Ben Simmons’ NBA rival Donovan Mitchell has taken out the Best Breakthrough Athlete award at the ESPYs, gaining some revenge on the Aussie point-forward.
The Utah Jazz guard has a history with Simmons after arguing publicly that he should not be eligible for the NBA’s rookie award.
After being crowned NBA Rookie of the Year just last month, Simmons was in the prime seat to also claim the award at the ESPN ceremony, but it wasn’t meant to be, and it had social media users in a heated debate.
STUNNING TIRADE: Liz Cambage’s stunning attack on WNBA
NBA TRADE FURY: NBA fans are furious over the DeRozan-Leonard trade
Donovan Mitchell really just won breakthrough athlete of the year over Ben Simmons when Simmons won roty. Almost as bad as Casey winning coty when he was fired…
— Defense Wins Championships (@Mason0689) July 19, 2018
14 minutes into the ESPYs and Donavon Mitchell beats Ben Simmons in best breakthrough athlete but doesn’t beat Ben in ROY. This is already a big joke 😂😂😂😂
— Jon Corry (@JonCorry_) July 19, 2018
So Ben Simmons won rookie of the year over Mitchell but then Donavan won break through athlete over Ben… hmmmm.
— Erik Smith (@kingerik_G) July 19, 2018
Donovan Mitchell definitely deserved Rookie of the year over Ben Simmons who was supposed to be a sophomore this year #ESPYS
— McLovin (@JHHama45) July 19, 2018
Mitchell well deserved award. Of course I wanted simmons but mitchell had a great season and really had no expectations
— Dean (@CozySportlounge) July 19, 2018
I can see Donovan Mitchell winning best breakthrough athlete bc we all knew Simmons was gonna be good so that didn’t surprise us. I can’t say much about the other two. #ESPYS
— CR (@mizrko3_chris) July 19, 2018
As the Melbourne-born Philadelphia 76ers star sat out the 2016-17 season with a foot injury, Mitchell questioned his rookie status in the 2017-18 season.
The NBA stars went head-to-head during the season in a contentious battle on and off the court, as they both pursued the league’s Rookie of the Year Award.
Mitchell won the ESPYs award over a short list of four nominess including Simmons, Alvin Kamara, running back for the NFL’s New Orleans Saints, and US Open tennis champion Sloane Stephens.