Jason Kidd is all smiles on the progress of Luka Doncic’s promising career.
After the Dallas Mavericks lead man was announced included to the All-NBA First Team for the 2021-2022 season this Tuesday, Kidd can only offer love and proud words for the Slovenian sensation.
“It just shows where he’s going, his growth,” Kidd said about Doncic after their 119-109 Game 4 dub over the Golden State Warriors (hat tip to team reporter Landon Thomas). “What he does for this team is incredible. Not just points, assists but rebounding the ball. He’s our leader and loves that stage. For him to be with those 4, it’s an honor for him.”
Doncic just joined reigning two-time MVP Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum and Devin Booker in the coveted five-man company. This honor serves as his third-straight being included in the league’s First Team.
Luka marvelled Dallas to three-straight postseason appearances since 2020, averaging 28.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 8.7 assists per game as their focal engine this regular season. He pulled the Mavs to a top five finish in the Wild Western Conference, an unthinkable one considering the ship out of Kristaps Porzingis to the Washington Wizards via mid-season transaction.
Amid the doubts swirling, the European superstar led his club to a five-game first round series victory over the Utah Jazz. In the next round, after being down 0-2 initially, Doncic and the Mavericks pulverized the league-leading Phoenix Suns in a wild Game 7 in Arizona.
And now, in his first Conference Finals trip at age 23, Doncic is enjoying every single moment. Dropping 30 points, 14 boards and 9 dimes, they escaped a potential sweep from the Golden State Warriors to force a pivotal Game 5 back in San Francisco.
“It’s a blessing,” Doncic told reporters in post-game about being an All-NBA First Team member for this season. “As a kid all I dreamed about was being in the NBA.
“It’s my third now so I’m really happy and thankful for everyone who made it happen.”
Luka and the Mavs will take one game at a time to become the first team in NBA history to come back from a 3-0 playoff series deficit. Their matchup with the Warriors will shift back to the Bay Area on Thursday for the continuation of the series.