- Programming note: Watch the full interview with Davion Mitchell on "Kings Central" at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 20 on NBC Sports California.
Every rookie coming into the NBA has that game where they wake up and realize they’re in the big leagues.
For Kings rookie Davion Mitchell, it was coming face-to-face with Steph Curry when Sacramento hosted Golden State for the first time of the 2021-22 season at Golden 1 Center on Oct. 24.
“I didn’t know what the welcome to the NBA moment was, I didn’t know if it was good or bad… Stephen Curry did cross me up when we played them and I was like ‘oh yeah, this is Stephen Curry’,” Mitchell told Kyle Draper on Kings Central. “I knew he had handles, but I didn’t know he had that much handles. He got me, I’m not going to lie.”
But the 23-year-old point guard didn’t let a crossover from Steph impact his game.
In fact, both guards put on a show during the California showdown.
The No. 9 overall draft pick was one assist away from a double-double, finishing with 22 points on 9-of-16 shooting off the bench.
Meanwhile, Curry had a game-high 27 points on 9-of-23 shooting and 10 dishes.
The Warriors ended up on top, with a final score of 119-107.
After the game, Curry talked about his first matchup with Mitchell and his impressions of the young point guard.
"All that hype about his defense, the man was an offensive assassin tonight," Curry told reporters after the win. "I wasn't sure he had that in that tank. But he has, again, a knack for on-ball presence and, obviously, the way we play, you've got to do both, so I'm sure he felt a little bit of that. But, just the confidence of a guy coming in -- it's his third game in the league -- he has a lot of room to grow, but you can tell he has all the tools in the kit to be a defensive stopper. Just a pest out there, in the best of ways."
From a wake-up call to words of wisdom from Steph, Mitchell was appreciative of the comments.
But guarding Steph was an unforgettable experience, and just as memorable.
“It means a lot man, especially from one of the greatest point guards of all time talking about you, it’s a blessing,” Mitchell said. All the work you’re putting in, it’s showing and they see it… but for me, guarding him was an amazing feeling. Even though we lost, it was just an amazing feeling to guard Stephen Curry.”
The two guards will meet one more time this calendar year when Golden State hosts Sacramento on Monday at Chase Center.