“We Just Witnessed Greatness When He Was Playing. He’s Been a Big Influence on Me in a Number of Ways.”: Donovan Mitchell on Growing Up Supporting Dwyane Wade and LeBron James’ Miami Heat

Published 01/12/2022, 10:00 AM EST
LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 30: LeBron James and Dwayne Wade attend a Los Angeles Sparks WNBA game on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 in Los Angeles, CA. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


Dwyane Wade is one of the best shooting guards in NBA history. Many of the current young talents of the NBA grew up watching LeBron James and Dwyane Wade create history with Miami. Some were even fans of that team who modeled their game from what they saw them do. Even without LeBron James, Dwyane Wade won a championship ring in 2006. So Wade’s career was often compared to the greats like Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan.

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Therefore, when Dwyane Wade confirmed his involvement in the ownership of the Utah Jazz, the NBA community felt it was a golden opportunity for Donovan Mitchell. Mitchell has already led the Utah Jazz to a top-seeded regular season, however, he hasn’t yet led them deep into the playoffs. He recently admitted how much Dwyane Wade affected his life growing up. Therefore, showing how excited he is to learn from his childhood role model.

Jan 1, 2022; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) reacts to a foul called in the fourth quarter gainst the Golden State Warriors at Vivint Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Utah Jazz All-Star Reveals Impact of Dwyane Wade On His Life

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In his conversation with The Athletic, while talking about Dwyane Wade, Mitchell said, “I was definitely a Heat fan growing up…I remember when him and LeBron were playing the Pacers in a playoff series. And I just remember how they manipulated the game in the fourth quarter and overtime. I remember … how much he impacted my life and my career growing up.”

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He further added, “We just witnessed greatness when he was playing. He’s been a big influence on me in a number of ways.” Mitchell eventually concluded by saying,“..being one of the owners of the team and him being around, he’s been a blessing to me.” 

What does this mean for Donovan Mitchell and Utah Jazz?

Mitchell is currently one of the most exciting and talented shooting guards in the NBA. He single-handedly gave the league one of its most exciting NBA Playoffs series. Back when the Jazz went up against Jamal Murray’s Denver Nuggets in the Orlando bubble.

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Since Wade is a former NBA champion, maybe he could inspire Mitchell to lead the Jazz to its first NBA Championship? Jazz fans would certainly hope so. And it would be even more encouraging for them to know Donovan was a huge fan of Dwyane Wade and LeBron James while growing up.

Dec 25, 2021; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) reacts to making a basket and being fouled in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Mavericks at Vivint Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Is the mentorship of Dwyane Wade exactly what Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert need? Since Utah Jazz heavily relies on this duo for their championship ambitions. Do you think Wade’s guidance could help them go all the way? Lets us know what you think about it.

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Chaitanya Dadhwal

486 articles

Chaitanya Dadhwal is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Even though his journalism is driven by his desire to understand both sides of an argument and give a neutral perspective, he is biased towards Houston Rockets and Arsenal, and he has shown exactly how loyal he can be through tough times. Currently a Law student at Jindal Global Law School, he aims to have his own sports management firm one day and enjoys rap music during his time off.

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