Utah Jazz goalie Donovan Mitchell to skip the Olympics

His 2019 World Cup experience and the excellent playing seasons that followed earned him an invitation to the roster, but he retired to rest his injured right ankle.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Jazz goalie Donovan Mitchell (45) is slow to get up after being fouled by LA Clippers goalie Paul George (13) in Game 2 of the Western Conference semi-finals at Vivint Arena, Thursday, June 10, 2021.

Several Utah Jazz players have signed up or expressed interest in the national team ahead of the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Donovan Mitchell apparently won’t be one of them.

The All-Star goalie – whose reputation continued to climb with another stellar playoff performance – was offered a spot on the U.S. squad, but declined, preferring to use the time to rehabilitate his sprained ankle. right, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed at Salt Lake City Grandstand Monday afternoon.

ESPN’s Adrain Wojnarowski was the first to report the news.

Mitchell was one of the main players in the much-maligned Team USA which failed to win a World Cup medal in the summer of 2019, when all of the NBA’s top stars retired.

His participation that year made him endearing to the organizational leaders of USA Basketball. That, combined with Mitchell’s next two seasons (and playoffs) of intensive play, apparently led to a bid for one of that Olympic team’s 12 spots.

However, Mitchell suffered a sprained ankle at the end of the 2020-21 season that cost him the last 16 games of the campaign. He ended up playing in 10 of Utah’s 11 playoff games, but appeared to worsen the injury following a collision with the Clippers’ Paul George in the dying seconds of Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinal. .

Michell, who limped noticeably during Friday’s loss to Los Angeles, appeared to telegraph his Olympic decision the day after Game 6.

“This summer is going to be a little different,” he said, “because I’m obviously injured, so I’m definitely going to try to readjust first and get ready for next season.”

The already condensed offseason also appears to be a factor in his decision, as these playoffs are not expected to end until mid-July, while next season will revert to the traditional NBA schedule, with training camps kicking off. end of September. /beginning of October.


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