Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell will miss the 2022 NBA All-Star Game due to upper respiratory illness, he announced in a press release Sunday evening. Mitchell, who also missed Saturday’s All-Star practice, does not have COVID-19. With Mitchell’s announcement coming hours before kickoff, the NBA is unlikely to name a replacement for his team, Team LeBron.
“It’s a great honor and it’s always been my dream to be selected as an NBA All-Star,” Mitchell said. “With remorse, I will not be able to play tonight’s All-Star Game due to upper respiratory illness (not related to COVID). All-Star Weekend is a celebration of the basketball community. -ball, the fans and the sport I am blessed to play. Focusing on my recovery and my return to the field. Thank you for all your well wishes for recovery. I look forward to seeing the game later today.
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It’s good to hear Mitchell is free of COVID, but even so, there was no reason to push him for an exhibition game. Hopefully that will be a minor issue and he can return to the field for the Jazz‘s first All-Star game, which is Friday against the Dallas Mavericks.
It was the third straight All-Star appearance for Mitchell alongside teammate Rudy Gobert. Together, they are the first jazz players to appear in as many consecutive All-Star Games since Karl Malone played three in a row between 2000 and 2002.
Despite this setback, Mitchell is preparing for another terrific season. Currently 10th in the league in scoring, he was averaging 25.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and a career-high 5.2 assists per game heading into the break. His importance to the Jazz was also made clear when they went 2-6 as he was sidelined with a concussion in January.