Donovan Mitchell

Donovan Mitchell wears another dumb sweatshirt shading Ben Simmons

Donovan Mitchell wears another dumb sweatshirt shading Ben Simmons

Perhaps the best part of Tuesday's Rookie of the Year kerfuffle started by Utah's Donovan Mitchell was Ben Simmons' response to it.

"I'm not going to wear a sweatshirt tomorrow though," Simmons dropped the mic with.

And you know who did wear a sweatshirt today? Donovan Mitchell.

The Jazz shared a photo of Mitchell on the final day of the NBA season wearing a red sweatshirt with "ROOKIE?" on it.

Simmons was not available for comment at the time of this posting because the Sixers were up 39 over the Bucks in the third quarter.

You'll notice it has an Adidas logo on it.

Clearly, Adidas is attempting to get some extra buzz. They also are commenting about it on Instagram.

Joel Embiid shows support for Sixers, himself with awards rant

Joel Embiid shows support for Sixers, himself with awards rant

Joel Embiid hadn’t talked to the media for awhile. He had a lot to get off his chest.

Wearing a black mask after working out before the Sixers’ regular-season finale against the Bucks, Embiid answered questions about his health heading into the postseason. He said it’s “unlikely” he’ll play in Game 1 of the first round (see story).

He also shared his seemingly unfiltered thoughts on a number of other topics, ranging from why he thinks Ben Simmons should be the Rookie of the Year, to why he should win Defensive Player of the Year.

Embiid’s mini-rant started with a question about his take on the Rookie of the Year race.

“Honestly, first of all, I think what they’ve got going on is pretty funny,” Embiid said of the tension between Ben Simmons and Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell (see story).

“A lot of people might have a different definition of what’s a rookie … it happened with me last year, there was a lot of talk about whether I was a rookie or not.”

But Embiid clearly wasn’t persuaded by Mitchell’s sweatshirt and its apparent argument that Simmons, who missed last season with a right foot fracture, somehow has an unfair advantage.

“I remember when I was out, I didn’t get to practice, I didn’t get to be with the team as much, didn’t really get to work out,” he said.

“Ben is the clear-cut guy for that award.”

For the record, Mitchell is averaging 20.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game, while Simmons is posting 15.9 points, 8.2 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game. Simmons has averaged a triple-double during the Sixers’ 15-game winning streak.

Next, Embiid was simply asked if there was anything else he wanted to talk about. Yes … yes, he did.

“I feel like starting with Coach [Brett Brown] taking the team, last year we won [28] games, people don’t really put him up there for Coach of the Year,” Embiid said. “I think it’s absurd. I think he’s amazing.”

He then seamlessly transitioned into an argument for his own Defensive Player of the Year candidacy.

“It is what is, [the media] has a lot of say in it, but I think he should be the Coach of the Year, Ben should be Rookie of the Year, and I should be the Defensive Player of the Year because I feel like all year long we’ve done it,” Embiid said. “My teammates have helped me a lot and I’m in this situation because of them. I give them a lot of credit. But I still feel like I’ve been the best defensive player in the league this year.

“Last year, I kind of had the knock on me of not playing a lot of games, but this year I’ve played a lot of games, so I don’t know what excuse they’re going to find next.”

Anything else Embiid wanted to air out? Of course.

“I think we got a pretty good chance,” he continued. “At the end of the day, it’s all about winning, and that’s what we did this year, getting to the playoffs and next year … and what else? I should be first-team All-NBA, too. I think I’ve been the best center in the league and I’ve proved it.

“I’ve seen a lot of people put Anthony Davis, but I think he’s a four. He’s had a great season and I have a lot of respect for Anthony Davis, but I think he’s a forward. But I’m glad this season’s about to be over. We got one game more, and now we got our sights on the playoffs.”

Donovan Mitchell takes really weak shot at Ben Simmons

Donovan Mitchell takes really weak shot at Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons never played a second last season, nor did he ever come close to suiting up for a regular-season game. 

He was injured on the final day of training camp.

He's 21 years old, the same age as Donovan Mitchell.

This season is Simmons' first of NBA competition, therefore he is considered a rookie by the NBA.

Believe it or not, these rules weren't just implemented. Blake Griffin actually won 2010-11 Rookie of the Year after missing all of 2009-10 with an injury.

Really, this isn't anything new.

But Mitchell, considered Simmons' top competition for this season's Rookie of the Year, tried taking a shot at the Sixers' 6-foot-10 point guard when he arrived to the arena Tuesday prior to the Jazz's game.

He wore a custom-made sweatshirt with the definition of "rookie" featured on the front.

Pretty flawed.

Let's highlight some key words from our trusty online dictionaries.

Google definition
• A member of an athletic team in his or her first full season in that sport.

Merriam-Webster definition
• A first-year participant in a major professional sport. definition
• An athlete playing his or her first season as a member of a professional sports team. astutely pointed this out to Mitchell:

Simmons also responded:

The Phillies also had some fun:

Mitchell later claimed he's not concerned with Simmons' belief that the first-year Sixer is "100 percent" worthy of the honor.

Mitchell's comments to ESPN were interesting to say the least …

I really don't care. The biggest thing for me is that we're in the fourth seed and fighting for the third seed. If I'm worrying about individual awards, I'm giving up on my teammates and what we're trying to build here. Clearly, I'm not the one losing sleep over this. I don't care.

I'll say this. I'll put it in perspective for people who obviously don't play in the NBA and don't know the life of the NBA. So, let's say you have an exam to take on June 1 and you have a whole year to study for that exam, you're going to get a pretty good grade on it, aren't you? But some people may not have all that time to prepare for that exam. So, that's how I look at it and I hope that puts it in perspective for people. But at the end of the day, we're in the fourth seed. I got the Defensive Player of the Year and the Coach of the Year on my team, so I'm happy.

Regardless of anyone's comments, there's no doubt Simmons' play has done plenty of talking.