Former Louisville coach, Rick Pitino, dug deep into Donovan Mitchell’s potential move to the New York Knicks and explained why he’d welcome it with open arms.
The New York Knicks continue their pursuit of Donovan Mitchell, but Danny Ainge refuses to cave in and take a penny on the dollar for him. The Knicks don’t want to bet against themselves and overpay for his services.
Mitchell is one of the best young scorers in the world, but he can’t single-handedly lead the Utah Jazz in the Western Conference. That’s why most people believe it’s a matter of time before he finds a new home.
Notably, Rick Pitino knows him quite well from their days together at Louisville, and he believes there wouldn’t be a place he’d rather be than in New York City and playing for the Knicks.
NBA News: Donovan Mitchell ‘Loves’ The Knicks, Says Rick Pitino
“Donovan loves the Knicks,” Pitino said. “Donovan loves being around his mom, sister and dad. Donovan would treasure being a Knick. That being said, things have to work out. I’m hoping, keeping my fingers crossed that he becomes a Knick. It would be very special for me as a coach seeing him in a Knick uniform as an ex-Knick coach.”
“Brunson and Donovan Mitchell, that’s a helluva backcourt,” Pitino added. “Both are winners. They both are terrific people. I hope it happens certainly. It would be great for the Knicks and everybody who follows the Knicks.”
He Won’t Be Fazed By New York Media
Aside from all the basketball stuff, Pitino believes Mitchell won’t crumble to the pressure of New York media like many other stars do. He lauded his core values and ethics as a person, and believes he’s ready for the shiny lights:
“We all know Donovan is very talented on offense, but Donovan is as talented as polished a human being as any person I’ve ever met,” Pitino added. “A very well-educated young man who knows everything right to say. But he’s highly, highly competitive. He’ll do anything to win a basketball game. But when the game is over and the mics are all in his face, you have to deal with the media in a positive way. Donovan will be outstanding in that, just terrific at that.”
The Knicks have enough assets to outbid every single team in their pursuit of Mitchell. But the Jazz continue to play hardball, so these trade talks might as well be dragged deep into the season.