Mavs Tuesday Donuts: How 'Very Unselfish' Luka is Like Dirk and Aikman; That Porzingis 'Unidentified Glitch'
DALLAS - Checking in from downtown Dallas for Mavs Tuesday Donuts ...
DONUT 1: UNSELFISH LUKA
Troy Aikman did. Dirk Nowitzki did it. And now Luka Doncic is doing it.
The Dallas Mavericks are not just benefiting from Luka being a just-now-old-enough-to-shave superstar. They are benefiting maybe most of all from the style of superstar he's choosing to be.
Aikman, the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback, could've easily demanded that his early 90's teams adopt a "style'' that would best suit him; Why not rack up big yardage and oodles of TD passes? Heck, it was working for Dan Marino in Miami!
But the running joke inside those Cowboys in this regard was that Aikman would make a brilliant pass to Michael Irvin, who'd get tackled at the 2-yard line, at which point Emmitt Smith would run it in for the TD.
And Aikman didn't care. (Nor did Irvin, by the way.)
Dirk's unselfishness in his later years is well-recognized by this generation of Mavs fans; it is still to this day what defines Dallas' locker-room culture.
But if you are a little older, you remember young Dirk - even after it was clear that he was this team's best shooter, best scorer, best player - being highly deferential to teammates Michael Finley and Steve Nash.
Would more Dirk selfishness have won an extra game here and there? Maybe; I remember hooting on the radio and in print in those days about how, "If I'm going to go down, I'm going down riding Dirk.''
But the long-term benefits of Nowitzki's unselfish style are still resonating inside the AAC.
“Wisdom beyond his years,'' Carlisle said of Luka a few days ago. "When teams junk up the game (with double-teams and the like), he puts his teammates in great positions. He’s very, very unselfish. And that’s how you’ve got to be when you’re as good as he is.
"That’s an amazing thing for a 20-year-old star.''
I would only nitpick with Rick the part about "having to be unselfish'' when you're this good. Lots of guys decide they do not have to be.
Through nature and nurture, Luka Doncic has designed his game to be an "unselfish'' one. And that decision is almost as rare as his talent is.
DONUT 2: 'MELO'S MESSAGE
It's might seem a little weird that the reminder is coming from Carmelo Anthony; for whatever reason he's not a particular favorite of Mavericks followers. But his words - regarding what Luka is and where he might be taking this franchise - are worth heeding.
“I hope you guys out here in Dallas,'' Anthony said (story and video here) following his Blazers' Friday night loss to the Mavs at the AAC, "appreciate what you have right now in front of you.”
DONUT 3: 'AN UNIDENTIFIED GLITCH'
When it comes to the release of basketball information, the Mavericks work to have "one voice.'' Coach Carlisle is that voice, charged with telling just enough and revealing not too much while putting his now-familiar Carlisle-style spin on Mavs news.
So when Carlisle says of the latest on Kristaps Porzingis "sore knee'' that "we’re hoping (it) was just an unidentified glitch''?
That's telling just enough. Revealing not too much. And probably a Carlisle-style spin on Mavs news. ... which is now 10 missed games into the not-telling.
Clippers at Mavs tonight at the AAC. And yes, again, we will monitor throughout the day. ... as we did Monday when Rick said, "If he's feeling good, he'll play.''
More on an "unidentified glitch'' here. ... in which we express more "concern'' than "frustration'' over the situation - but only barely.
DONUT 4: MAVS STEP BACK PODCAST
The Porzingis frustration is among the topics discussed here in DBcom's latest Mavs Step Podcast ... Hey, Mark Cuban likes it; You will too!
Trade Talk, KP's Knee and Luka for MVP - all here! Mavs Step Back Podcast Episode 52: 'Are You Not Entertained?!' ... Come and get it!
DONUT 5: SPEAKING OF TRADE TALK
Would you prefer Bogdan Bogdanovic? We've got you covered.
Would you prefer Iggy? We've got you covered.
Would you prefer Covington? We've got you covered. "Mavs (And Other Teams') Trade Talk for Covington is 'Heating Up''' here.
Mavs "Trade Rumor Traffic,'' a 20-year staple and one of the most popular categories annually in the history of DallasBasketball.com - now in partnership with Sports Illustrated - has you covered!
DONUT 6: TAMING THE TEMPER
DONUT 7: THE SCHOOL BOARD
Deep dive! Read why across the DBcom "School Board,'' Luka was given such high grades on his mid-term exam. Our deep dive and staff-wide "Grading the Midseason Mavs'' is here. ... Apples for teachers! Flunking grades? It's all here!
DONUT 8: CHIME IS GREEN
Last week, DallasBasketball.com's Dalton Trigg visited with Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, and among the subjects broached in the visit was the concept of a new uniform sponsor.
And now we know. And at the very least, we can be happy that "Chime'' bank's logo is green ... and a decent-enough match with Dallas' uniforms.
Until that is, Dallas comes out with yet another uniform - which, we're told, is indeed brewing.
DONUT 9: BY THE NUMBERS
Oh, and one more thing about the Chime patch ...
DONUT 10: ICING ON THE CAKE
Our man Coop points out that since Tim Hardaway Jr. moved into the Mavs starting lineup back on November 20, the only starting backcourts to produce more than the 45.1 points that he Luka are combining for are:
*Harden/Westbrook in Houston (62.5)
*Lillard/McCollum in Portland (47.7).
"What a find,'' Coop writes, "if a seven-year vet can be described as a "find.''
In the 26 games that Hardaway has started this season, he's averaging 16.5 points on 46.9-percent shooting. ... all of which merits a quick look back at the KP trade that brought him here as what we termed at the time (maybe too optimistically) "icing on a cake.''
That look back is coming up later today on DBcom.
DONUT 11: WHAT'S ON TAP
The Clippers roll into town tonight at 30-13, good for third in the West, and like the Mavs were off on Martin Luther King Day and therefore are well-rested for this 7:30 tip at the AAC. The Clippers feature some scary talent, even as Paul George (hamstring) has missed five straight games. Kawhi Leonard is coming off a 39-points effort in Saturday's 133-130 win over the Pels. Lou Williams scored 32. Montrezl Harrell scored 24. And we all know what a pest Patrick Beverley is.
Dallas is 27-15 and in fifth in the West, looking for a fifth-straight win.
DONUT 12: THE FINAL WORD
Dame Lillard offered up a postgame opinion that Luka Doncic is “arguably” deserving of being the MVP of the NBA, Dame's reasoning being that “his team is winning and he is dominating game after game.”
The reasoning is sound. The story, with video, is here.