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Coronavirus Update: When Inside Sports Is Too Close for Comfort On A Family Tree! By Harold Bell

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DONOVAN MITCHELL, JR (NBA UTAH JAZZ)

DONOVAN MITCHELL, SR (HOUSTON ASTROS MINOR LEAGUES)

When my wife Hattie came up with the tag “INSIDE SPORTS” in 1972 for my new sports talk show, we had no idea that the tag would travel globally.   Every media vehicle in the world uses INSIDE in some shape or form to introduce news stories for their network, unheard of before “INSIDE SPORTS” and Harold Bell in Washington, DC.

I remember we were having dinner one evening when I told her I needed a title for my new show.  I don’t think she looked up from her plate and said, “INSIDE SPORTS.”  From the very beginning I knew it sounded like a great fit, but I had to ask her how did she come up with the tag.  Her explanation was logical and made sense to me.  She said, “You come up with behind the scenes news before anyone else in news media.”  I had gotten my start in radio sports talk with my mentor the legendary radio and television talk show host Petey Greene on WOL Radio in the late 70s.  He had the No. 1 radio talk show ‘Petey Greene’s Washington’ heard every Sunday evening on WOL Radio.  He gave me 5 minutes every Sunday to talk sports.  The rest is sports talk show history.

For the first time in American history a virus has shutdown pro sports in America.  The NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, WNBA, pro tennis, golf, soccer all have cacelled, delayed or postponed their seasons.   Sports on college campuses have cancelled or postponed games in every sport.

Once again, 48 years later I am a part of the INSIDE story.  NBA Utah Jazz All-Stars, center Rudy Gobert and guard Donovan Mitchell tested positive.   Gobert tested positive minutes before the Jazz were to face the Houston Rockets in Houston.   The game was postponed just before tip-off and the confusion could be seen on the faces of the players standing on the court.

The postponements has turned into an unwanted family affair for me.  The 2018 Rookie of the Year and Slam Dunk Champion Donovan Mitchell, Jr. is my cousin.  His father Donovan Mitchell, Sr. is the Player Relations Director for the New York Mets Major League Baseball team.  He has been a member of the Mets for two-decades, one of those decades was spend as a minor league player.  The Mets cancelled spring training and will delay the start of the regular for at least two-weeks.  Donovan Sr. was just honored by the Mets for his two-decades of service with the organization.

Donovan, Jr. tested positive for the Coronavirus shortly after his teammate and friend Rudy Gobert tested positive.  Out of 58 others tested in the Utah Jazz family only Gobert and Mitchell tested positive.  The two have been a one-two punch for the Jazz for the past two seasons.  Donovan averaged 24 points a game during his rookie year, adding 4 assist and 4 rebounds to make him a rising star in the NBA.  He won the NBA Slam Dunk contest his rookie year, but decided not to defend his championship at this year’s All-Star Game, but he was on pace to match last  year’s stats, averaging 22 points a game, adding 4 assist and 4 rebounds before the Coronavirus interrupted the 2020 season.

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