Donovan Mitchell reacted to the serious injury suffered by former Cleveland Cavaliers guard Raul Neto during a game for Brazil at the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
The Cavaliers superstar posted prayer hands on Instagram in response to news that Neto ruptured the patellar tendon in his right knee in Brazil’s opening game against Iran. Neto will be out for the remainder of the tournament.
Earlier this offseason, Neto left the Cavaliers to join Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce Beko. He played in 48 games for the Cavs last season, which was his first with Cleveland. The 31-year-old also appeared in two games during the team’s series loss to the New York Knicks in the first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs.
Neto was selected in the second round of the 2013 NBA Draft (No. 47 overall) by the Atlanta Hawks but was immediately traded to the Utah Jazz. After playing elsewhere for multiple seasons, he arrived in the NBA in 2015 and played four seasons with the Jazz prior to stints with the Philadelphia 76ers and Washington Wizards before landing with Cleveland.
The guard was taken off the court on a stretcher after slipping and falling during the third quarter of Brazil’s 100-59 win. His team was leading 62-25 at the time.
Mitchell himself is not participating in the World Cup but is likely keeping an eye on Team USA, which opened play Saturday with a 99-72 win over New Zealand, helped by the play of Los Angeles Lakers star Austin Reaves.
The Cavaliers are doing everything they can to keep Mitchell happy while he is constantly mentioned in rumors about him potentially leaving Cleveland. The organization reportedly is “rolling out the red carpet” to please the 26-year-old, who has been most prominently linked to the Knicks due to him being a New York native and having some other ties to that franchise.
Mitchell’s leadership and connection to the Cavaliers can be seen in his heartfelt response to a former teammate getting injured. It’s just one of many attributes that any organization would love to have from a long-term face of a team.