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The Luka Doncic-Dennis Smith Jr. mini-feud in the Mavs hub was once a talk in town. As such, there were rumors from the past that Smith Jr. was jealous of what the phenom Doncic was gaining in terms of love, attention, and praise – which eventually made the point guard kicked out of Texas in 2019 and shipped to the wild environment of New York City. 

But, an article bomb was dropped by ESPN’s Tim MacMahon on Wednesday, which squashed this murmured complicated issue between the two. It turned out that Smith Jr. and Doncic were friends and had a progressive partnership as backcourt tandem of the talented squad which was claimed as theirs when the right time comes. 

More importantly, the focal point of the content surrounds how Doncic resented former Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle. Based on MacMahon’s narratives, Carlisle tried to create a rift between the two, which made the Slovenian star irritated also on how the long-time coach unfairly treated his good pal.

“It might not have been a basketball fit, but Doncic and Smith had formed a bond. And Carlisle’s apparent determination to make Smith miserable during their brief time as teammates was appalling to Doncic, several former players and staffers told ESPN.

Multiple players were shocked during one early-season team meeting when Carlisle accused Smith of being jealous of Doncic, sources said. The players considered it incredibly unfair to Smith, who wasn’t playing well but was making an honest effort to mesh with Doncic on the court.

Doncic particularly resented what he perceived as Carlisle’s attempt to pit him against his friend and teammate, team sources said.”

Even one player from the 2018-2019 Mavs lineup gave his statement and testimony on how angered Luka was on Carlisle – with all that alleged negativity given on people around the franchise.

“It wasn’t really about how Rick treated Luka,” a Mavs player on the 2018-19 team said. “Luka hated how Rick treated other people.”

As this writeup was released, Smith Jr., who is now currently donning a Portland Trail Blazers uniform, attested on MacMahon’s report. As awful as it may sound on his part and for the Mavericks fans, the significant idea was finally brought up: Doncic and him didn’t develop a sour impression with each other from the past, and they were just split away from an unwanted gesture and figure within the franchise. 

Fast forward in two years, Carlisle isn’t even around in Dallas, as he is now holding a drawing board for the Indiana Pacers. It may have been a thing from the past and the present stands relevant, but the stories delivered shall give clarification in his look as a mentor. As disappointing as it can be because he is an intelligent veteran strategist, it’s also saddening to see that he didn’t give a chance to a Doncic-Smith Jr. combo to bloom and develop, more specifically shattering the composure of a young and explosive talent who went miserable after that disastrous stint. 

There’s no one who can turn back from the past, but the lessons of it shall be brought up as always moving forward.