Donovan Mitchell Sounds Off on MVP Race in NSFW Message Before All-Star Game

Donovan Mitchell Cleveland Cavaliers

Getty Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have an MVP candidate on their team for the first time in over half a decade. Tied for tenth in MVP odds on Fanduel, Donovan Mitchell is the closest Cavalier to the award since LeBron James was leading the charge in the mid-2010s.

But Mitchell has his sights set on another player for the award. When asked about his chances and desire to win MVP, Mitchell quickly deflected to Nikola Jokic, the league’s two-time reigning MVP.

According to Mitchell, Jokic has once again set the bar so high with regard to what a player can (and shouldn’t be) capable of:

“I don’t know if you’ve all been watching what Jokic’s been doing. It’s f****** outrageous, to be honest. I don’t know how many people have won it 3 times in a row, but he’s otherworldly right now.”

Jokic is the engine behind the Denver Nuggets’ Western Conference-leading juggernaut. At 10.1 assists per game, Jokic is resetting expectations for the center position with his vision and basketball acumen.

Mitchell Praises Embiid in All-Star Discussion

The MVP race has come down to two names over the last two seasons: Jokic and Sixers star Joel Embiid. Giannis Antetokounmpo was an also-ran last season, though finished a distant third behind Embiid and Jokic.

And in his pitch on MVP favorites, Mitchell was sure to send some love on Philadelphia’s ‘disrespected‘ MVP candidate.

“I think Joel needs to be highly regarded as well. I think he gets highly disrespected. He’s a guy that consistently, every night, puts on for his group. And even in the past year with the whole Ben (Simmons) situation, not knowing who was going to be on the floor, and he continues to carry his team. I think he deserves a lot of respect in that race (the MVP race) as well,” Mitchell said during his NBA All-Star Media Day press conference.

Evidently, Mitchell’s peers agree. Embiid was selected first overall among the All-Star starters by Team LeBron on Sunday night. Jokic, for his part, was one of the last two names selected.

Mitchell also got a recent look at Embiid before the All-Star Break. Last week, the Cavaliers squared off against the Sixers. Though Philly led by as many as 28 points during the game, the Cavs clawed their way back to make things interesting late. Unfortunately for Cleveland, however, the rally fell just short, with the Sixers taking the win 118-112.

Bickerstaff Sounds Off After Sixers Mishap

After the Sixers debacle, Cavs head coach JB Bickerstaff didn’t sound too worried about the near-blowout loss, instead praising the team’s work to overcome adversity.

“That’s who this group is,” Bickerstaff explained. “We’ve been through ups and downs, but our guys have never quit on each other. And I never expect them to. They care about each other too much, they believe in each other too much, and they just want to go out and do right by one another.”

The Cavaliers were one of the league’s hottest teams entering that contest against the Sixers, winners of seven straight.

With any luck, that momentum carries into the late-season stretch and playoffs, and the Kevin Love buyout saga that came to an end over the weekend doesn’t become a major distraction.