Jason Kidd Explains How Luka Dončić Will Benefit From Struggles in First NBA Finals

Mar 17, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA;  Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd speaks to Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) during the second half against the Denver Nuggets at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 17, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd speaks to Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) during the second half against the Denver Nuggets at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd met with the media on Thursday afternoon ahead of Friday night's Game 4, with his team staring an NBA Finals sweep straight in the face.

The Mavericks have been paced offensively by the play of their star Luka Doncic, but his poor defense and the team's collective play simply has not been good enough in any of the first three games.

Now, down 3–0, it would take an unprecedented run over the next four games to prevent the Boston Celtics from capturing the 2024 NBA title.

So how can Doncic learn from this experience?

"I think the history is there for us to learn from when you look at great players and the struggles," Kidd said. "You look at [Michael Jordan] and the struggles he had against Detroit. You look at Magic Johnson's struggles. You look at LeBron's first time around. So, it's there to learn from. So as the great ones, they use that going into the next season or the next couple seasons to try to get back there because now they understand. Experience is a big thing. ... You have to fail to be able to understand how to be successful at the highest stage."

The Celtics, on the cusp of their first NBA title since 2008, know exactly how failure can shape a championship run. Boston lost the 2022 NBA Finals in six games to the Golden State Warriors, and fell behind 3–0 in the 2023 Eastern Conference finals to the No. 8 seeded Miami Heat, before coming back and ultimately losing Game 7.

The trials and tribulations have led Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown on the doorstep of their first NBA title, and the past failures have certainly prepared them for this moment.

Kidd is hoping for the same for Doncic.


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Mike McDaniel

MIKE MCDANIEL

Mike McDaniel is a staff writer on the Breaking and Trending News team at Sports Illustrated, where he has worked since January 2022. His work has been featured at InsideTheACC.com, SB Nation, FanSided and more. McDaniel hosts the Hokie Hangover Podcast, covering Virginia Tech athletics, as well as Basketball Conference: The ACC Football Podcast. Outside of work, he is a husband and father, and an avid golfer.