Donovan Mitchell Talks COVID-19 Diagnosis with Josh Hart on LightHarted Podcast

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 28, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MARCH 09:  Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz dribbles the ball during a game against the Toronto Raptors at Vivint Smart Home Arena on March 9, 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah. 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 Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

Utah Jazz shooting guard Donovan Mitchell went on New Orleans Pelicans' swingman Josh Hart's LightHarted Podcast and discussed numerous topics related to his COVID-19 diagnosis, including his reaction about hearing the news and what he's been up to after it.

Hart and co-host Matt Hillman had a Zoom chat with Mitchell, who called into the podcast.

Mitchell started by saying he's doing well at home and happy to be around family. He also said he has a huge structure of tables and stands set up to play computer and video games.

Mitchell notably streamed himself playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare on Wednesday with professional gamer and streamer Ninja and Jazz teammate Royce O'Neale.

The topic then went back to the night of March 11, when the NBA season was suspended after Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19.

Mitchell and the Jazz were scheduled to face the Oklahoma City Thunder in a road game that night sans Gobert, who was listed out with an illness.

Mitchell said the whole night was "wild."

At first, he said he was ready to go and looking forward to the big game, which would have playoff-seeding implications for both sides.

But that didn't happen, as the game was delayed right before tipoff.

The third-year pro recalled the scene and said that security rushed to the floor like they were the Secret Service trying to protect the President.

Mitchell and the team were initially confused but were soon told that Gobert had COVID-19.

The team was immediately quarantined in OKC and passed the time by eating and enjoying time with each other. The entire Jazz traveling party was also tested for COVID-19.

The quarantine time reached six to seven hours, and Mitchell and his teammates passed more time by playing cards to try to take their minds off the situation.

Mitchell said he only slept 25 minutes that night, nervous about a potential positive diagnosis.

He found out the positive result the following morning, and that's when Mitchell said everything hit him.

Mitchell was confused because he was healthy and didn't have symptoms (and never has), but he reiterated to those watching at home that's why it's important for people to stay home at this time.

"I never had symptoms and I still don't," Mitchell said. "That's the crazy part. You can walk to the store and see somebody...all smiles and then boom, you have it or they have it and...you don't know who they may be going home too."

Mitchell also reiterated that COVID-19 is real and needs to be taken seriously.

Mitchell was asked if it ever crossed his mind that he could die, and he responded that it did. He also gave shout-outs to the medical professionals who have tested and worked with the Jazz since March 11, noting that they did a great job keeping everyone informed and calming them down.

As far as quarantined life is concerned, Mitchell said he's home with family and loves being around them. He said that being around them and keeping everything light is what's made the situation easier to handle.

However, Mitchell was initially told he couldn't see any family after the diagnosis. That changed to seeing family for limited amounts of time as long as they all wore masks. Now he can be around them, although Mitchell still has his own space.

Michell also noted that it was "crazy" being one of the first NBA players diagnosed and that people haven't stopped asking questions.

Mitchell's Jazz sat 41-23 and fourth in the Western Conference when the season was suspended. The ex-Louisville star was enjoying a fantastic season in which he made his first All-Star appearance and averaged a team-high 24.2 points per game.


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