Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell says rivalry with Sixers’ Ben Simmons has ‘competitive tension’
Donovan Mitchell and Ben Simmons raced one another for the Rookie of the Year trophy last season, and a rivalry began to develop between the Utah Jazz phenom and the Philadelphia 76ers stud.
While Mitchell says there’s no bad blood between he and Simmons, the Jazz star did mention a “competitive tension” among the teams during an interview with SirusXM NBA Radio. When asked about his rivalry with Simmons, Mitchell said:
“I mean, obviously, I’ve known of him probably longer than he’s known of me. I wasn’t really anybody, I’m still not, but it’s a little different now. But I think a lot of it is just competitive and just having fun. Adidas and I, we came up with the rookie thing, and I thought it was a lot of fun to be able to play the media and the fans. I loved it.
“I think there’s always competitive tension. I think, not just within ourselves, but within Philly. I grew up not liking Philly and Boston because I’m from New York. So naturally, you kind of have that feeling towards the team, but I have a bunch of friends on both teams, so it’s nothing off the court. It’s not like, ‘I hate you.’ Nothing like that. But when the game comes, I’m coming.”
The Rookie of the Year race between Donovan Mitchell and Ben Simmons may be over but is the rivalry?
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) October 11, 2018
A rivalry between Simmons and Mitchell is awesome for the game. They are two of the most exciting young players in the NBA and any “competitive tension” between the two will result in regular-season grudge matches.
Perhaps one day in the future, the two will meet when the stakes are higher for the Jazz and Sixers.