Luka Doncic played three seasons for Rick Carlisle, and the duo guided the Dallas Mavericks to playoff appearances in 2020 and 2021. However, the Mavericks lost in the first round both times despite the brilliance of Doncic, who won the 2018-19 Rookie of the Year Award and averaged 25.7 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 7.7 assists under Carlisle.
This past summer, Carlisle resigned as head coach of the Mavericks, the franchise he won his lone championship with in 2011. The New York native took the Indiana Pacers’ job, while the Mavericks hired Hall of Famer Jason Kidd.
It remains to be seen if Doncic and Kidd can bring the Mavericks back to the promised land. However, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN, Doncic has a much better relationship with Kidd than he did with Carlisle.
Luka Doncic reportedly didn’t like how Rick Carlisle treated people
Doncic and Carlisle spent three seasons together in Dallas. Not only did the Mavericks fail to win a playoff series, but Doncic reportedly didn’t like the way Carlisle treated some of the players.
“It wasn’t really about how Rick treated Luka,” a Mavericks player on the 2018-19 team told ESPN. “Luka hated how Rick treated other people.”
Doncic questioned Carlisle’s authority in front of the team on at least one occasion early in the 2020-21 season. The two-time All-Star also barked at his head coach in Game 1 of the 2021 playoffs against the Los Angeles Clippers after picking up a third foul and wanting to stay in. When Carlisle took him out, Doncic lost his cool.
Luka Doncic went off on Rick Carlisle
Everybody remembers Doncic putting up a 31-point triple-double against the Clippers in Game 1 to lead the Mavericks to an upset road victory. However, not many people know that the All-NBA swingman had a massive blowup with Carlisle midway through the third quarter.
“As Jalen Brunson checked in, Doncic briefly took his glare off Carlisle, dropping his head and clenching his fingers, squeezing the air as if he were crushing something in his hands,” MacMahon wrote in his report. “Doncic barked at Carlisle as he walked toward the Dallas bench, shaking his head along the way. Doncic didn’t stop at his seat at the end of the bench, stomping another 10 steps until he reached the short wall at the bottom of the arena’s lower bowl. He leaned against the wall, rested his head on top of his arms, turned his back to the floor and remained there for most of the Clippers’ ensuing possession. When he returned to the bench, Doncic stood and again shouted in Carlisle’s direction before finally taking his seat.”
The Mavericks lost to the Clippers in seven games despite Doncic averaging 35.7 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 10.3 assists. While Luka Legend never called for Carlisle to go, he’s presumably happy there’s a new man in charge.
Mavericks have better vibe under Jason Kidd
Doncic’s partner in crime, Kristaps Porzingis, has felt refreshed after Carlisle’s resignation, according to MacMahon. Luka and KP’s chemistry on the court has improved, and even though the Mavericks are only 14-13 on the season, the vibe in Dallas is much better than it was last season.
“If you’re not having fun, then it’s tough to play and give your all,” Porzingis said after a recent win over the Clippers. “I feel like this year we have that kind of environment.”
Kidd is a champion and one of the best point guards in NBA history. However, he struggled with the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks. With that said, it will be interesting to see how he connects with Doncic and Porzingis moving forward. If Kidd wants to last in Dallas, he should probably do the exact opposite of what Carlisle did in front of Doncic.