The point guard position has been a revolving door in Dallas since the departure of Jason Kidd, who helped guide the Mavs to the 2010-11 NBA title after Carlisle gave him the keys to run the offense. The Mavs’ front office twice acquired point guards it hoped would be franchise centerpieces, but Carlisle’s relationships with Rajon Rondo and Dennis Smith Jr. deteriorated quickly, and their tenures in Dallas were ultimately brief and disappointing.
“When we had people here who didn’t think they needed to learn anything, that’s when we’d run into conflicts,” Cuban said. “Luka is a sponge, on the court and off.”
Another factor: Carlisle didn’t believe in Rondo or Smith. Sources say Carlisle expressed concern about Rondo’s fit before the Mavs traded for him, and he had soured on Smith by the All-Star break of the lottery pick’s rookie season.
Carlisle, though, considers Doncic to be a legend in the making, declaring on media day this year, “I wouldn’t trade him for anybody in the league.”
– “How Rick Carlisle Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Luka Doncic,” via ESPN’s Tim MacMahon
The embedded video has Kendrick Perkins describing Luka as a less athletic and smaller LeBron James. Is that a compliment?
One more great quote from Carlisle:
“I understand that he’s a performer, he’s an artist…It’s important for him to feel that he is out there doing a job to win a game, but also he’s an entertainer. I get that. What the great players in history of sport have in common is they can take the understanding of the entertainment side and fit it into the team concept and still make winning the priority.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that for Luka Doncic, winning is the No. 1 and most important thing, hands down.”
Luka is my favorite player in the NBA.