SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – After playing in his first FIBA World Cup this past summer, Donovan Mitchell said it was strange to play against his Jazz teammates Rudy Gobert and Joe Ingles.
“It was weird,” Mitchell said at Jazz Media Day. “It just felt different. But once the ball was tossed up, I think I said something to him the first play, he said something back, and that’s when we got right to being competitive. It was just a great experience. I think for us, just seeing us in a different element. I think that’s one thing that was pretty special. We both played well, so I think that’s pretty exciting.”
Mitchell scored 29 points in USA’s loss to France, while Gobert had 21 points, 16 rebounds and one big blocked shot against Mitchell in the final minute. But despite neither team winning the tournament, both players said it was an honor to play for their countries.
“We sacrificed a lot for two months,” Gobert said. “We practiced everyday, while other guys could be playing pickup games or being on the beach with the family. I always dreamed of beating USA in an international tournament and we did it this time. Hopefully, we get to do it again.”
Mitchell disagreed, saying, “no.”
Joe Ingles also played well for Australia, and he doesn’t think fatigue will play a factor early on in training camp.
“For me with the national team, I’ve done it every year since I was 17,” Ingles said. “So it’s not really too different for me. But obviously there are going to be times when things need to be looked at. But there is zero concern from my end of that.”