Again and again, Doncic has been hailed as the future of the franchise and one of the best guards in the league.
Again and again, he has put up incredible shots and come up clutch for his team.
Again and again, he has been talked about as a possible MVP at the end of the season.
And now it has become even more obvious that the Mavericks believe the hype about Doncic and hold him in the highest regard possible.
Not since Dirk Nowitzki has Dallas cherished a player as much as Doncic – but is that a good thing?
Doncic Over Carlisle
A new report from ESPN gets into great detail about the fractured relationship between former head coach Rick Carlisle and Doncic.
While Carlisle apparently treated Doncic well, the Slovenian phenom didn’t like how he handled other players on the team.
According to the report: “It wasn’t really about how Rick treated Luka. Luka hated how Rick treated other people.”
— Mavs Nation (@MavsNationDAL) December 15, 2021
Most notably, Doncic was unhappy with the way Carlisle treated Dennis Smith Jr, who was accused by Carlisle of being jealous of Doncic and was unceremoniously dumped by the team in the middle of the season.
Doncic thought that Carlisle was attempting to get between him and Smith.
Following that, the star lost respect for his coach and would openly question his authority.
This eventually resulted in Carlisle’s resignation from the team, seen as an attempt by the front office to make Doncic happy.
Doncic had flexed his muscle with the team – and won.
He Hasn’t Changed
It’s not surprising to see Doncic being championed by his team.
Right now, the star point guard is creating 25.6 points, eight rebounds, and 8.5 rebounds a game so of course he will carry great power with the team.
Yet, his inability to grow also shows his powerful standing and status with Dallas.
Those numbers he is putting up are actually his worst in a few years, since his rookie season.
And there have been multiple complaints from analysts and even some Dallas insiders that he refuses to tweak and enhance his game.
You can see it often: he’s running the same plays, attempting the same shots, performing within his wheelhouse but rarely pushing beyond that.
And that’s not even mentioning the number of reports coming out saying that he’s overweight and refusing to get in shape.
— New York Post (@nypost) December 9, 2021
Yet, Dallas and new head coach Jason Kidd haven’t seemed to do much to change him.
The team still conforms around Doncic and allows him to play as he pleases.
Make no mistake: he can play terrific basketball but if he wants Dallas to make the Finals, he is going to have to open up and try some new things such as relying on other players, getting in shape, and not leaning on his own form of “hero ball.”
That is the key to success but it’s not happening in Dallas and it shows how stubborn he is and how resistant the team is to nudge him forward.
Doncic is certainly one of the best players in the NBA but he could be so much better if he was only challenged more.