Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell continues to build his fanbase as New England Patriot Michael Bennett was the latest to sport No. 45’s jersey.
There’s no doubt about it – Donovan Mitchell‘s popularity continues to skyrocket. And such isn’t just the case among Utah Jazz fans, it’s the case among basketball fans of all loyalties around the world. Between his awesome Spida logo, his new Adidas shoe deal and of course his ever-marketable personality on and off the court, Mitchell continues to make a name for himself and enhance his brand.
But it’s not just unknown fans that are high on Donovan Mitchell, but big-time stars including those in other sports leagues have taken a liking to the young guard as well. With the NFL set to get underway on Thursday, there lately has obviously been extensive media coverage surrounding the players and teams with interviews galore. In a recent one with Los Angeles Rams running back extraordinaire Todd Gurley, he appeared donning his very own Donovan Mitchell jersey.
As was detailed previously by my J-Notes colleague Ryan Aston, when asked about Mitchell, Gurley described that the two of them were “recent friends” and also stated, “Good dude, man. Good dude. I like his game, just thought I’d support him and wear the jersey.”
And it appears that Gurley isn’t the only NFL player whose eye Mitchell has been able to catch. In locker room interviews on Wednesday, New England Patriots defensive end Michael Bennett was also seen sporting the number 45 Jazz jersey.
It’s incredible to think that it was mere years ago that the prevalent narrative was that guys couldn’t build a brand in Salt Lake City playing for the Utah Jazz. Some say that was a contributing reason to why Gordon Hayward, and so many players before him, flew the Jazz coop as soon as they got a chance. However, Mitchell’s incredible brand presence and popularity have proven that outdated sentiment absolutely wrong.
Who could have guessed a couple years ago that either one of these guys – Gurley or Bennett – would be donning Jazz uniforms ahead of the 2019-20 NFL season? It’s almost unfathomable to believe when considering the track record of most players that suit up in small-market Utah.
But Donovan Mitchell has been so prolific on the floor and even more likable off of it, that he’s managed to win over fans of all kinds, including two well-respected NFL talents.
Utah Jazz fans, and the rest of Mitchell’s ever-growing number of supporters, have the chance to see him in action in FIBA World Cup play Thursday morning at 6:30 AM MT as Team USA takes on Japan, then once again on Saturday as his squad will advance to the next round of tournament action.