The prevailing wisdom over the past year has been that the Dallas Mavericks are a single piece away from being a legitimate championship contender.
With Luka Doncic and one other star, most feel like Dallas would be unstoppable.
Finding that second star, however, may not be as easy as anticipated.
Why? Because apparently Doncic is developing something of an unfortunate reputation around the league.
ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst elaborated on this during a recent appearance on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas.
“I don’t know how many people are going to be excited to play with Luka. I think Luka is, maybe, a difficult person,” he said.
“He’s a great player but when you watch the Mavericks play, he’s barking at the coach, he’s barking at his teammates, he’s barking at the officials. He’s always barking about something. He can really be an irritable guy.”
It’s not hard to see where this reputation stems from. Doncic has a very notable beef with teammate Kristaps Porzingis, who was supposed to be his No. 2 guy. Beyond that, it’s an open secret at this point that he used to mock and taunt then-head coach Rick Carlisle on the bench, which isn’t great.
“So, with a guy who has options, I will be interested to see how that goes going forward,” Windhorst continued.
“… What is he, 21 now (he’s 22)? I don’t even believe he’s 21. If you look at him, everything about him, he doesn’t look 21, he doesn’t play 21. It’s almost scary to think where this guy’s going to be when he hits his prime. …
“I do think that Luka isn’t a guy… let’s just say It’s not like going to play alongside LeBron (James) or Kevin Durant, guys who you can tell really form good bonds with teammates. I think he’s going to be a challenging guy to play with sometimes, but if you win, that’s going to be the only thing that matters.”
That’s one way to watch a game. https://t.co/rlfZSR4DDe
— Game 7 (@game7__) May 13, 2021
That doesn’t mean all avenues of upgrading the roster are closed off to Dallas. The Mavericks are currently being linked to an absolutely massive trade involving the Washington Wizards. If that happens – this is all a moot point.
If it doesn’t, though, then the Mavs may have a lot more trouble securing help for Doncic than anyone may have initially realized.