Donovan Mitchell Hits Back At Danny Ainge Over Claim That Utah Jazz Players Didn’t Believe In Each Other

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Donovan Mitchell Hits Back At Danny Ainge Over Claim That Utah Jazz Players Didn’t Believe In Each Other


Last year, Danny Ainge stepped down from his role with the Boston Celtics and later decided to join the Utah Jazz as the new CEO of the team. As someone who knows how to shake the trade market, it didn’t take too long for Ainge to blow the Jazz up.

The Jazz have entered full rebuild mode this offseason and have clearly moved on from the partnership of Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. When Ainge explained his decision to rebuild, the 63-year old executive implied that the lack of belief among players played a lot of factor.



“What I saw during the season was a group of players that really didn’t believe in each other,” Ainge said. “I think individually they have resolve. I just don’t believe that collectively they did. So, we saw a lot of players trying to do it on their own, as the belief in one another wasn’t as great as other teams I’ve been on and around.”


The Jazz logged five seasons under the pairing of Gobert and Mitchell. The Jazz made the playoffs in each of the past five seasons, but never made it out past the second round.

While the Jazz just weren’t able to go over the hump, Mitchell, who is now an official member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, doesn’t think it’s because of Ainge’s assumption that his former team didn’t believe in each other.

Appearing in a recent interview, the former Jazz star said that it was not fair for Ainge to make such assumption after only being with the team for six months. Mitchell also defended his pairing with Gobert, backing themselves up as the No.1 pick-and-roll duo in the league last season.



“That’s his assumption after being around for six months, it’s easy to look at things from the outside in and get your own perception on stuff. Despite what the media reports, especially about me and Rudy like this, to be honest, it’s obvious what everybody talks about, granted, we had some differences.

But at the end of the day we were the number one pick-and-roll duo for a lot of last year, we were very efficient together on the floor. There was a lot of things that played into it that we just didn’t have success, you know? (…) I wouldn’t say this group didn’t believe each other. (…) I wouldn’t say that we didn’t believe in each other. I don’t think that’s fair after six months.”


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