Jazz news: Donovan Mitchell wears No. 45 to honor Michael Jordan
When it comes to athletes at any level of competition, there are many who choose their jersey number based on all sorts of reasons. For Utah Jazz rising star rookie shooting guard Donovan Mitchell and his selection of No. 45 for both college and the NBA, he gets his inspiration from one person: Chicago Bulls legendary shooting guard and Charlotte Hornets current owner Michael Jordan.
Yes, you read that correctly. Jordan did indeed wear the No. 45 for 22 games during the 1994-95 season before he changed back to his iconic No. 23 Bulls jersey. In Jordan’s autobiography titled “For the Love of the Game,” Jordan said that he decided to go back to his high school No. 45 as well as keep the number that he had during his minor league baseball stint.
According to a video posted this afternoon by Jazz beat writer of the Deseret News, Mitchell opened up about his nod to Jordan and revealed that he didn’t even know the six-time NBA champion was in the building at Spectrum Center until after the game between the Jazz and Hornets was over.
“I didn’t even know he was there until after the game, to be honest with you,” Mitchell said of Jordan’s presence at Friday’s game. “I had no clue, but it was definitely really cool to know that he was there watching the game. But yeah, I had no idea.”
Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell wears No. 45 as a nod to Michael Jordan. He got to play in front of MJ in Charlotte Friday, but said he didn’t know he was there until after the game. “I had no idea.” pic.twitter.com/qYZbFiO3Ly
— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) January 14, 2018
Although Donovan Mitchell put forth an effort that would likely make MJ proud with a game-high 35 points against the Hornets, the Jazz came up short on Friday in a 99-88 road loss.
In 40 games played this season for the Jazz, Mitchell is currently averaging 18.8 points, 3.4 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.5 steals per contest.