Even though Luka Dončić came off an impressive season and an even better playoff run that cemented his place amongst the NBA elite, a lot of turmoil and rumors regarding his character on and off the court started to float around after the Mavericks lost to the Clippers. All the talk about not clicking with Porzingis, then the sudden coaching and front-office change, had many people speculating if Luka and his attitude had everything to do with it.
ESPN's Brian Windhorst came out with a report recently, saying how the Mavericks will have a thought time finding their second star due to Luka being difficult to play with.
"I don't know how many people are going to be excited to play with Luka (Doncic). I think Luka is, maybe, a difficult person. 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."
Brian Windhorst, via 105.3 The FAN
Even though he has some points about Luka being extremely passionate on the court, which doesn't sit well with particular guys, most fans didn't buy into this narrative. Luka's father and former basketball player, Saša Dončić, responded to Windhorst, defending his son while laughing at Windhorst's comments.
"I don't know. Maybe this journalist is probably the biggest basketball genius. So please don't ask me about it (laughs). I'm telling you, what he is doing in the NBA is more than great. I'm talking as a basketball fan. As a father, I'm very proud of him. He's not afraid of anybody. He has this heart and guts to compare with everybody. What he's doing at 22 years old in the NBA, as a European player, I think, nobody does this. Actually, I didn't hear it (remarks about Luka's leadership in Dallas), so I don't know how to comment on it."
Saša Dončić, Basket News
Sure, Luka's attitude at times last season was a topic of conversation. All the talking with the referees and antics earned him a bad reputation amongst some fans, but at the end of the day, you have to realize this is a 22-year old kid holding the pressure of the whole franchise on his shoulders already. Luka himself admitted he has to get better at controlling himself, and with time, that will come. When you add in the immaculate talent and skill Luka possesses, you can't help but think who in the world wouldn't want to play with this guy. A born winner that will reap havoc on the NBA for a long time, especially when he gets that crucial number two alongside him.
Want to stay up to date with the latest news and reactions?Download our NBA news feed for breaking news, live stats, and game coverage.