The NBA has a slew of awards it hands out each season. MVP, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Most Improved Player, etc. If there were an Argued the Most Calls With an Official award, it would go Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks.
(Luka might actually have three of those right now, one for each year he’s been in the league).
But it appears the Slovenian superstar is ready to gracefully step down and allow someone else (here’s looking at you, LeBron James) a shot.
Because Luka, apparently, has found an interesting solution to stifle his urge to argue calls.
Luka Doncic leads the NBA in technical fouls
Luka has 14 technical fouls this season. He had 15 before one was rescinded by the NBA.
Once a player gets T’d up 16 times, he’s automatically suspended for one game and another two for every technical after per NBA.com.
It’s nothing new for Luka, who also led the league in technical fouls last season. He’s an emotional player — but there’s a point where that emotion gets pushed too far, especially when it concerns arguing with officials.
Apparently, though, the 23-year-old has developed a new way of controlling those emotions.
Luka has an interesting new way of avoiding more Ts
The Mavs have developed a stronger, deeper team since they dealt Kristaps Porzingis to the Washington Wizards for Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans at the trade deadline.
Dinwiddie, in particular, has provided a playmaking and scoring spark Doncic didn’t have beside him in the backcourt previously.
Coupled with Jalen Brunson, who’s had a breakout season as Dallas’s starting point guard, Doncic has more help than he’s been accustomed to.
Still, Luka has been on an MVP-level pace since January. He’s the hub of everything the Mavericks want to do. They need him available and on the floor.
The fourth-year pro has finally discovered this and, with a bit of help, has found an interesting way to calm himself down when he’s on the prowl for another technical via Tim McMahon of ESPN:
It’s a funny thing — I just start singing a song in my head.
One of my favorite songs I pick and just start singing and let [the frustration] pass.Luka Doncic on his new way of avoiding technical fouls
Luka got the idea from none other than Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki, who used to sing to himself before shooting free throws.
Just some good advice from one Dallas icon to another.
The Dallas Mavericks need every minute their star can give them
The Mavs have the sixth-best record in the NBA since Jan. 1. They’ve been even better since bringing Dinwiddie into the rotation, but the jump came when Luka rounded into form.
Doncic is nearly averaging a triple-double since Jan. 1. He’s scoring 29.7 points a game and adding 9.9 rebounds and 8.6 assists.
Since Feb. 1, those numbers have jumped to 32.9 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 7.8 assists.
Even after a slow start, Luka has made himself a top-five MVP candidate and, in the process, carried the Mavs to fifth-place in the Western Conference standings.
Doncic needs to be on the floor for Dallas to win games. Maybe with this fascinating new way of settling his emotions, he’ll make sure he stays there.
All statistics courtesy of NBA.com.