A week ago, there was some concern that All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell might be considering not joining his Utah Jazz teammates in Orlando for the resumption of the NBA season.
A few Instagram posts later, however, and there no longer seems to be any question that Mitchell is going to Disney World.
The third-year guard’s Instagram account featured a picture of him and teammate Royce O’Neale sitting down in a room playing video games — while properly social distancing, of course. The caption to the pic reads, “What we finna look like in Orlando.”
Meanwhile, a photo on the IG page of Jazz sixth man Jordan Clarkson showed him on a basketball court with Mitchell, with the accompanying message, “it will be only one reasons [sic] we going to disney for…one goal, one reason……” followed by a championship trophy emoji.
Mitchell replied with the comment, “YKTV BRODIE” — YKTV being an acronym for “You know the vibe.”
A third Instagram post, this one from the account “brkicks,” included a short video of Mitchell hooping at the Sports Academy in Newbury Park, Calif. Another post, from the “Dreamers” page, had several photos and videos of Mitchell playing there alongside Jazz teammates O’Neale, Clarkson, Miye Oni and Rayjon Tucker.
So, that would seem to settle that.
You can breathe easy again, Jazz fans. All those fears that a team already coming back without the surgically-repaired Bojan Bogdanovic might now also be without its other top scorer can apparently be laid to rest. It appears the NBA’s restarted season will include Mitchell.
They originated late last Friday night when Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that 80-some-odd players got together on a Zoom call organized by Nets star Kyrie Irving to discuss the possibility of not going along with the plan put in place for the NBA’s return.
Some players do not want basketball to detract from the social and racial justice movements taking place across the country. Others expressed nervousness about the campus “bubble” being in Orlando, which has re-emerged as a coronavirus hot spot recently. Mitchell, meanwhile, reportedly was among those of the opinion that the oddball training circumstances and the condensed schedule to follow pose an incredible injury risk, especially to players like himself, who are eligible for lucrative contract extensions this coming offseason.
Perhaps it was putting words in his mouth, but the implication from that Athletic report was that Mitchell was among those who “spoke out about possibly sitting out due to social/COVID-19 issues,” as Charania put it. Yahoo’s Chris Haynes and Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks also quoted sources as saying that Mitchell was concerned about the risk of injury. Haynes added that Mitchell expressed that the league’s younger players had not had enough of a voice in the negotiating process up to that point.
Then again, observers have mostly been left to trying to read between the lines of his increasingly rare social media posts, as Mitchell has repeatedly declined interview requests made through both the Jazz as well as his agency.
That being the case, Mitchell using the words “in Orlando” on social media is about as definitive as it gets right now.