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SALT LAKE CITY — Donovan Mitchell said his return trip to Utah almost felt like he was coming back home. He was sharing the court with Jordan Clarkson and Mike Conley again, his mother and sister were courtside, and fans were wearing his jersey and screaming his name.
"I was really comfortable — I'm not gonna lie to you. It wasn't weird. It was just like I'm playing at home like I have been for the past five years," Mitchell said following the Utah Jazz's win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. "You know, the reception was phenomenal, I'm appreciative of it. … It felt like a typical Jazz night — back and forth, screaming, yelling. It was awesome. It was good to be back."
Mitchell's "typical Jazz night" started the way just about every other one did for his five seasons in Utah, too — with a special greeting from a young fan.
Mitchell shared a video of his heartwarming reunion with a fan named Josh ahead of Tuesday's highly anticipated game.
My guy Josh has been waiting for me at the arena every game for 5 years!! My first time seeing him since I got traded… it's moments like these that last forever! Missed you Josh ❤️❤️!! pic.twitter.com/Y0SQphzecP— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) January 11, 2023
"My guy Josh has been waiting for me at the arena every game for 5 years!!," Mitchell wrote in the post. "My first time seeing him since I got traded. It's moments like these that last forever! Missed you Josh."
The young Josh ran up and hugged Mitchell as the All-Star guard arrived at Vivint Arena— and then he hung on for a while. Mitchell asked how he'd been, and joked if he'd had got out of school to come greet him.
After the extended hug, Josh wiped away tears, and then Mitchell pulled him in for another hug to finish off the heartwarming moment.
Mitchell, who was cheered throughout the night, went on to score 46 points in his trip back.