NBA legend John Salley is not making a big deal out of Donovan Mitchell and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ first-round exit at the hands of the New York Knicks in the 2023 NBA Playoffs. Instead, he believes it’s a reminder for everyone that one player doesn’t make a team great. At the end of the day, basketball is still a team sport.
Salley made the comments when speaking with Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson, adding that no star in the NBA can’t do it alone. There were high expectations on the Cavs after they landed Mitchell in a trade, so losing early in the postseason wasn’t really ideal. The four-time champion, however, went as far as to saying that the likes of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James needed help to win.
He added that the Knicks winning was actually good for the NBA, especially since it has been a decade since one of the league’s most valuable franchises has won a postseason series.
“Well I think that it was important for the league… for the Knicks to win. And one player NEVER makes a whole team great. Kobe didn’t do it, Michael didn’t do it, LeBron didn’t do it, D-Wade didn’t do it, Shaq didn’t do it, Magic didn’t do it… they can’t do it. Even though you have a star on the team — think about it: On the Detroit Pistons, we had Isiah Thomas and they thought that that was it. The MVP went to Joe Dumars. Bill Lambeer was an All-Star, Dennis Rodman was an All-Star and developed into that,” Salley explained.
True enough, while it’s certainly disappointing to see the Cavs lose to the Knicks in the postseason, it should be a learning experience for the whole team. They simply cannot rely on one or two stars to carry them. All members of the team have a role to play, and in order for them to win, the rest of the squad must step up.
Hopefully, though, the Cavs have learned their lesson.