Donovan Mitchell had a stellar All-Star weekend to say the least. He rose to the occasion after originally being snubbed from the dunk contest. Aaron Gordon’s injury resulted in an invite as an alternate. The star nicknamed “Spider” Mitchell was a friendly neighborhood guy but it was all business when he shined in Hollywood’s basketball Mecca: the Staples Center.
On Friday night, Mitchell had a chance to shine in the rising stars challenge. He had to share the love with his other teammates but ultimately scored 7 points for Team USA that included a flashy off the backboard slam dunk. This helped him warm up for the slam dunk contest on All-Star Saturday night.
For the first dunk Mitchell brought in a higher hoop as a prop. He bounced the ball off one backboard and dunked it in the other mid air to one up his backboard dunk for the previous night.
Donovan’s other dunks included a tribute to former Jazz dunking great “Dr. Dunkenstein” Darrell Griffith, jumping over three people, and a Vince Carter tribute 360 windmill dunk that ended with Mitchell mimicking Carter, repeatedly saying “It’s over!”
Donovan faced stiff competition. Victor Oladipo came out in a Black Panther mask. Dennis Smith Jr. had arguably the best dunk of the night in his first dunk. Larry Nance Jr. paid a tribute to his father who happened to be the winner of the inaugural dunk contest. In the end though Donovan was consistent and came up clutch as he had so many times this season for the Utah Jazz.
He may not be The Amazing friendly neighborhood Spiderman yet but he is pretty close. The Jazz are now ranked 10th in the NBA power rankings so time will tell us whether Mitchell can build off the stellar All-Star weekend or if he has peaked this season.
Will rest prevail over rust after a week sabbatical? Find out this week when Mitchell faces Lillard and the Blazers! The former star Weber State guard is often compared to Mitchell which gives hope that Mitchell will one day also be performing in All Star weekend in the Sunday game as well.