportunity to meet my favorite player or somebody who was on a professional team,” says Mitchell. “To be able to give the kids, and whoever it may be, the opportunity, it means a lot to me.”

Mitchell adds living alone affords him more opportunities to get out and attend events across the state. But says that will likely change as the upcoming season approaches.

Mitchell made the comments at a Jazz media day yesterday.