The Dallas Mavericks are off to a fairly mediocre start in 2021. A little more than a quarter of the way into the new season, they sit at 11-11 – good for sixth in the Western Conference.
Over the summer Dallas hired Jason Kidd to serve as their new head coach.
Many wondered how Kidd’s notoriously harsh personality would mesh with star Luka Doncic’s extremely sensitive temperament.
This week, an answer emerged.
Doncic has developed a reputation over the past few years about crying to officials over every little thing. He very often stops in the middle of live action to do so.
On Friday, Kidd publicly made a call to Doncic to stop.
“I would lean toward playing 5-on-5 a bit more,” Kidd said. “You’re not going to get any calls. Officials, they tend to not stop the game to change calls. You have to understand there’s a point in time in games — dead balls — to be able to talk to officials.
“While the game is going on, transition defense is one of the things we’ve talked about that we have to get better. If we’re lobbying for calls during live play, it puts us in harm’s way. … Just some things have got to be a little bit more important. I think we’re going to get better at understanding as a team when to talk to officials.”
Although Kidd didn’t specifically mention Doncic, it was clear who he was talking about.
And surprisingly, Doncic accepted the message with no bad feelings.
Brittany Renner reveals what Colin Kaepernick made her do. https://t.co/Ynujeu5kzi
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 4, 2021
“It’s a lot of things, you know,” Doncic said, per Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News. “I think J-Kidd, he’s got a point and I’ve got to stop doing that.”
It is obviously debatable whether Dallas has the roster to be anything more than a middling squad in the West at the moment. That said, given the dysfunction the franchise displayed last year, it is a promising sign that they were able to handle mild adversity in this fashion.