‘I Paid Him Off in Pesos’: Mavericks Coach Rick Carlisle Reveals Crazy Bet with Luka Doncic

Published 04/15/2021, 3:15 AM EDT
Apr 14, 2021; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) shoots a three-point basket against the Memphis Grizzlies as time expired in the fourth quarter at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports


The Dallas Mavericks have a bonafide star in Luka Doncic. The Slovenian has had one of the fastest rises in NBA history. Having been in the league for only three seasons, Doncic is already a Rookie of the Year, a two-time All-Star, and an All-NBA player. Doncic has been playing at an incredibly high level and is seen as the future of the Dallas Mavericks and the NBA as a whole.

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Carlisle losing bets to Luka Doncic

Luka’s promise doesn’t stop his coach from literally betting against him. Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle revealed that he and Luka Doncic often place wagers on his half-court shots. And as expected, Carlisle ends up losing his money. The coach said, “I can’t tell you how many thousands of dollars I’ve lost to him because of halfcourt shots. One time in Mexico City I paid him off in pesos I was so pissed.”

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Despite Carlisle losing money in bets to Doncic, he knows what a gift Luka has. In just a few years, Doncic has established himself as one of the best players in the world. Doncic came into the NBA just as Dirk Nowitzki was departing. It was too perfect a scenario, replacing a European star with another European star. However, Doncic has proved his worth since then and continues to improve with time.

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Since his arrival, Doncic has been key in the Mavericks’ improvement. Toward the end of his rookie year, the Mavericks brought in Kristaps Porzingis. After missing the playoffs for three straight years, Doncic led the Mavs to the playoffs in just his second season. And while they couldn’t beat the Clippers, Doncic stole the show and gave the Clippers a scare in the process. His iconic buzzer-beater against the Clippers will stand the test of time.

Doncic putting up strong numbers

For the season, Luka Doncic has put up fantastic numbers so far. He is averaging 28.6 points, 8 rebounds, and 8.6 assists. While his numbers are absolutely fantastic, they are still not as good as they were last year.

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It is strange that Doncic is playing at an MVP level but isn’t able to improve on his statistics and performances from last year. Furthermore, the Mavericks are still not a lock for the playoffs, meaning they are likely to take part in the play-in games.

Apr 12, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) guards Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) during the first quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Can the Dallas Mavericks reach the playoffs this season? Luka Doncic will have to play at his absolute best for them to stand a chance to make it. The Western Conference is even tougher this year, and they will have to work hard to get success.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1157 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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