Luka Doncic seems like a forgotten man in the NBA at the moment. While every team in the West conference is struggling at some point in the season, the Mavericks are not making strides and taking advantage of the situation. Dallas remains mediocre, which means Doncic needs to get better. Does he have more to offer?
"He's Not A Generational Worker"
The cat is now out of the bag as NBA insider Kevin O'Connor from The Ringer claims Luka Doncic may not have the desire or discipline to get to the next level.
"Doncic is a magnificent talent, a no-doubt top-10 player who could not improve a lick from today and still make the Hall of Fame. Luka is a generational talent. But he's not a generational worker."
In a league full of players investing millions of dollars and countless unseen hours into their bodies and skills, does Luka do everything he can?"
O'Connor added that Doncic has little to show for improved 3-point shooting, defense, and cutting down of turnovers. He's got some point there. Luka wowed the league four years ago. Some compared him to Larry Bird, while others claimed he's got a shot to become the best ever. With 21.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, and six assists averages, fans and experts had a reason to believe Doncic was the next big thing. However, as mentioned, Luka failed to live up to expectations. Does he still have something left to offer?
Problems with expectations and desire
Expectations either help a player or can additionally burden them. Some achieve to go beyond the hype, while others become victims of it. Luka's early promise and flashes of potential were not ordinary for a teenager. But, as we've been seeing for a while now, his progress somewhat stalled. So we have to understand the factors at play here.
A player undergoes different stages of development mentally and physically to get to the next level. Michael Jordan, despite his greatness, had to suffer losses upon losses until he decided he can't take it anymore. Doncic, for his part, suffered getting kicked out in the playoffs for two straight years in the hands of L.A. Clippers. Everyone is waiting for that one bad loss that hurts so much that it transforms the Slovenian into a beast.
Accountability also needs to be mentioned. For example, the front office fired Rick Carlisle and replaced people close to Luka. Can the coaching staff call him out without risking hurting his feelings when he underperformed when they were hired to please Luka in the first place?
The 22-year-old may be a victim of his greatness. Even a good game may not cut for him and Dallas anymore. When you've shown superstar qualities as a rookie, any lesser than that is underwhelming. Luka needs to be serious about taking care of his body more. It helps his confidence, instills discipline, and could prolong his career. Luka Doncic has to choose how he will be remembered when all is said and done: the greatest ever or someone who failed to live up to his potentials.