Donovan Mitchell: ‘I Feel the Pressures Now More So Than My First Two Years’

Donovan Mitchell admits to feeling the pressure that comes with being an NBA star as he embarks upon his third season.

Following a breakout rookie campaign, Mitchell began to wonder if he had peaked too soon.

The 23-year-old knows the Utah Jazz’s success largely depends on his development: “I’m ready for us to take that next step.”

Per The Athletic:

“The biggest thing that I was wondering last year: Was I just a one-year hit and out? Was I peaking too soon?” Mitchell told The Athletic. “I came in as a surprise and I had a real high and I never came into a season with an X on my back. Not in high school, not in college. I had never been the guy before. That was one thing for me to learn. I had to understand: PG (Paul George) isn’t just guarding you in the fourth quarter. He’s guarding you the whole game. Klay (Thompson), Kawhi (Leonard), these guys are guarding you the whole game.

“I feel the pressures now more so than my first two years. I understand the game more and the looks that I’m getting. Having the summer I had really helped. Last year, I came in and was hurt to start the year. My body wasn’t in the right place.” (This summer he spent time playing for the National Team in China.)

Mitchell has seen how star players he idolized have behaved standoff-ish in front of teammates and others, and says he made a vow not to be like that.

“It’s about being able to show love,” Michell said. “I’m not too good for anybody. There are times where I’ve seen guys in this league that I even looked up to, that are that and put themselves ahead of people. I wasn’t supposed to be here. So now that I am here, I’m not going to act like I should be this other dude. I’m going to continue to be that guy who has been humble, who’s been a great teammate. I’ve been that way my whole life and I don’t plan on changing.”

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