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Utah lawmakers introduce resolution recognizing Donovan Mitchell

FILE: Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) draws the foul from New Orleans Pelicans guard Eric Bledsoe (5) at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY —  Shaquille O’Neal may not, but the Utah House of Representatives has Utah Jazz All-Star Donovan Mitchell’s back, and this week is officially recognizing Mitchell for his contributions to the state of Utah with a formal resolution.

The tongue-in-cheek resolution is in response to halftime comments made by O’Neal on Jan. 21, indicating Shaq’s belief that Mitchell doesn’t have what it takes to be a superstar. Mitchell would score 36 points in the game that night and lead the Jazz to a win over the Pelicans, followed by an uncomfortable exchange between the commentator and Mitchell.

Resolution recognizes Mitchell, a.k.a. “Spida”

Rep. Kera Birkeland, R-Morgan, introduced the resolution, citing what she called Mitchell’s exemplary service to the Utah Jazz and the Utah community. 

“In Utah, we support our players when they face awkward abuse during post-game interviews disguised as pep talks,” the resolution reads.

Among the resolution’s playful “whereas” statements, Utah lawmakers point out that the Utah Jazz beat Shaq and the Lakers in the 1997 and 1998 playoffs and that Shaq’s movie, “Kazaam” has a 5% rating on the film rating webpage Rotten Tomatoes.

The resolution playfully makes “Spida,” Mitchell’s nickname, the official arachnid for Utah. 

And it wraps up noting both Mitchell’s and O’Neal’s charitable contributions.

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