NO individual is bigger than the team. It's an old adage, but it doesn't always apply to the sport of basketball.
As team sports go, none are more individual. The recent NBA finals, Milwaukee v Phoenix ran second in discourse to Giannis v Chris Paul.
For LeBron James, the team singlet he wears is almost immaterial. It runs a distant second, at least in hearts and minds, to his legacy battle with Michael Jordan.
Build a winning team in the NBA, it might get dubbed a 'super-team', winning as part of one can become a mark against an individual.
Individuals get all the praise when it's good, and all the criticism when it's bad. No one is more aware of that fact than Boomers absentee Ben Simmons.
One of the intriguing things about the Tokyo build-up for both our men's and women's teams was the discussion around who wouldn't be there.
The circumstances are very different, but with Simmons and Liz Cambage absent, the Boomers and Opals are without their best individual players.
On Simmons, no one's gloating, but it's not hard to see why the current Boomers environment - one that places a premium on selflessness - would have benefitted him.
There were plenty who thought Jock Landale didn't scoop individual awards in the last NBL season because he wasn't selfish enough, but it's made him a perfect fit for the Boomers.
In Wednesday night's win over Italy, Landale led his team with 18 points and seven rebounds. It's what his team needed in a win that wasn't pretty, but crucial. With Aaron Baynes (14 and 7) he combined for nine telling o-boards.
It came as Italy put the clamps on 'Boomers Patty' Mills early after he dropped 26 against Nigeria on Sunday. Someone else needed to step up. It was his turn.
He also had two assists as part of a team tally of 26 on 32 field goals. Mills and Joe Ingles had five each. Mattise Thybulle and Dante Exum had four apiece.
It's a team that's made selflessness a trademark.
"I think everyone stood out tonight, everyone knows their role on this team and that's what we try and do to the best of our ability." Landale told Channel 7.
"Me and Nick Kay, all we try and do is the hustle plays, rebound, run, do the dirty work and let guys like Joe and Patty carry the scoring load and make plays.
"I just fed off those guys. They're some of the best play-makers I've ever played with and they attract so much attention, all I've got to do is roll to the basket and hope for the best.
"There's just buy-in across the board and that's what makes us a great team."
Kay, the ultimate team guy, echoed the sentiment.
"If we keep moving the ball and keep playing unselfishly, we're going to have more success than not," he said.
It's an effect often seen in genuine individual sports. The remaking of the polarising Nick Kygrios in the eyes of the Aussie public had plenty to do with his Davis Cup exploits. Before him, wearing national colours had a similar effect on Lleyton Hewitt.
It's why even the most well-intentioned observers wanted to see Simmons there in Tokyo, thriving in a genuine team environment.
He's not there and, without bitterness, the Boomers push for a breakthrough Olympic medal will go on regardless. The team really is bigger than any individual.