Luka Doncic Isn't 'The Future'; Mavs Star Is 'The Now'

Our DFW Sports Notebook keeps you warm with news and views on Luka Doncic and much more
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Whether you’re at the end of your coffee, your day, your week or even your rope, welcome to Whitt’s End 2.19.21 …

*Sure, it’s a feather in the Fedora to be named to TIME’s “Next 100”, blah blah blah. But if the magazine’s compilation of “future leaders who are shaping the world” was truly visionary, Luka Doncic would have made it as a 17-year-old prospect instead of a 21-year-old superstar.

READ MORE: Luka Doncic Makes TIME 'Next 100' List

He more belongs on TIME’s “Now 100.”

READ MORE: BREAKING: Dallas Mavs' Luka Doncic Named NBA All-Star

Oh, and he also belongs as a starter in the All-Star Game. So he is.

*Remember when national know-it-alls like Fox’s Colin Cowherd repeatedly maintained that Carson Wentz was better than Dak Prescott?

READ MORE: What Eagles' Trade Of QB Carson Wentz Means To Dak And Dallas..

Wentz is now a Colt, and I guarantee Dak – even coming off a major injury – could command more than a third-round pick and conditional second- round pick in a trade.

READ MORE: Cowboys Roundtable: Would you Trade Dak For 3 Firsts?

In fact ... as I say in the above roundtable, Dak for three first-rounders? No thanks.

*Good news: Both the Dallas Mavericks and the Stars went an entire week without losing a game. Bad news: You know why. In the past 12 months the Mavs have had games canceled because of a pandemic, a protest and a polar vortex. The Stars, who play ice hockey, are having games shelved because it’s too, well, cold and icy. Strange times we live in.

*Ted Cruz’s joy jaunt to Cancun during Texas’ snowmageddon makes Tony Romo’s playoff bye trip to Cabo in 2007 look like a harmless raising of the flag at Pancho’s.

*Like me, at least once over the last frigid week you probably pondered “How do people up north live like this?!” Truth is, they say the same thing about us when their Summer flirts with 95 degrees.

*Troubling trend: Twice in their last eight games the Mavs have lost – at least in part – because of a defensive miscommunication in the waning seconds.

For a Rick Carlisle-coached team, that is both uncharacteristic and alarming.

On Feb. 1’s final possession against the Suns, Dallas allowed Devin Booker to take, and make, a game-winning 3-pointer. Mavs had a foul to give, were supposed to use it, but didn’t. And in their most recent loss to Portland, they were told to double-team the ball out of the hands of Damian Lillard. Didn’t, of course, and he burned them with a triple. 

Almost comically, Carlisle blamed that lapse on the “noise” in American Airlines Center. With less than 4,000 fans in the stands. 

Lame. Troubling.

*Think of how our sports react to severe weather these days. Warnings. Delays. Cancellations. Above all else, safety. Now, hearken back to an unfamiliar, naive world of the 1970s.

No. 1: Yes, when I was 10ish years old I looked forward to a game each Summer between the defending Super Bowl champs and a team of college all-stars.

No. 2: They were a tad heartier back then. Wow!

*From the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field to the inexplicable folly of Leon Lett, DFW’s Top 10 Most Memorable Weather Games.

*Hot.

*Not.

*Old-school Mavs fans will remember James Donaldson, the 7-foot lefty who went toe-to-toe with Kareem in those 1980s’ playoff fights with Lakers. In the past five years he’s undergone open-heart surgery, a coma, death of his mother, crumbling of his marriage, thoughts of suicide. The works.

But now he’s back on his feet, helping the community in his hometown of Seattle. Promising rebound for a good guy with the second-most rebounds in Mavs’ history.

*It’s really secondary, to me, what Perseverance Rover accomplishes on Mars. I’m just astounded by the fact that we can launch a spaceship traveling 24,600 mph for seven months and land it within an eighth of an inch of where we calibrated. Mars is 300 million miles away. Mind = Blown.

*Rolling blackouts. Houses burning because of no running water. Citizens literally freezing to death. Let this disastrous week serve as a reminder to our Texas yahoos that constantly want to “secede” from the union. We isolate our energy grid from the rest of the world, rely on fossil fuels and then … splat. This happens. Texas is now No. 1 in the U.S. in crude oil, natural gas and being unprepared for Winter.

*Hope springs eternal? Indeed. Tickets to Texas Rangers’ spring training games go on sale Saturday morning. Current plan in Surprise, Arizona calls for 2,000 fans per game, obviously socially-distanced. Opener is Feb. 28, which means baseball and outdoors and sunshine and summer can’t be that far away.

Right?

But check your optimism right there. Vegas wise guys that set projected win totals for teams have the Rangers at 69.5. In other words, 92.5 losses. Ouch.

*Dead 'n gone: Rush Limbaugh. My tribute? He was a horrible human being. Good riddance. The end.

*This Weekend? Friday night let’s go crazy and take in the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Saturday is for tennis. Sunday it’s intimate family birthday party. As always, don’t be a stranger.