Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell has gained some revenge on Australia’s Ben Simmons, winning the Best Breakthrough Athlete Award at the ESPYS in Los Angeles.Mitchell won the award on Wednesday from a short list four nominess also including fellow NBA star Simmons Alvin Kamara, running back for the NFL’s New Orleans Saints, and US Open tennis champion Sloane Stephens.
The awards ceremony is staged by sports media giant ESPN.Mitchell and Simmons, the NBA’s top two rookies, went head-to-head during the 2017-18 season in a contentious battle on and off the court in pursuit of the league’s Rookie of the Year Award.
Mitchell argued publicly Simmons should not be eligible for the NBA’s rookie award because the Melbourne-born Philadelphia 76ers point-forward sat out the 2016-17 season with a foot injury.Simmons, however, dominated the voting and was crowned NBA Rookie of the Year last month.
The ESPYs also featured a playful dig at Simmons from presenter Danica Patrick, who took aim at the basketballer’s relationship with Kendall Jenner.
“So many big NBA moves this off-season,” the former NASCAR driver said.
“Kawhi Leonard went to the Raptors, Dwight Howard went to the Wizards, and Ben Simmons went to the Kardashians.”