While unfortunately it appears unlikely Donovan Mitchell will win 2018 NBA Rookie of the Year, he absolutely deserves to be in the discussion.
Don’t tell that to Ben Simmons, though.
The Philadelphia 76ers forward, who is the favorite for the prize, apparently doesn’t think much of the Louisville product who has the Utah Jazz currently in fourth place in the competitive Western Conference.
Simmons is averaging 16 points, 8.2 assists and 8.1 rebounds for the 76ers, who are third place in the Eastern Conference.
Meanwhile, Mitchell is averaging 20.5 points and was the fastest rookie in NBA history to convert 150 3-pointers.
Still, Simmons doesn’t believe it’s a contest and was blunt when asked his opinion for rookie of the year.
“Who would I pick? Me, 100 percent,” Simmons said to ESPN. “I think I have been playing solid all year. If you look at the numbers, you will see. People who know the game know.”
Simmons took it a step further regarding if any other rookies have caught his eye.
“None,” Simmons said to ESPN. “I want to be where the greats are. So, for me, I watch the guys like [Kevin Durant], [LeBron James], [Stephen] Curry, Russell [Westbrook]. Guys like that. That’s where I want to be. I think for me, that’s what I love to watch.”
This can definitely be construed as an insult to Mitchell yet Simmons doesn’t want to hear it.
“I don’t really listen to comparisons,” Simmons said. “You can compare players and whatever it is, but at the same time, everybody is their own player.”
Mitchell has previously stated that the success of the Jazz is more important than any individual accomplishment.
“If I win Rookie of the Year and we make the Finals, I’m not going to be thinking about the award,” Mitchell said.
But if this cryptic tweet hours after Simmons’ comments is any indication, Mitchell definitely believes in his self-worth.
— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) April 9, 2018
Well done, Spida.