SALT LAKE CITY — There was some reported unhappiness inside the Jazz locker room Sunday that had nothing to do with the team's loss to Memphis in the team's NBA Playoff opener.
ESPN reports All-Star Donovan Mitchell was "incensed" at the decision to keep him from playing, which "deepened tensions with the team regarding his recovery from a right ankle sprain."
Leading up to Sunday's game, Mitchell appeared to be ready to return to the court for the first time since mid-April, saying "Barring any setbacks, God forbid, knock on wood, but that's the goal," last Thursday. On Sunday he went as far as to say he was pain free and ready to play.
However, hours before tip-off, it was announced that he would be kept out of uniform for a game the Jazz lost 112-109 to the underdog Grizzlies.
Following the game, Mitchell tweeted a message to hopeful Jazz fans, saying "Sorry y'all... I wish I could say more... I'll be out there soon!"
Sorry y’all... I wish I could say more.... I’ll be out there soon !❤️🙏🏾— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) May 24, 2021
According to a report, new part-owner Dwyane Wade could play a role in smoothing tensions between the team and a frustrated Mitchell. The report says there is "hope" that Mitchell will be cleared to play game two Wednesday.
Mitchell injured his ankle during a home win over the Pacers and missed Utah's final 16 regular season games.