It was pretty cool. A guy you’ve seen a bunch of his movies. To see him there was just kind of surreal and it was pretty cool to be able to meet him. —Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell on meeting comedian Eddie Murphy
LOS ANGELES — Utah Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell has become a popular new celebrity in his own right, but the 21-year-old still gets excited to meet other stars in the process.
On Sunday afternoon in the Staples Center, Mitchell treated legendary comedian Eddie Murphy to a show with 28 points, nine rebounds and eight assists to help the Jazz beat the Lakers 112-97 and clinch a playoff spot.
Murphy strolled into the game holding hands with his model girlfriend, Paige Butcher, then enjoyed the action from a courtside seat.
As the Jazz warmed up to start the second half, the Coming to America actor made it a point to stand up from his seat to shake hands with Mitchell near midcourt.
“It was pretty cool,” Mitchell described. “A guy you’ve seen a bunch of his movies. To see him there was just kind of surreal and it was pretty cool to be able to meet him.”
Mitchell is also close to comedian Kevin Hart.
They met during All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles where Mitchell used Hart and his son, Hendrix, for a prop in his dunk contest routine, along with Mitchell's younger sister, Jordan.
Everyone seems to be excited about the fresh face in Salt Lake City as he continues to lead all rookies in scoring with 20.5 points per game.
GAME TIME: Competition for the NBA 2K League will begin on May 1. Jazz Gaming will represent the Utah market as the season runs for 17 weeks from May to August. Jazz Gaming will compete in a minimum of 19 games, including a 14-game regular season schedule. The playoff prize pool will be $600,000, with the NBA 2K League champion receiving $300,000 from the pool.
THANK YOU FANS: For the final home game of the regular season, the Utah Jazz organization will honor the fans. As the Jazz face the Golden State Warriors at 7 p.m. Tuesday, the Jazz will host Fan Appreciation Night where players will address the fans with thank you videos plus a halftime act by magician/illusionist Michael Grandinetti. Then after the game, fans will receive the same promotional pamphlets given to the media for Donovan Mitchell to win Rookie of the Year and Rudy Gobert to win Defensive Player of the Year.
HIGH HONORS: Jazz president Steve Starks has been selected as one of Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal/Daily’s national Forty Under 40 honorees for the Class of 2018. The list of executives are being honored for achieving excellence and innovation in their careers before the age of 40. Starks will also be featured in the April 9 issue of SportsBusiness Journal and will attend the 19th annual gala in Los Angeles on April 18 at the J.W. Marriott Los Angeles.