Utah Jazz teammates Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles will go head-to-head when Team USA takes on the Aussie Boomers this week.
This week will undoubtedly be a big one for Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell and USA Basketball — it’s the final week of camp and exhibition bouts before the Americans head to China in search of FIBA World Cup gold. More than that, though, it’s the next chapter in what is one of the low-key great rivalries in Jazzland currently.
Spida versus Slow-Mo’ Joe.
With Team USA set to take on the Australian national team, also known as the Aussie Boomers, in two friendly games in preparation for World Cup play, Mitchell and fellow Jazzman Joe Ingles will find themselves on opposing benches.
And while both are probably more interested in representing their countries as World Cup winners, the battle for bragging rights among Jazz teammates is definitely not lost on them.
After the Boomers beat Canada in an exhibition over the weekend, Ingles served up the opening salvo in their individual fight. Ingles’ declaration: he’s going to throw down on the 2018 Slam Dunk champion. Check it out —
If you follow the social media exploits of Jazz players, you’re likely well aware that Ingles has no shame when it comes to dispensing trash talk at anyone who will listen, including (and especially) his own teammates. However, Mitchell has always been one of his favorite targets.
That said, history is not exactly on Jinglin’ Joe’s side as relates to posterizing people.
Over the course of an NBA career spanning five years and more than 400 games, Ingles has only notched 20 dunks in total. Last season, he managed three slams despite playing in all 82 games as Utah’s starting small forward.
Still, Ingles definitely can get up when he needs to (or has enough time and space to do so, which is rare). In fact, in his younger days, he was once given the moniker Jumpin’ Joe Ingles, but Mitchell didn’t appear to be sold on his teammate’s aerial exploits when tape of them surfaced last year.
I, for one, hope Ingles can make good on his dunk promise, if for no other reason than the Twitter shenanigans that would ensue after the fact.
Mitchell and Team USA will play Australia on Thursday and Saturday.