"If his argument is I'm not a rookie... I'm in pretty good shape."
Utah Jazz rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell showed up to the arena last night wearing a black Adidas sweatshirt featuring the definition of "Rookie" on the front. According to the literal definition, a rookie is "An athlete playing his or her first season as a member of a professional sports team."
The move was a clear shot at 76ers' star Ben Simmons who, despite being on Philadelphia's roster last year, is playing in his first NBA season. Simmons, the front-runner to win the 2018 Rookie of the Year award, addressed Mitchell's new hoodie after Philly's 121-113 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
"If his argument is I'm not a rookie, and that's the only argument he has, I'm in pretty good shape. There's a rule in the NBA for a reason. I'm not going to wear a sweatshirt tomorrow though."
With one game remaining in the regular season, Simmons is averaging 15.9 points, 8.2 assists and 8.2 rebounds per game while helping the Sixers to a 51-30 record and third place in the Eastern Conference.
While Simmons did have a full year in an NBA environment before actually taking the court, it certainly doesn't exclude him from winning the ROY. In fact, it already happened back in 2010-11, which Blake Griffin reminded everyone of last night after seeing Mitchell's hoodie.
Meanwhile, Donovan Mitchell leads all rookies in scoring with 20.5 points per game, and has led the Utah Jazz all the way up to third place in the Western Conference. In last night's victory over Golden State, Mitchell also broke Damian Lillard’s NBA rookie record for 3-pointers made in a season with 186.