DALLAS - Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic's on-court hallmark is his selflessness.
Turns out, it's his off-court hallmark as well.
“I was surprised to be a starter to be honest,” Doncic said of his first-team All-Star selection. “I know Lillard deserved it maybe more than me.''
Maybe, though the votes were cast and Blazers standout Damian Lillard finished behind Doncic, meaning it's Luka alongside Steph Curry as a backcourt starter.
Does anybody have objections to this? We don't quite get those objections; the system allows fans' votes to count ... and fans voted for Luka, who - as he is averaging 29 points and 9.0 rebounds and 9.4 assists - should not have to apologize to anybody regarding his qualifications.
READ MORE: Luka Doncic Named NBA All-Star Starter
As Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said: “He’s on the highest possible trajectory that a young player can be on. He is one of the faces of the league and he’s deserving to be an All-Star starter.''
Lillard, of course, has been terrific, too, leading Portland toward the top four spots in the Western Conference standings - something Luka and the Mavs cannot presently claim.
But Doncic's skill for self-deprecation is worth noting. Carlisle calls his rise "otherworldly,'' and Luka's modesty is all the more impressive because of the nature of that rise.
In the end, even as Luka noted that he himself is surprised with the voting results, he also puts the so-called "controversy'' in great perspective.
"At the end of the day,'' he said, "no one will (remember) who started or not started. Only that you were an All-Star.''
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