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Report: Donovan Mitchell furious at Jazz decision to sit him Game 1 vs. Grizzlies

Donovan Mitchell in Jazz-Grizzlies Game 1

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MAY 23: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz looks on during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies during Round 1, Game 1 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on May 23, 2021 at vivint.SmartHome Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Jazz coach Quin Snyder – explaining sitting Donovan Mitchell (ankle injury) for Game 1 of Utah’s first-round series against the Grizzlies yesterday – said, “In Donovan’s case, being the competitor that he is, always wants to play.”

That might have been an understatement.

Brian Windhorst and Tim MacMahon of ESPN:

Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell was incensed at the late decision to scratch him from Sunday’s playoff opener and it deepened tensions with the team regarding his recovery from a right ankle sprain, sources told ESPN.

Mitchell has been out since April 16, longer than was initially expected. After he progressed slowly in the early stages of recovery, Mitchell began to work with his personal training staff on the rehabilitation, sources said.

The Jazz sitting Mitchell was certainly peculiar. They didn’t even list him on their injury report Saturday or early Sunday.

But I have a tough time believing there will be lasting tension between Mitchell and the organization.

He got over his feud with Rudy Gobert, after all. Mitchell has generally shown a great attitude and professionalism. Locked into a max contract extension for the next four years, Mitchell has only so much recourse, anyway.

Mitchell – who missed the last 16 games of the regular season – is clearly close to returning. He could play in Game 2 Wednesday.

Obviously, this situation is even more strained that it initially appeared. Mitchell working with his own training staff indicates distrust with the team. That can lead to significant discord.

But once he returns to the court, Mitchell will have an easier time putting this behind him.