Luka Doncic Must Contend With The Dark Side of the NBA
Hot-headed Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic was fighting with the referees again this weekend.
During Sunday’s 112 – 109 loss to the Indiana Pacers, Luka Doncic shouted at referee Tyler Ford.
Doncic’s displeasure was not unfounded, considering he had taken blows to the face three times during the game. One of which, a hit by Pacers guard Victor Oladipo, left him bleeding from the mouth.
Considering the attention he was getting, Luka Doncic was still dominant. He finished the match with 36 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists. What sticks in the craw for Doncic is that getting roughed up has become as commonplace for him as his ridiculous numbers.
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“They hit me in the face, and that should be a foul,” Doncic said.
“They should look at it. I think the rule is when you get hit in the face, they’ve got to look if it’s flagrant or no, right? Like I said, I was hit in the face three times. Two of them was not a foul.”
Doncic is no different to any other precociously talented player, in any elite sport. If you can hurt them with your talent, then they are going to hurt you with their bodies.
The Dallas guard/forward acknowledged in early December that he needs to learn to keep a cool head in these situations. As coach Rick Carlisle attested to back then, Doncic can take this kind of treatment as a given.
“Look, he’s a guy that gets hit a lot,” said Carlisle.
“People take a lot of liberties on him. I was here for 11 years with Dirk Nowitzki, who people constantly took shots at, were trying to get physical with, trying to distract him, everything else.
“Everybody in the league is trying to do it with Doncic, too. He’s tough. He can handle all of it, but when he comes over to the bench and he’s got scratches and blood marks on his arms and hands, I know there’s something there.”