DALLAS - The Dallas Mavericks, behind the scenes, are aware that Kristaps Porzingis at his best gives them their top opportunity to be at their best. That's about his health and his usage but it's also about his relationship with the team's top star, Luka Doncic.
It's been fractured.
Somebody needed to reach out with an olive branch.
Doncic - the right person to do so - maybe just did.
Porzingis recently posted on his Instagram yet another picture putting on display the offseason work the 7-3 standout is putting in on the way to being bigger and better in 2021-22.
And Luka approves.
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This can be a subtle thing, and it can also be characterized, as we over-evaluate it all, as a silly thing. Two grown men. Teammates. Formerly pretty close friends. And now we have to interpret their future together by which emojis they might be using to express their emotions toward one another?
The relationship fell apart in part because Doncic emerged as the No. 1 star; the "co-star'' concept has been left behind. Maybe Porzingis needs to embrace his role as a top supporting-cast member alongside one of the five best basketball players in the world. Or maybe it is Luka who should take charge, making sure KP feels valued - or maybe even making sure he feels like a "co-star.''
Former coach Rick Carlisle tried to keep it all together. In the end, with the Mavs’ 2021 playoffs appearance once again ending in disappointment - with Doncic carrying a gigantic load and with Porzingis doing too little (or, being asked to do too little).
Now it's the responsibility of new coach Jason Kidd to oversee the repair of the break. It's a big task - maybe made a bit easier by a little social-media "like.''