Mitchell became Utah's second dunk contest winner in the event's 34-year history with his victory in 2018.
Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell won't defend his Slam Dunk Contest title at All-Star Weekend in Charlotte this year, he told the Deseret News. Mitchell won the dunk-contest crown in February 2018 after paying homage to Vince Carter in the final round.
“I loved doing the dunk contest last year and it was a ton of fun, but I also know it takes a lot of focus, practice and preparation,” Mitchell told the Deseret News. “Right now, my mind is really on helping my team make a deep run [in the] second half of the season. I’m excited though for the weekend, I’m going to be able to be a part of some great events.”
Donovan Mitchell called the decision “tough” to not defend his Slam Dunk title in Charlotte but said he was really tired after last year and struggled to catch up on rest afterward. “I just wanted to be able to be ready mentally and physically for my team,” he said. pic.twitter.com/LgDLEl3SZV— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) January 18, 2019
Mitchell is seeking his first All-Star appearance in 2018-19. He finished outside the top 10 of Western Conference guards in the third round of fan voting released on Thursday. The Louisville product is averaging 21.6 points per game this season while shooting 32.2% from three.
Utah is ninth in the West entering Friday night at 25–21. The Jazz have won eight of their last ten games and are riding a five-game win streak.