Donovan Mitchell Throws Shade at ROY Race with Hoodie Defining Rookie on It

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistApril 10, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - APRIL 03: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz drives against the defense of Julius Randle #30 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the second half of a game at Vivint Smart Home Arena on April 3, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Jazz beat the Lakers 117-110. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell used his wardrobe to make a pregame statement Tuesday night.

Prior to Utah's tilt against the Golden State Warriors at Vivint Smart Home Arena, Mitchell rocked an Adidas hoodie with the definition of the word "rookie" on it.

It reads: "An athlete playing his or her first season as a member of a professional sports team."

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Spicy πŸŒΆπŸ‘€ Let the ROTY debate continue (via @utahjazz) https://t.co/G5GQUhv83W

The hoodie is an obvious shot at Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons, who recently told ESPN.com's Chris Haynes he believes he is "100 percent" the Rookie of the Year and doesn't think any other players have challenged him for that honor.

"None," he said. "I want to be where the greats are. So, for me, I watch the guys like [Kevin Durant], [LeBron James], [Stephen] Curry, Russell [Westbrook]. Guys like that. That's where I want to be. I think for me, that's what I love to watch."

Mitchell responded on Tuesday and said he isn't spending time thinking about individual hardware.

"I really don't care," he told Haynes. "The biggest thing for me is that we're in the fourth seed and fighting for the third seed. If I'm worrying about individual awards, I'm giving up on my teammates and what we're trying to build here. Clearly, I'm not the one losing sleep over this. I don't care."

Mitchell and those supporting his candidacy believe the NBA shouldn't consider Simmons a rookie since the Sixers drafted him in 2016, not this past June. Simmons missed his entire first season due to a foot fracture he suffered during training camp.

Chris Haynes @ChrisBHaynes

Donovan Mitchell to ESPN on if he believes a true rookie is only deserving of the ROY award: https://t.co/L7RrNMNkhR https://t.co/vueBhlmRnV

But according to Mitchell's hoodie, Simmons should be considered a rookie since he is technically playing his first season.

Simmons and Nike have yet to issue a responseβ€”the Sixers were busy taking on the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesdayβ€”but it likely won't be long until we get one.