NBA Insider Reveals Details of Rift That Plagued Luka Doncic and Dallas Mavericks

Published 07/17/2021, 4:33 PM EDT
May 30, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) warms up before game four against the LA Clippers in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Slovenian superstar Luka Doncic is the single greatest thing to happen to Dallas, since Dirk Nowitzki’s championship season in 2011. Dallas really lucked out in the 2018 draft, as they traded Doncic for Trae Young on draft night.


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And since his NBA debut, there remains no doubt, that the former Rookie of the Year will soon be an MVP and NBA champion. 

Doncic, after being unable to get past the 1st round in his first 2 playoff appearances, despite balling out, will look to Mark Cuban and the management this offseason for some drastic roster changes.


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Luka Magic has been almost LeBronesque, averaging a triple-double in a playoff career spanning 13 games, all against the L.A. Clippers. 

Dallas and L.A. matched up well on paper, given the shooters and complementary stars around Doncic and Leonard. But, contrary to the Clippers, the remainder of the Dallas Mavericks roster failed to show up.

Luka Doncic remained the lone warrior as he recorded 35.7ppg/7.9rpg/10.5apg taking a loaded Clippers roster 7 games.

The Luka Doncic – Rick Carlisle rift

Throughout the past 2 seasons, especially following repeated playoff burnouts, the tension in the Mavs camp ought to have been running high. And given Luka’s relationship with Carlisle, the axing was only a matter of time.

Senior NBA Insider Chris Haynes via the Dan Patrick Show recently gave his take on the tension that boiled over in Dallas. He said, “It was a poorly announced secret that Luka didn’t really get along with Rick Carlisle.

May 28, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) brings the ball up court against the LA Clippers during the first quarter in game three in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Haynes further added that “It was within league circles. We heard that throughout his tenure. Rick Carlisle is a coach who wants a lot of control. And he’s given control to Luka because he’s such a great, phenomenal player.

“But he’s used to controlling the offense, controlling defense, calling sets and he had to allow Luka to have more reign being the player that he blossomed into.”

Haynes concluded his take by saying, “But, those 2 guys, it was never just pure bliss with those 2 guys. I don’t have any information to say that Luka needed Carlyle to be out to stay there, but it wasn’t a secret that they made this decision.

The Doncic Cuban Dynamic

Doncic is bound by a contract that will see the all-star remain in Dallas till 2022 when he becomes a restricted free agent. Given Luka’s value to the franchise, is Mark Cuban willing to go the yards to keep him in Dallas?

Doncic and Cuban’s relationship remains stronger than ever. Clearly, Mark’s got a way with European basketball superstars!


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LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 20: Dallas Mavericks Guard Luka Doncic (77) looks on with owner Mark Cuban before a NBA game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Clippers on December 20, 2018 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

In an attempt to start afresh, Mark Cuban also got the 2011 championship band back together. After he recruited Jason Kidd as the new head coach, he then appointed Dirk Nowitzki as a special advisor.

Cuban is clearly pining for a win-now approach, as he looks to nurture the existing Dirk-like talent in his backyard.


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Watch this story – Luka Doncic, Rudy Gobert & All Other NBA Players Competing-For A Gold At The Tokyo Olympic Games


Nikhil Naik

89 articles

Nikhil Naik is an NBA writer at EssentialySports. Having completed his bachelor's degree in Hospitality, he has worked with the Indian Hotels Company Limited, at the Taj in Mumbai. Nikhil has been playing basketball since 2014.



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