This article was first published as the Jazz Insiders newsletter. Sign up to receive the newsletter in your inbox each Friday.

The first NBA player that Donovan Mitchell ever met probably isn’t who you’d think it would be or for the reason you would think he’d meet an NBA player.

Mitchell famously has very large feet. He said that around 11 years old his age started to match his feet — when he was 12 he wore a size 12 and so on.

“It was tough for my mom to find shoes,” Mitchell said.

Luckily, the Mitchell family had a few connections. The New York Knicks equipment manager was a friend of the family, and Eddy Curry, who played for the Knicks from 2005 to 2010 had a ton of shoes and was willing to part with them for a young basketball player on the rise.

“He had boxes upon boxes, so instead of my mom going out and buying stuff, I was wearing Eddy Curry’s shoes at age 13 or 14,” Mitchell said. “I understand why he had a plethora of so many shoes because I go through the same thing.”

Related
Analysis: LeBron James, Lakers send Jazz into All-Star break on losing note
What did the Jazz players say after the loss to the Lakers?

Now an NBA star with his own signature Adidas shoe, Mitchell gives away his shoes the same way that Curry did back when Mitchell was an awkward growing teen in prep school, wearing big, bright colored shoes with his khaki school uniform while everyone else was in normal-sized dress shoes.

“I am out here wearing these bright (expletive) orange Kobes and all that other stuff,” Mitchell said with a laugh. “It was great because they were free.”

In case you were wondering, eventually Mitchell’s feet did stop growing. He wore a size 17 for a while, but now wears a custom size 15 with a 16 base.

New with the Jazz

Related
Jazz enter All-Star break on the heels of a loss and have many questions to answer when they return

Stat of the week

Mitchell scored 37 points against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night, just two points off his season-high 39 points, notched on Dec. 31, 2021, against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Mitchell’s regular season career high is 46 points, which he’s done twice, once in the 2018-19 season and again in the 2019-20 season.

This week on ‘Unsalvageable’

Check out “Unsalvageable: A Utah Jazz Podcast,” hosted by Deseret News Utah Jazz beat reporter Sarah Todd and lifelong Jazz fan Greg Foster (no, not that Greg Foster). This week the crew reacts to the Jazz’s moves at the trade deadline and then on Saturday they’ll talk about the most recent loss to the Lakers and why it was the worst loss of the season.

New episodes come out every week. You can listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast and anywhere else you stream podcasts.

From the archives

Related
Danuel House on signing with the Jazz: ‘It’s the best feeling in the world’
Gold medalist Nathan Chen gets congratulatory message from Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell and other Olympics updates

This week in Jazz history

On Feb. 21, 1992, John Stockton became only the sixth NBA player ever to collect more than 7,000 career assists when he handed out 15 in a 124-97 Jazz win over Houston at the Delta Center. Stockton finished his career as the NBA’s all-time assist leader with 15,806, a record that still stands.

Extra points

  • Jazz sign Xavier Sneed to two-way deal (Deseret News)
  • Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert are All-Stars, but it’s the fans that shine (Deseret News)
  • How is Zaire Wade doing in his first season with the Salt Lake City Stars? (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Jazz lift Vivint Arena’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement (KSL.com)

Around the league

Anthony Davis to miss at least four weeks with foot sprain suffered against Jazz.

DeMar DeRozan is breaking records set by Wilt Chamberlain.

Up next

Feb. 25 | 7 p.m. | Utah Jazz vs. Dallas Mavericks | AT&T SportsNet

Feb. 27 | 1:30 p.m. | Utah Jazz @ Phoenix Suns | ABC