A lot of people have crazy stories from the COVID-19 pandemic, and Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell is no different.
During a recent appearance on “Run Your Race,” Mitchell talked about the time he spent in his mother’s basement in Connecticut early on during the pandemic because people were afraid that he had the virus. Mitchell’s teammate on the Utah Jazz at the time, Rudy Gobert, was the first player to test positive for the virus before the NBA suspended the season.
“I couldn’t go nowhere and get food because people thought I really had Covid,” Mitchell said. “And this was when, remember that high school kid that died? So people didn’t know if you were healthy, unhealthy, whatever the thing was. So, I was locked in my mom’s basement for about a month and a half.”
Due to the rapid spread of the virus, the NBA ended up suspending the 2019-20 season on March 11. The suspension lasted several months until the season ultimately resumed at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. in late July. 22 of the league’s 30 teams went to Orlando to complete the regular season and playoffs. The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat in the Finals that season to be crowned NBA champs.
Mitchell played two more seasons in Utah after that before he was traded to Cleveland prior to the start of the 2022-23 season. During his five seasons with the Jazz, Mitchell made three All-Star teams and moved into the top 10 in total points in franchise history.
Now in Cleveland, Mitchell is looking to do something he was unable to do during his time in Utah: make it to the NBA Finals. The Cavs were eliminated in five games in the first round during Mitchell’s first year with the team, but they’ll look to improve upon that finish this season.
A quarter of the way through the current campaign, Cleveland sits eighth in the standings in the Eastern Conference with a record of 11-9. It currently sits four games behind the Boston Celtics, who possess the best record in the conference.
Moving forward, the Cavs will need to play better at home. While they’ve won six of their nine road games so far, they’ve gone just 5-6 in front of their home fans.
Last season, the Cavaliers went 31-10 at home during the regular season. Their solid play within the friendly confines of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse was a big part of the reason the team was able to finish in the top four in the standings.