By Aris Barkas/ email@example.com
DONGGUAN – Donovon Mitchell has emerged as one of the leaders of the USA national team. It’s not anything new for him since he has a similar role with the Utah Jazz.
What he misses, however, in the national team roster is having the support of the NBA defensive player of the year. And tomorrow, he will face him, his teammate Rudy Gobert, in a game in which the winner takes it all and more specifically the ticket to the semifinals.
Can France be the team that knocks out the USA in the quartefinals? It remains to be seen, and Mitchell welcomes the challenge of playing against Gobert: “I’m excited. I got to play against Joe [Ingles] twice. I’ve never played against Rudy. He’s a force. He’s a force down low. He’s the anchor of that defense and the anchor of our [Utah’s] defense. There’s going to be a lot of trash talk for sure. I think that’s what makes this fun, to be able to compete against your teammates outside of the NBA”.
Mitchell is embracing the idea of playing for the national team and competing against familiar faces: “I’ve heard so much about FIBA basketball. I’ve heard so much about the team when they played Spain against Ricky [Rubio] and Spain and Australia. It’s going to be a lot of fun. He’s a hell of a player. He won Defensive Player of the Year for a reason. Guys know that, and we’ll try to get him as much info as possible”.
Photo credit: FIBA.Basketball