The uncertainty surrounding Donovan Mitchell’s future doesn’t seem to bother him.
Although the three-time All-Star guard’s name has been ruled out of trade rumors, Mitchell spent Saturday in Coney Island despite the Knicks’ desire to land the top point guard and the Jazz’s willingness to move him.
Mitchell took several rounds of batting practice and threw out the ceremonial first pitch before a Brooklyn Cyclones game at Maimonides Park. He joked around with reporters, signed autographs for fans and posed for pictures like he didn’t have a care in the world.
He just had one question.
“We’re not talking about basketball,” said the 25-year-old Elmsford, NY, native. “No one talks about basketball.”
But the fans at the game had other ideas. There were pleas for Mitchell to play for the Knicks. Several people in attendance wore Knicks gear. The word “Knicks” is used frequently.
“We want you to come to New York, Donovan,” one fan wrote. “We need you in New York.”
A boy standing next to him yelled, “Pleeeaaaase.”
This drew a smile and a giggle from Mitchell.
After he threw the first pitch and walked to the dugout, the fans gave him another go.
Donovan Mitchell “Come to the Knicks,” someone yelled. “Come to the Knicks.”
“We love you in New York, ‘Spida,'” said another.
Then, a short chant of “Go, New York, Go New York, Go” broke out.
Mitchell is currently under stress. The Jazz recently traded away veterans Rudy Gobert and Royce O’Neal and are tearing up the Western Conference contenders.
New Utah CEO Danny Ainge made a killing on the Gobert deal, swapping four first-round picks (three unexpected) and picks, along with the 20th overall pick in this year’s draft, center Walker Kesler and quality players Patrick Beverley, Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt in a blockbuster deal. Agreement. There have been reports of Ainge replacing Mitchell. He wants up to six first-round picks and young Knicks players Obi Taupin, Emmanuel Cloey, Miles McBride and Quentin Grimes, the Knicks have yet to offer.
It’s no secret that Knicks president Leon Rose, one of Mitchell’s agents, is close to the keeper. Mitchell He is friends with Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson. Brunson is a teammate at Villanova, NBA free agent Eric Pascal, and has been close with Knicks assistant coach Johnny Bryant since their time with the Jazz. He was represented by CAA, the agency Rose once ran. Mitchell grew up in the area and now lives mostly in Greenwich, Conn., on vacation.
It was a coincidence that Mitchell was in New York City at a Cyclones game shortly after the trade rumors began to heat up. This was planned earlier. Mitchell has strong ties to the Cyclones and Mets franchises. His father, Donovan Mitchell Sr., now serves as their senior director of player relations and community services. As a child, Mitchell served as a batsman for the Cyclones when his father was the team’s coach.
Mitchell hit four home runs and showed a good swing in batting practice. He played baseball growing up before focusing all his energy on basketball early in high school.
Throwing the first pitch, Mitchell took a strike off the rubber – not in front of the mound as famous people do – but the catcher couldn’t squeeze.
It’s unclear what the pursuit of Mitchell will mean for the Knicks.