Utah Jazz: Mitchell, Simmons exchange digs in ROY race

JUNE 25 2017 FILE

Julius Erving

Donovan Mitchell for NBA Rookie of the Year has become one of basketball's great philosophical debates, pitting fans and player firmly in one camp or the other.

Mitchell responded on Twitter before recently throwing shade at the Melbourne native before the game against the Warriors on Tuesday by wearing a hoodie with the definition of rookie written on it, implying Simmons can not be considered one even if this is his first proper season.

The sweatshirt reads, "Rookie (noun): An athlete, playing in his or her first season, as a member of a professional sports team".

Rookie of the Year voting comes to a close this week as the last regular season games will be played by Wednesday.

And after Simmons made headlines yesterday, telling ESPN that he was the clear-cut Rookie of the Year, Donovan Mitchell took the opportunity to take their little feud to the next level.

I really don't care.

Simmons shook off an illness that put his status for Tuesday's game in question to score 14 points, grab 10 rebounds and hand out six assists with six turnovers.

Mitchell would go 8-for-12 from the field, nailing four of his five 3-point attempts in just 26 minutes. If I'm worrying about individual awards, I'm giving up on my teammates and what we're trying to build here. Kyle Kuzma of the Los Angeles Lakers had a laugh. "If I wasn't a rookie this year, he would have definitely had it but you know, I'm not". Still, the former Louisville guard went on to say that he is far more focused on the playoff race and did so while taking a not-so-subtle dig at Simmons. But some people may not have all that time to prepare for that exam.

But Mitchell later claimed he's not concerned with Simmons' belief that the first-year Sixer is "100 percent" worthy of the honor. But at the end of the day, we're in the fourth seed.

The tweet led to a prompt Twitter discussion by his followers on who is the rightful front-runner for the NBA Rookie of the Year award. "I got the Defensive Player of the Year and the Coach of the Year on my team, so I'm happy".

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