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February 16, 2018

Donovan Mitchell

Los Angeles, California

Q. Donovan, if there's a guy in this game, in the Rising Stars Game, that's going to be next up in the Sunday game, other than Donovan Mitchell, who is it?
DONOVAN MITCHELL: I'm going to go with probably Ben [Simmons]. He's talented. He's close to being an All-Star this year. He's really talented and can do a lot of things that a lot of rookies can't.

He's instinctive. He knows the game. He knows how to get his teammates open and knows what to do.

Q. You can have a little more fun in this game than a regular season game. So if there's one player on the other team that you want to posterize who would it be and why?
DONOVAN MITCHELL: My guy Lauri [Markkanen] and Jamal [Murray]. Just because I'm cool with those guys. Jamal, when we played this season, we talked a lot of smack just for fun and games. But to go out there and play in a game like this I think adds a little more to the fun. So probably those two.

Q. Your path to the NBA has been quite unique. Do you ever stop to reflect what took you here?
DONOVAN MITCHELL: Just hard work. I tell people all the time this wasn't my plan after two years of college. Being here for All-Star, even being in the NBA, wasn't entirely in my plan.

So I'm just taking it one step at a time, one day at a time, and praising God for this opportunity He's given me. If I just continue to be humble and continue to learn. That's the biggest thing, just learning and understanding the game. I make the joke that it's easy to study film and watch all the games when you don't have five classes to study for throughout the day.

So it's just been fun and I'm taking it day by day.

Q. Did you expect to be so good so soon?
DONOVAN MITCHELL: Nope, not at all. Like I said, this whole thing has been a whirlwind for me. Just enjoying the process. And there are games that I'm like, wow, this happened, or wow, that happened. It's a credit to my teammates and the coaching staff and organization for believing in me. Without them none of this would be possible. So I really thank them for giving me this opportunity.

Q. If you get a chance to spend some time with guys this weekend, who would be it?
DONOVAN MITCHELL: My man Kuz [Kyle Kuzma], John Collins, Dennis [Smith Jr.], De'Aaron [Fox]. Those are my guys. I'm really cool with them. J.B. [Jaylen Brown]. I've known pretty much all these guys since high school for the most part. So just kind of hanging the same way we did in high school. Just a lot more cameras, a lot more downtime, bigger city.

It's fun. Just got to treat it like it's fun and just go out there and be kids. Just live the dream that we all have been dreaming about since we were younger.

Q. What is your relationship with Kuzma? Him being a Utah guy, you all joining forces?
DONOVAN MITCHELL: Yeah, once I found out we were both in it, we talked, and I said, you can shoot every shot you want. It's your game. He's a great guy, and he's a talented scorer. He's done so much for his team already. He's done so much as a rookie, and he has so much to improve on.

It's pretty cool every time he comes back home to Utah. We hang out and we chill with each other and whatnot. So it's pretty cool to come here and play with a guy you've known for a while.

Q. Day two, All-Star Weekend. Have you had a surreal moment out here?
DONOVAN MITCHELL: When I had the dunk contest practice. Walked me into Staples. I've been to Staples before. But with the All-Star on the court, just kind of seeing all that has been pretty crazy for me. Just being here and being part of this weekend.

As a kid, you dreamed about watching it. When I was a kid, my favorite event was the Slam Dunk Contest. So just being here now and playing in it, being in the event where there are no teammates in the Slam Dunk Contest. It's all on you. I've never been in a position like that where millions of people are watching just me. So it will be interesting and fun.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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