Luka Dončić Simply Decided to Have Fun and Not Complain in Game 5 Win

Luka Dončić had a 31-point triple-double as the Dallas Mavericks took a 3-2 series lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference semifinals. Dončić made 12 of 22 field goal attempts in 41 minutes during the Mavericks' 104-92 win. Despite the fact that he only shot three free throws, he didn't seem to complain as much as usual.

In fact, he toned down the complaining so much during the game that they actually discussed it on the broadcast. And then it was the first thing that TNT's Jared Greenberg asked him about during his postgame interview.

“I just tried to play basketball," Dončić said. "Just trying to focus on basketball. Sometimes I forgot this is the thing I love, this is the thing I do. And you know, I just, my mental focus was to just go out there and play basketball you know, with a smile on my face and just go.”

What a novel concept. Of course, you have to wonder if he had so little to complain about because everything went well or did everything go well because he had so little to complain about? Which came first, the chicken or the egg? You'd need to take a close look at the fowl calls.

If we're lucky, Luka's quietly loud performance will be an inspiration to players across the sport. It's okay to just play the game. All you're doing by complaining constantly is looking like a complainer. No one came to watch you flail around and make hand gestures as your teammates try to get back on defense. Hopefully, Luka continues down the righteous path as the series and postseason continues. And if it doesn't there's probably a lesson there too.

Stephen Douglas


Stephen Douglas is a Senior Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. He has been in journalism and media since 2008, and now casts a wide net with coverage across all sports. Stephen spent more than a decade with The Big Lead and has previously written for Uproxx and The Sporting News. He has three children, two degrees and one now unverified Twitter account.