SALT LAKE CITY — Media requests to speak with Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell are becoming as common as the abundant mountain peaks of Utah.
To avoid media burnout from the rising star, members of the Jazz communications staff are starting to be more careful about granting exclusive access.
ESPN, “The Worldwide Leader in Sports,” certainly wasn’t left off the list as the NBA’s top-scoring rookie made an appearance Thursday night on SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt.
The 21-year-old displayed humility and his million-dollar smile that Jazz fans have grown accustomed to since landing him in the draft.
Mitchell, a native of Greenwich, Connecticut, appeared humbled and relaxed on the national stage talking about his first-year transition.
“Yeah, every day is a surprise for me," Mitchell said. "Just being in the NBA is crazy and also after every bucket that I make or every pass it’s kind of like, ‘Woah, I just did that.’ It’s been awesome.”
Mitchell cited his postgame conversations with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade after the Cleveland Cavaliers game and his chat with Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony against the Oklahoma City Thunder as his most memorable moments thus far.
“My teammates get on me about it about being in awe when I saw those guys but it’s definitely a pretty crazy moment for me,” Mitchell said, smiling.
Before concluding the interview, Mitchell didn’t hesitate to give a shout-out to his mother, Nicole, and sister, Jordan, on the big stage while encouraging children to listen to their family.
“I hope all the kids out there who don’t like listening to their mothers, who yell and scream at them, that moms are always right just so you guys know,” Mitchell said.
Utah (17-24) will conclude a four-game road trip Friday at Charlotte after a 107-104 victory in Washington Wednesday night. Mitchell is averaging a team-high 18.4 points per game.