The hottest topic of the 2022 offseason in the Miami Heat‘s corner of the hardwood universe was Pat Riley’s pursuit of another established star to transform the team’s Jimmy Butler-Bam Adebayo core into a legitimate top three. To that end, Donovan Mitchell was one of the players most namechecked as a Heat target.
Ultimately, Mitchell’s previous team — the Utah Jazz — elected to send the now four-time All-Star to the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, according to Five Reasons Sports’ Ethan Skolnick, there were also concerns on Mitchell’s part about his fit next to Butler.
“Donovan Mitchell, for all the talk about him — yes, he wanted to play with Bam — we heard that he was a little bit concerned about playing with Jimmy,” Skolnick said on the Hangover Time Postgame Show on Monday night. “So, that’s one of the reasons he didn’t ask [to go to Miami]… That’s why he didn’t go over the line to push for it.”
Mitchell caught wind of Skolnick’s remarks on the day after Miami’s 119-115 win over the Jazz and, well… his response was not positive.
Donovan Mitchell Speaks His Truth Amid Jimmy Butler Rumors
Skolnick’s statement regarding Mitchell, Butler and the Heat was picked up and put on blast by the folks over @TheNBACentral via Twitter on Tuesday afternoon. Shortly thereafter, the Cavs star quote-tweeted the post in question and added the following commentary on the story:
“We live in a world where you can just say anything and it just be true smh [facepalm emoji].”
It was one of the strongest denials (without actually denying what was said) that you’ll see from the baller. Clearly, Mitchell — who lets stories like this lie more often than not — felt strongly that he needed to acknowledge what was said and discredit it. Whether it’s true or not, though, the 26-year-old probably ended up with the right team from an individual standpoint.
In 59 games with the Cavs this season, Mitchell is averaging a career-best 27.6 points per contest on an effective field-goal percentage of 56.7 (another career high). He stole headlines in January by scoring 71 points during a win over the Chicago Bulls.
Meanwhile, his Cavs are close to locking up home-court advantage in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
Alonzo Mourning Speaks Out on Heat-Knicks Rivalry of the ’90s
Heat legend Alonzo Mourning just put out something of a career retrospective for The Players’ Tribune in the form of a letter to his younger self. In doing so, the 53-year-old — who won a championship with the club in 2006 — touched on a number of Heat-related topics.
Here is what he said about Miami’s infamous playoff battles with the New York Knicks during his ’90s heyday:
Brawls will happen.
There will be a bunch of them over the course of four consecutive playoff matchups. Dudes will be getting flipped into the stands. Punches getting thrown. Players getting tackled. You name it. Just brawl after brawl. And I’m not going to say whose fault it all was. But, I mean….
It was definitely the Knicks’ fault. Hahaha.
You’re going to love every second of it, though. That type of fierce competition is going to raise the hair on the back of your neck, and you’ll have so much fun in those moments. Before each new season, you’re going to grab a bright red sharpie, pull out your calendar, and draw a giant X on the dates of all the Knicks games. You’ll count down the days to those matchups and make sure you’re ready to bring your A-game on those nights for sure.