A fashion choice by a spectator attending the World Cup final at Qatar on Sunday made waves on social media on the other side of the globe.
While a camera focused on Argentina fans, most donning the country’s sky blue and white colors, one man stood out at the bottom of the frame. He was sporting a bright yellow Utah Jazz shirt with a No. 45 across the front.
Donovan Mitchell had some fun with the TV shot, sharing the image on Twitter and writing: “Gotta get buddy the new one.” He added three tears-of-joy emojis to the tongue-in-cheek tweet.
Mitchell was suggesting a change to his new Cleveland Cavaliers shirt with his No. 45 on it, instead of his old Jazz wear.
Leave it to the World Cup, of all things, to offer a reminder that Mitchell is set to face his old team for the first time since being traded from the Jazz to the Cavaliers during the offseason.
In exchange for the explosive All-Star guard, the Jazz received Lauri Markkanen, Collin Sexton, rookie Ochai Agbaji, three unprotected first-round picks (2025, ’27 and ’29), and first-round drafting swap rights in 2026 and ’28.
So far, it has been worth the hefty price for the Cavaliers, who have the NBA’s third-best record at 20-11. Mitchell is having his best statistical year, averaging career highs in scoring (29.5 points per game), shooting (50.3 percent), 3-point accuracy (42.4 percent) and minutes (36.9).
The Jazz are pleased with their return package, too. Markkanen leads Utah in scoring (22.3 points) and rebounding (8.3). Sexton has missed time recently with a hamstring injury, but he’s played well in stretches while averaging 14.3 points on 49.3 percent shooting.
Utah has cooled since a surprise vault atop the Western Conference a month into the season, but the Jazz still enter with a better-than-anticipated 17-15 mark.
Mitchell made it clear he’s enjoying his time in Cleveland, while also supportive of the players remaining with Utah. Only five players from the Mitchell era are still with the Jazz after the team went through a major overhaul, including a new head coach. Utah traded away Mitchell, three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert and sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic.
“They got hoopers. I don’t know why everybody was so quick to write them off,” Mitchell said, according to Heavy Sports. “I think they got phenomenal leaders in that locker room. Mike Conley is a phenomenal leader. Jordan Clarkson is a phenomenal leader.
“Then they got Collin Sexton and Lauri Markkanen, guys who can really go … Malik Beasley. Like, they’re just not some slump. They have guys that can really go.”
That wasn’t the case in the Jazz’s most recent outing, a 123-97 blowout loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, who were without Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. It was a disappointing bump in the road for Utah, which had momentum again after two wins over New Orleans.
“It wasn’t very good,” said Jazz coach Will Hardy, who was hired to replace Quin Snyder shortly before Mitchell was traded. “The good news in the NBA is we don’t have to wait too long to play again. We look forward to Cleveland.”
Cleveland is coming off a grind-it-out 100-99 overtime win over Dallas on Saturday, which upped the Cavs’ NBA-best home record to 14-2.
–Field Level Media