Berliner Tageblatt - Captain Durant, guard Mitchell to miss NBA All-Star Game

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Captain Durant, guard Mitchell to miss NBA All-Star Game
Captain Durant, guard Mitchell to miss NBA All-Star Game / Photo: ©

Captain Durant, guard Mitchell to miss NBA All-Star Game

Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant and Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell will both miss Sunday's 71st NBA All-Star Game, pulling out just hours before the scheduled tip-off in Cleveland, Ohio.

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Durant, who is injured but was to captain one of the two teams, will not attend due to the death of his grandmother, who passed away earlier on Sunday.

Mitchell withdrew just hours before tip-off because of an illness.

Durant was also set to be honored Sunday as one of the NBA's 75 greatest players of all time in a ceremony to mark the league's 75th anniversary. He will miss the ceremony to be with his family.

"It is with great sadness that we share with family and friends that our Dear Sweet Mama, BARBARA A. Davis, transitioned early this morning," Durant's mother, Wanda Durant, wrote on Instagram.

"Words can not describe how our family feels (during) this time. We want to thank everyone for their prayers, condolences, and well wishes. God is GOOD and His PEACE comforts all of us.”

Mitchell, a 25-year-old American, was selected as a reserve on the team of LeBron James to play against Durant's team.

Mitchell, a three-time All-Star selection and 2018 Slam Dunk Contest champion, said the illness was not related to Covid-19.

"It is a great honor and has always been a dream of mine to be selected as an NBA All-Star," Mitchell said.

"Remorsefully, I will not be able to play in tonight's All-Star Game due to an upper respiratory illness.

"I'm focused on getting well and back out on the court."

Mitchell has averaged 25.5 points, 5.2 assists and 3.9 rebounds a contest for the Jazz, who rank fourth in the Western Conference at 36-22 -- 12 games back of the league-leading Phoenix Suns.