An organization being able to avoid a down period of consistent losing after one generations star's time comes to an end is uncommon. With Doncic, the Mavericks went from a lottery team to a playoff team after his rookie season, which also happened to be Nowitzki's final season.
Doncic recently sat down for an interview with WFAA, where he spoke on his love for basketball, his career, and his future in Dallas.
"I don't think they're worried about it right now," Doncic told WFAA of Mavs' fans. "I got what, five years left here, so I don't think they should be worried about it."
Five years may seem like a long time, but Doncic is already in his fifth season in the league, and it feels like just yesterday when he walked across the NBA Draft stage to shake Adam Silver's hand after being selected with the No. 3 pick.
And as we've seen in the NBA, a lot can change with a superstar's level of happiness in their current situation in span of not just months or weeks, but days. That's not to put any fear in the heart of Mavs fans, but it's an honest assessment of where the franchise could be headed if it can't build a true championship-contending roster around Doncic going forward.
After a trip to the Western Conference Finals last season, expectations have only gotten higher, and just clinching a playoff spot or losing in the first or second round likely isn't going to be enough for a player of Doncic's stature. What Doncic is doing with this current Mavs roster is reminiscent of what LeBron James was doing with the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first seven years of his career, and we all know how that ultimately played out.
It's about competing for a championship every single season – no exceptions.
"That's everything. Everybody wants to win a championship," Doncic said. "I want to win a championship here."
The loyalty that Dallas was blessed, and spoiled, with when it comes to Nowitzki's 21-year career is rare. A superstar playing for one team for their entire career does not happen often in today's game. Although it happened with Nowitzki, even he has questioned whether or not things would've played out the way they did had the Mavericks not broken through and won a championship in 2011.
Doncic could very well be cut from the same cloth from his former teammate and occasional mentor, but Dallas' front office can't take that as being a given. Doncic has said all the right things up to this point, but the pressure is on Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and general manager Nico Harrison to put the correct puzzle pieces around No. 77 to ensure that he remains in Dallas for a long time.
The Mavericks need to be competing for a championship ever season with Doncic playing at the all-time level he's currently playing at. As of right now, there's some work to do for Dallas to get to that point.
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