After years of partnership in Salt Lake City, Donovan Mitchell and Quin Snyder met once more on Tuesday, however this time and transferring ahead – as newfound opponents.
Mitchell and Snyder, key characters of the Utah Jazz’ earlier contending stage, battled it out because the Atlanta Hawks went on to prevail in opposition to the Cleveland Cavaliers in an in depth one, 120-118. Following the match, the 2 had a superb reunion, with Mitchell’s mom becoming a member of the embrace.
It was a heartwarming second for the Jazz followers, as each Mitchell and Snyder encountered themselves. The two, along with present Minnesota Timberwolves huge man Rudy Gobert, have been central figures of Utah’s mainstay within the Western Conference aggressive echelon from 2018 as much as final season.
But their period has ended final summer time. Mitchell was traded to the Cavs, whereas Snyder took the teaching keys of the Hawks this midseason after the departure of Nate McMillan. As such, the mentor amid the cut up that occurred can solely commend his former scholar’s affect on the Cleveland crew that’s now lastly playoff-bound with out being tagged to its franchise hero LeBron James.
“He’s a winner,” Snyder stated of Mitchell, who dropped 44 factors in opposition to Atlanta (h/t Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor). “Anytime you value winning like he does, you’re willing to do the things it takes to win. I think there’s also a passion that he has for the game. He enjoys playing, and that’s infectious within a team.”
There is not any different one that obtained an in depth bond with Mitchell than Snyder.
Mitchell, a younger prospect from Louisville who entered the league in 2017, noticed himself carrying the heavy burden of the Jazz upon the exit of Gordon Hayward within the offseason that 12 months. Albeit younger and inexperienced, Mitchell gained each ounce of confidence and optimism below the steering of Snyder – which led to his management of Utah towards prolonged playoff appearances.
And for that, he can solely be glad about the teachings and mentorship he gained to succeed in the highest.
“I’m forever grateful to Quin Synder,” stated Mitchell. “He’s a hell of a coach and is going to have a lot of success here in Atlanta. He’s one of the greatest coaches in this game.”
Mitchell additional admitted that regardless of their completely different path now, he stays in touch together with his former head coach.
His bond with Snyder is unquestionably greater than basketball.
“No matter what happens in life, no matter what, he’s always a guy I can call and talk to about anything,” Mitchell stated. “Not as much now because that’s tampering. But he’s a guy that literally gave me the ball, and trusted in me – a 20-year-old, 21-year-old who didn’t prove anything yet, just went out there and tried to continue to climb. When you have someone like that who trusts you, I’m forever grateful.
“He really helped me get to be the player that I am today. I think a lot of it’s deeper than just basketball with him. I’ve had so many life conversations just about anything and everything. I told him it was about time he came back. The game missed him.”
For Snyder, the identical goes additionally on what he sees in Mitchell.
“Donovan and I were together a long time, longer than a player I’ve ever coached in college. We grew together and there is a special bond that develops as a result of that. The way he’s playing it’s not surprising to me even in the slightest. I think his efficiency has kind of grown. Anytime as a coach, where you see a player improve, it’s really rewarding, particularly someone that you care about so much.
“There’s some guys you just enjoy seeing every morning. He was one of those guys too. He just made it more fun. I think the world of him. I’ll always be close with him.”
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