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Utah Jazz fans welcome Spida back to Vivint Arena with (mostly) open arms

Posted at 9:24 PM, Jan 10, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — Tuesday night’s dreary, rainy weather had no sway on the excitement and anticipation of All-Star Donovan Mitchell’s return to Utah.

“Love him or hate him, he’s back,” said fan Light Moksha.

Inside the Vivint Arena, #45 jerseys were sported across the concourse as if the stands had time-traveled to last season — before Mitchell was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“Oh, he’s got jitters for sure. I guarantee it,” said Moksha. “He’s got to be nervous about tonight.”

“I’m excited for him to come back,” said fan Austin Golding. “I hope he doesn’t get booed.”

So, was the former Jazzman welcomed back with open arms, or was there bad blood?

“I’m super excited. Donovan’s definitely my favorite player on the Jazz. Still is one of my favorite players. I mean, he dropped 71 the other night,” said fan Spencer Allred.

When the announcer shouted his name, the whole arena erupted into cheers. Some "boos" were thrown into the mix, but the crowd’s overwhelming support outweighed the haters.

“I’m going to cheer so loud. Even when he scores, I’m just going to cheer,” said Golding.

Most Utah Jazz fans respect the man that elevated the team for so many years. The arena played a sweet tribute video for Mitchell before the game.

“I’m cheering for the Jazz because I love the Jazz, but I hope Donovan plays to the best of his ability,” said Allred.

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UPDATE: (9:46 p.m.) The Jazz won the game, despite Mitchell scoring 46 points for the Cavs.