Is the NBA Trying To Discredit Cavs Player Donovan Mitchell's 71-Point Victory?
Donovan Mitchell played a game so well Monday night that the NBA has been looking for ways to discredit it.
Cleveland Cavaliers star Mitchell became the sixth player in history to cross the 70-point threshold in a stunning 145-134 defeat over the Chicago Bulls, with 71 to be exact. These were the most points scored by a single player since Kobe Bryant's legendary 81-point game in 2006. As the world praised Mitchell, the NBA has been working behind the scene to investigate whether the high number of points are valid. One way of doing this is by drug testing Mitchell the day after the biggest game of his career.
"Andddd just like that, we are drug tested this morning," Mitchell tweeted on Tuesday.
Andddd just like that we are drug tested this morning https://t.co/LvlbcPDucP
— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) January 3, 2023
It is standard protocol for players to be subjected to at least four random tests during the season and two during the offseason. These tests typically look for performance-enhancing drugs. However, the timing of this one appears suspicious, especially since the league is now stating that the final points scored by Mitchell were violations.
One instance the NBA claims was an offense occurred with 4.6 seconds remaining in the game. Mitchell missed his second free throw but quickly darted toward the lane, collected his own rebound midair, and scored during one of several impressive plays that evening. Since the three-person officiating crew allowed the play, it was counted towards the game. However, according to the league, this breaks its regulations.
It's unknown if the NBA will take any additional action to reject the points, but one thing is for sure: Donovan Mitchell has entered the MVP conversation.
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