Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell, who tested positive for the coronavirus, says he is an example of the “scariest part” about this COVID-19 pandemic.
While appearing on “Good Morning America” on Monday, Mitchell provided an update on how he was feeling, what it was like to get tested for the virus and how he’s handled the news that his Utah teammate Rudy Gobert was the initial carrier on the team.
“It took a while for me to cool off,” Mitchell said. “I read what he said and I heard what he said. I’m glad he’s doing OK, I’m glad I’m doing well. I’m just really happy, to be honest, that it’s just – I hate to say it’s just two of us but it wasn’t the whole party.”
Gobert had been blatantly careless about spreading germs in the locker room and around his teammates, getting caught on video touching all the microphones following a press conference prior to knowing he had contracted the virus. He tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after, abruptly forcing the postponement of a game against the Thunder seconds before tipoff. It started the dominos of leagues postponing or canceling seasons.
Mitchell and Gobert reportedly sat next to each other on the team plane. ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Gobert’s teammates were frustrated with him ove his carelessness.
“The Jazz are fortunate that they don’t have to get back together and start playing games again right now,” Wojnarowki reported Thursday night on “SportsCenter” with Scott Van Pelt. “There is a lot of work to do to repair relationships, not just between Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, but others in the locker room. There’s a lot of frustration with Gobert.”
Mitchell confirmed that he was in isolation but said that he was feeling well enough to “play in a seven-game series tomorrow.” He said doctors told him the most important thing was just for him to remain isolated.
“At the end of the day, neither he nor I have children at home. I know I have some teammates that have children, some staff that have children at home. So I’m glad that we were able to contain it as much as possible,” Mitchell said.
Despite a national shortage of tests for coronavirus, Jazz players, personnel and those that came in contact with them surmounted to 58 people that needed to be tested. An Oklahoma State Department of Health official told USA Today Sports that it was a “public health decision” and the team did not receive special treatment.
The Pistons’ Christian Wood became the third NBA player to test positive over the weekend.
Mitchell described the emotional experience of getting tested.
“For us, it was a swab down the throat,” he explained. “But this was about 15 seconds of probably the most discomfort I’ve ever had. I ended up crying, just tears coming out my eyes.”
The 2020 All-Star said he’s been playing video games, watching movies and old highlights of himself through college and the NBA. He also talked about his partnership with the Salt Lake City School District to help 88-90 schools receive hot meals during this time.
But most importantly, Mitchell wants people to understand that you can be a carrier without symptoms.
“I’m asymptomatic, I don’t have any symptoms,” Mitchell, 23, said. “I could walk down the street if it wasn’t public knowledge that I was sick, you wouldn’t know it. I think that’s the scariest part about this virus is that you may seem fine, be fine and you never know who you may be talking to and who they’re going home to.”
Donovan Mitchell Sr., who works for the Mets and attended a Knicks-Jazz game at the Garden earlier this month, tested negative for coronavirus.