Donovan Mitchell had a strong 2020-21 NBA season, being selected to play in the All-Star game and leading the Utah Jazz to a No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. And when it comes to his goals for the 2021-22 season, Mitchell is looking to be the No. 1 player in the league. PopCulture.com recently caught up with the 25-year-old basketball star who revealed that one of his individual goals for the upcoming season is being the NBA MVP.
"Why can't it be me?" Mitchell said to PopCulture. "I think that's something that I've always prided myself in, being able to be the best. You don't train to be second or third. You train to be at the top, number one. And I think that's something that I can definitely do and attain. But through that comes team success. I don't get any of that without my teammates, I don't get any of that without team success. So if I'm gunning for MVP and we're in eighth, ninth place, then it's not doing anybody any good. So at the end of the day, I'm focused on winning and help my teammates as much as I can and continuing to win. And everything else will kind of fall into line."
One of the big reasons the Jazz were the top team in the conference was the play of Mitchell who averaged 26.4 points and 5.2 assists per game. Mitchell didn't receive any MVP votes, but his teammate, Rudy Gobert, did as he earned fourth and fifth place votes. Mitchell and Gobert helped the Jazz be a force in the league, and the Jazz show no signs of slowing down.
"I think we're coming back with a vengeance," Mitchell stated. "But obviously, I can say that we better go out there and put the work in and continue to do it because teams are loading up around us. Golden State's back, LA [Lakers] is obviously doing what they're doing. But we got to be ready. I think Phoenix is the defending conference champions, so we got to find a way to continue to build and get better. But I think we have the pieces to do it. Just got to stay healthy for one, and continue to put the work in."
Mitchell, who is also a former Slam Dunk Contest champion, also revealed where he has improved the most. "I think being able to shoot off the dribble, being able to be a threat from anywhere on the court," he said. "You look at, obviously Stephen [Curry], and Dame [Lillard], they're shooting from the low consistently. But just being able to be a threat as soon as you get over half-court, not necessarily just the score, but being able to create and facilitate and find guys when needed, and be able to initiate the offense and create for others as well."