If there's one criticism that's been associated with Luka Doncic's young but already incredible 5-year NBA career, it's his inability to stay in shape. A couple of former NBA players and analysts, like TNT's Reggie Miller, have consistently commented on Doncic showing up in the past NBA seasons out of shape.
True enough, Luka has gained weight over time as he was once listed as 230 lbs in his rookie year, then reached 260 in December 2021. However, amid all the harsh criticism, Doncic managed to trim down to 240 lbs in January 2022.
Jason Kidd thanks Miller for calling Doncic out
According to Miller, Doncic's current head coach reached out to him and even thanked him for calling the superstar out on live television. Because of the Hall-of-Famer's harsh but warranted criticism, Kidd told Miller that that motivated Doncic to shred some pounds this summer. Aside from his weight, Miller also called Doncic out for complaining too much at the referees.
"Jason Kidd said thank you because it's almost -- and you know this very well as a parent -- you can say everything you want to your kids, and it goes in one ear and out the other. But when they hear from somewhere else, and it's the same message, they're like, 'Oh OK, I get it.'" Miller said, as reported by The Dallas Morning News.
"So he understood, and he knew, and Jason Kidd had been kind of verbalizing to him: 'You've got the kingdom at your feet, young man, but you've got to get in better shape and you've got to stay off the officials.' And [Doncic] took both of that advice coming from Kevin Harlan and myself and obviously from Jason Kidd, and this is where we are now," Miller added.
Message well received
The fact that the Slovenian native showed initiative to come back in better form and shape this season shows that Doncic accepted all the criticism about his weight and did something about it.
Currently, the 3-time All-Star is back to his form when he was a rookie, and it seems his game is only getting better as each day passes. This season, Doncic is averaging a career-high 34.4 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 7.8 assists per game as he's one of the early favorites to win this year's MVP award.
The next challenge for the Dallas Mavericks superstar is to lead his team to a Finals appearance, which he was close to achieving last season. He also needs to find a way to avoid burning himself out during the season and Playoffs, as this has proven to be his downfall over the past couple of years.
Now that Doncic has responded to the criticism about his weight, it'll be up to him and Mark Cuban to get him some help and lead the Mavericks to the promised land.