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SALT LAKE CITY — The NBA All-Star Weekend came to a close Sunday, with Donovan Mitchell's Team LeBron beating Rudy Gobert's Team Durant 163-160 in the All-Star Game.
Here are the notable Jazz related items that happened during the league's annual showcase.
Donovan Mitchell misses the game due to an illness
About two hours before Sunday's game, Donovan Mitchell announced he would not be playing in the game due to a non-COVID illness.
"It is a great honor and has always been a dream of mine to be selected as an NBA All-Star," Mitchell said in a statement. "Remorsefully, I will not be able to play in tonight's All-Star Game due to an upper respiratory illness (non-COVID related). The entire All-Star weekend is a celebration of the basketball community, the fans and the sport I am blessed to play."
Mitchell was set to play on Team LeBron, which ultimately won the game. Mitchell was announced during introductions, but it's the first time in Mitchell's five-year career he didn't make any kind of appearance at All-Star Weekend.
Rudy Gobert's mostly quiet night
With Mitchell out, it left Gobert as the lone Utah Jazz player at the game. He finished with 6 points and six rebounds in 12 minutes — only Chicago guard Zach LaVine played less minutes for Team Durant than Gobert.
With the All-NBA center still recovering from a left-calf strain and the isolation-heavy nature of the game, it wasn't too big of a surprise to see Gobert not get a ton of run in the annual showcase. He did make some highlights, though. In true Gobert fashion, all 6 of his points came on dunks, including a 360-slam down the lane.
RUDY 360 ⭕— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) February 21, 2022
(Lol, @dwyanewade on the call 🎙️)#NBAAllStar | @rudygobert27pic.twitter.com/zGI4yV7XNE
Draymond Green's beef with Gobert comes up
While Gobert didn't have much of an impact on the game, that didn't stop him from getting some mention on national television. Golden State's Draymond Green, who missed the game due to injury, did some sideline interviews for the "Inside the NBA" broadcast of the game.
The "Inside" crew mentioned Green along the likes of Gobert and the legendary Dikembe Mutombo — and Green took issue.
The conversation followed as such:
Green: "You keep mentioning me in the same sentence with him. We are not alike."
Kenny Smith: "Who's not alike?"
Green: "Who you just mentioned me with."
Smith: "You're not like Mutombo or Rudy Gobert?"
Green: "I didn't say Mutumbo."
Smith: "Oh, you're not like Rudy Gobert?"
Green: "We ain't nothing alike."
Host Ernie Johnson then jumped in, saying: "Did we strike a nerve? Apply a tourniquet down there." That, at least, got Green to laugh.
Draymond Green sounds like he's VERY done with any Rudy Gobert comparisons— Rob Lopez (@r0bato) February 21, 2022
"You keep mentioning me in the same sentence with him. We're not alike.... We ain't nothing alike" pic.twitter.com/a9FKnX3pTu
Soon after the back and forth, Gobert threw down his 360 dunk. Smith joked it was "very Draymond-like."
In the past, Green has mocked Gobert for his emotional reaction after not being named an All-Star in 2018. The two have also traded jabs through the media over Defensive Player of the Year votes.
Stockton in attendance for NBA 75 celebration
The NBA celebrated its 75th anniversary team during halftime.
The Jazz franchise had three players named to the team: John Stockton, Karl Malone and the late Pete Maravich.
Stockton was in attendance, along with most of the members of the team. Malone was not in Cleveland but did have a (slightly goofy) pre-recorded wave to the crowd.
Ryan and Ashley Smith hype next year's game
During a break in the second half, a pre-recorded video was shown of Jazz owners Ryan and Ashley Smith receiving a ceremonious ball from the Cleveland ownership. The Smiths then got a small chance to hype up the 2023 All-Star event that will be in Salt Lake City.
"We've had an absolute blast this weekend. Cleveland knows how to party and we're excited to bring the party to Salt Lake," Ashley Smith said.
Ryan Smith then added: "We're gonna roll it out in Utah from Salt Lake to Park City. Don't come for a couple of days, come for the whole week. Donovan and Rudy are hosting. It's gonna be pretty sweet."
🌟 @ryanqualtrics & Ashley Smith prepping you for next year's @NBAAllStar in SLC 🌟— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) February 21, 2022