MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 2: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz and Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat exchange jerseys at the end of the game on December 2, 2018 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.
Oscar Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

Donovan Mitchell and Dwyane Wade trade shots, jerseys in Miami

by Aaron Falk

The game did not end the way Donovan Mitchell wanted. But even in defeat, it was a special night for the young Jazz guard as he squared off with Dwyane Wade in Miami.

“To be honest with you, that was surreal,” the young Jazz guard told reporters in the locker room afterward. “You can’t really think about it in the game but to look back at it, you’re playing against your idol essentially. I talked to him many times this summer about his career, his habits off the floor. That was a special moment.”


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Mitchell has sought Wade out for advice multiple times since he entered the NBA last year. Mitchell called Wade last summer and the two reportedly talked for two hours.

Then Mitchell spent the better part of a week with Wade back in August, training with the legendary guard in California.

“I come into the league and he’s the guy I’m watching the most on film,” Mitchell said of Wade. “That [week] was incredible. I learned a lot from him.”

Mitchell finished with 18 points to Wade’s 15. But Wade, at 36 years old, provided the winning points for the Heat in a 102-100 contest on Sunday in Miami. The future Hall of Famer put the Heat up 2 with a pair of free throws late in the game. Mitchell had a chance to do one better but missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer as time expired.

Still, in the moments after, Mitchell and Wade found each other on the court, embraced and then, as has been Wade’s custom after games during his final NBA season, the two swapped jerseys.

“That was special as well,” Mitchell said. “I hit him up to make sure I could snag it from him. He’s an all-time great. To be able to play against him in that setting is special.”

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