Utah Jazz: Donovan Mitchell makes B/R’s Power 50 list

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 18: NBA player Donovan Mitchell attends the The 2018 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on July 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 18: NBA player Donovan Mitchell attends the The 2018 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on July 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images) /

Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell made headlines yet again by landing on the recently released Bleacher Report Power 50 list.

At this point it goes without saying, but just in case you were unsure, let me reiterate – Donovan Mitchell is a star.

He proved that by leading all rookies and his Utah Jazz teammates in scoring in his first year in the league. He proved that by winning the Dunk Contest. He proved that by earning the respect and attention of stars league-wide. He proved that by leading his team into the second round of the playoffs. And finally, he’s proved that all offseason long by being adored by fans, receiving the Players’ Voice Award for best rookie and earning the ESPY for best breakout athlete.

But it seems every time we blink, Mitchell is receiving more love from one place or another. This time, it was Bleacher Report that threw some major praise Donovan’s way.

In the debut release of the Bleacher Report Power 50, a list of the most influential people in sports culture right now, Mitchell found himself not only making the list, but also at the very top of the “Glow Up” category recognizing the best breakout stars in sportsdom. The only other NBA player joining him in that category was Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers.


The Power 50 story focused on Donovan Mitchell written by David Gardner praised Mitchell’s rapid ascension from a college athlete who was hesitant to declare for the draft to an almost instant star. More than that, though, the piece focused on how incredibly he’s been able to maintain a humble and positive disposition in spite of obstacles or overwhelming successes that have come his way.

The entire article is a must-read for Jazz fans, but I’ll highlight my two favorite parts here–

"The Jazz originally brought him to Salt Lake City for a courtesy workout—an opportunity for him to shake loose the jitters with a team that wouldn’t select him. He blew them away, and as he sat in the back of the car on the way to the airport, he texted his mother a picture of the mountains. He told her he loved Salt Lake City. A month later he was ecstatic as he watched the Jazz trade up to No. 13 to take him.When a team communications officer texted him the news that Gordon Hayward would be signing with the Celtics in free agency, Mitchell remained upbeat. And his attitude was contagious to the crowds who watched him play in the NBA Summer League and started anointing him an “MVP” before his first regular-season start. “How fans warmed to me, that really opened my eyes,” he said. “I didn’t know how passionate they were. I had no idea. On the night of the draft, my [Twitter] followers skyrocketed. The reception I got was overwhelming. Guys were playing to get contracts, but they were chanting my name.”"

And later–

"Even with all the attention, he has kept the humble attitude that made him so beloved. In early July, Mitchell made a surprise appearance in Salt Lake City for the Utah Jazz 3-on-3 Tournament. Hundreds of local players participate in the tournament, but on the sidelines Mitchell quickly became the main attraction. Before leaving, he stopped to say hello to several of the kids in attendance. “I just wanted to come by,” he told reporters. “I saw that it was here, and I thought it was pretty cool. If I was a kid, I would die if my hero came to this. I kind of wanted to be able to do that.”"

What’s truly impressed me the most about Mitchell is how down to earth he’s managed to stay despite all the fame. Unlike many former Jazz stars, he’s embraced the community, the city and the organization and isn’t ashamed to express how much he loves it. In every way imaginable, he’s become the face of the franchise not only for what he’s managed to do on the court (which is mind-blowing in and of itself), but also what he’s done off to show his love for his fans.

Mitchell was every bit deserving of this recognition based on how quickly he ascended into stardom thanks to his electrifying play that saw him become the lead guy on a formidable Jazz team. But his actions off the court have served to even further solidify his place as a beloved figure in Utah and across NBA fandom.

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As I said to initiate this piece, make no mistake about it, Donovan Mitchell is an absolute star. Making Bleacher Report’s Power 50 is simply yet another accolade on a long list that somehow just continues to stack up.

And the best part about it? I have a feeling this is just the beginning. If Mitchell has been able to do all this so quickly after just one season as a professional, imagine the awards, hardware and recognition that will adorn him by the time his career comes to a close.

We’ve got ourselves a great one, Jazz fans.