Utah Jazz Notes: Mitchell on SportsCenter, Favors/Hood updates, Gary Payton comments

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 10: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz during the game against the Washington Wizards on January 10, 2018 at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 10: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz during the game against the Washington Wizards on January 10, 2018 at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

In a break between the third and fourth games of the Utah Jazz’s current road trip, some interesting bits of news have surfaced.

Donovan Mitchell SportsCenter appearance

Rookie Donovan Mitchell has been far and above the most exciting story line for the Utah Jazz this season. The electrifying guard out of Louisville leads all rookies and his own team in scoring and, despite the fact that Ben Simmons has been the frontrunner for the Rookie of the Year Award all season long, Mitchell has certainly forced his way into the conversation.

And it’s not just Jazz fans who have taken notice of his spectacular play. Rather, his sensational playmaking and thrilling dunks have found themselves all over sports highlight reels this season and several star-caliber NBA players have sung his praises. The publicity couldn’t be better for Mitchell nor for the Utah Jazz as a whole.

And that recognition is only set to continue as it was announced today that Donovan Mitchell will make an appearance on ESPN’s SportsCenter tonight at 10:00 PM Mountain Time with Scott Van Pelt. The rookie is always such a fun and energetic interview and I’m partial to Van Pelt as a host myself, so it’s a segment I’m definitely looking forward to tuning in for.

Derrick Favors injury status

Derrick Favors sat out for Utah’s latest win over the Washington Wizards with a right ankle sprain. Some had speculated that it may have something to do with his likelihood to be traded, but in actuality, the timing of him missing Wednesday’s bout was probably just a coincidence.

And it looks like there’s a good chance that Favors won’t be out for long as he’s been listed as probable for tomorrow’s contest against the Charlotte Hornets. Whether or not the Jazz end up making a Favors trade, it’s almost certain that they’ll want him in action to help their chances of winning while he’s still on the roster as well as to showcase what he can do to potential suitors.

Rodney Hood update

Rodney Hood had a shocking moment last night that went viral and took social media by storm. No, it wasn’t a great play on the court unfortunately. Instead it was as he went to the locker room after being ejected from the game due to receiving a pair of technical fouls. As he walked off the court, he slapped a phone out of a fan’s hands as you can see in the video below:

Somewhat comical, yes, but certainly not a good look for Hood. And you can bet that a fine will soon be incoming. Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune also provided the following update today, so you can bet the league’s verdict on Hood’s punishment will be forthcoming relatively soon.

Gary Payton comments on John Stockton and Karl Malone

Although John Stockton and former Seattle Supersonics great Gary Payton never exhibited any inkling of friendship with one another while facing off on the court, it turns out that there was likely a better relationship between the two than might have met the eye. In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, Payton had some high praise for Stockton as well as his Jazz teammate Karl Malone.

First, Payton claimed that if captains had selected All-Star teammates back in the day as is going to be the process this season, he would have liked to pick John Stockton to be on his team. After that, he went on to describe what were his most memorable takeaways from playing in All-Star Games and part of his response included the following great quote:

"That was a big thing about it for me, the friendships. I became real good friends with John Stockton and Karl Malone and am still good friends with them to this day. It was always good to go see them and then play with them in the 1996 Olympics as well. I idolized John Stockton at the time, I tried to model my game after him."

That’s a pretty cool thing to hear from Payton about Utah’s most legendary point guard. This is far from the first time that Payton has had high praise for Stockton as Stockton was one of the presenters at his Hall of Fame ceremony and the Sonics great had plenty of cool things to say about him at the time, including that Stockton was harder to guard than Michael Jordan.

To check out several more of the memorable quotes that Gary Payton had about John Stockton, be sure to check out the CBS Sports article at this link here.

Next: Utah Jazz-Wizards react: Ekpe Udoh leads bounce-back effort

Despite a somewhat disappointing 2017-18 season for the Utah Jazz so far, there’s been plenty of excitement on and off the court to help fans get by. The Jazz will be back in action tomorrow night as they finish off a four-game road trip against the Charlotte Hornets at 5:00 PM MT.