Donovan Mitchell was crushed after falling to the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night, a totally understandable reaction.
The Utah Jazz fought in perhaps the most entertaining series of the opening round of the postseason at Walt Disney World, and Mitchell shined — putting up two 50-point games while dueling with Nuggets guard Jamal Murray.
Falling in Game 7 of that series, by just two points after a missed buzzer-beater, makes that feeling even worse.
Yet after the game, Mitchell was quick to put his pain in perspective.
‘This is a game’
Mitchell once again spoke out about social justice and police brutality on Tuesday night. The pain he is feeling, the 23-year-old said, is nothing compared to what families of people like Jacob Blake or George Floyd or Breonna Taylor are feeling.
“The pain that’s on my face right now and the way I feel, I can only imagine what’s going through these victim’s families,” Mitchell said. “I know I’m probably going to go back there and cry again and s--t, but … this is a game. People lost their family members to police brutality and racism and s--t. I can only imagine. I wanted to say that. I wanted to get that out there because the way that I’m feeling right now is nothing compared to that.”
“This is a game. People lost their family members to police brutality and racism and s---. I can only imagine. The way that I’m feeling right now is nothing compared to that.”
—Donovan Mitchell after losing Game 7 pic.twitter.com/7FknsLtStX
— ESPN (@espn) September 2, 2020
That message has been front and center not only in the NBA over the past week, but also in this series specifically. Murray gave an extremely emotional interview immediately after Denver’s Game 6 win on TNT while wearing shoes featuring Floyd’s and Taylor’s face on them.
“It’s an emotional thing, because it’s not just me. There’s so many other guys, as you can tell,” Murray said on Sunday. “It’s lives. It’s your life. Imagine losing your life. Imagine a father losing their life while they have kids. Imagine a father, a son, brother getting shot seven times in front of their kids. Imagine that.
“Like I said, least I can do is go out there and play and fight for something. That’s what I’m trying to do.”
With the loss, Mitchell’s season is now over and he’ll head back to Utah in the coming days.
But seeing how everyone else in the league took a stand over the past week, and is continuing to do so, left quite the impression on him.
“I appreciate the NBA and everybody in this league for continuing to push that message, because it’s not stopping,” Mitchell said.
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