Kings

Davion cites Steph when discussing heart of smaller players

Kings
Davion and Steph
  • Programming note: Watch the full interview with Davion Mitchell on "Kings Central" at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 20 on NBC Sports California.

Davion Mitchell is the smallest player on the Kings' roster, but he might have the biggest heart of anyone on the team.

Listed at 6 feet, the rookie guard has a fire and tenacity that allows him to play bigger than his stature.

Despite his size, Mitchell was one of the best defensive players in the 2021 NBA Draft, and that was a big reason the Kings used the No. 9 overall pick on the Baylor star.

During an interview with NBC Sports California's Kyle Draper on "Kings Central," Mitchell evaluated how being undersized has impacted him on the court. While discussing the topic, the 23-year-old cited another undersized player, who just happened to break the NBA's all-time record for 3-pointers in a career last Tuesday.

"It doesn't really bother me at all," Mitchell told Draper. "I've kind of been small like this all my life. I've learned how to play small. You can't really change anything, so I've got no control over it. I learned how to play small and I just got to deal with it. You just got to have heart. Size don't matter. Height don't matter. Everyone knows that.

"Stephen Curry is one of the greatest point guards of all time. He's one of the skinniest guys, so it doesn't really matter how tall you are. It's just how much confidence you got and how much heart you got."

Mitchell currently is in the NBA's health and safety protocol, so he won't get a chance to defend Curry on Monday night when the Kings travel to San Francisco to take on the Warriors at Chase Center.

 

Curry is 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, and once upon a time, he entered the NBA with talent evaluators doubting whether he'd be able to carve out a successful professional career. Not only has Curry proved everyone wrong, but he's going to go down as one of the greatest players in the history of the sport. Against the New York Knicks last Tuesday, he broke Ray Allen's record for most 3-pointers, and the Warriors star soon will become the first player ever to reach 3,000 3-pointers.

Mitchell doesn't have the offensive game that Curry has, but the rookie has the ability to be an elite defensive player in the NBA. In September, Kings teammates De'Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton spoke to reporters about how Mitchell's work ethic had impressed them.

Mitchell told Draper that he credits his entire family, from his parents to uncles to his grandmother, for instilling that work ethic in him.

RELATED: Curry impressed by "offensive assassin" Mitchell

Mitchell isn't the focus of the Kings' offense yet, but he's averaging 9.7 points, 3.6 assists and 2.6 rebounds in 25.7 minutes over 29 games this season.

It's unfair to expect anyone to reach the heights Curry has set, but with his heart and work ethic, Mitchell has the potential to be a star in the NBA in a few years.