NBA

Mavericks star Luka Doncic sees father bite back at critics

Luka Doncic's father, Sasa, blasted the press after accusations against his son that he is a "difficult" player to deal with.

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Luka Doncic has helped qualify Slovenia for the Olympic Games, but other news about his character has not stopped along the way, mainly coming out of the United States. His team, the Dallas Mavericks, is at a critical juncture. They want to build around their star and have started the reconstruction through Jason Kidd, as new coach, and Nico Harrison, new general manager. And this breaks with everything that came before: the most brilliant era in their history, with Rick Carlisle on the bench and Donnie Nelson in the office.

Maverick Doncic character questioned

In the midst of all this, the rumours are not only sporting. And an article by Tim Cato and Sam Amick in The Athletic referred to internal personal relationships within the franchise. It took direct aim at Haralabos Voulgaris, director of development and quantitative research, while pointing to his possible poor relationship with Doncic. Tim MacMahon of ESPN also talked of the relationship between the Slovenian player and Kristaps Porzingis: ”Porzingis and Doncic don't like each other," he remarked.

And another journalist, Brian Windhorst made some further comments during in an interview with 105.3 The Fan.

“I don’t know how many people are going to be excited to play with Luka [Doncic]. I think Luka is, maybe, a difficult person.

Barking? Luka Doncic of Slovenia reacts during the FIBA Olympic Qualifying game against Lithuania.

“He’s a great player but when you watch the Mavericks play, he’s barking at the coach, he’s barking at his teammates, he’s barking at the officials. He’s always barking about something. He can really be an irritable guy.”

Doncic's father responds to criticism

This didn’t go down well with the 22-year-old’s father, Sasa, a former basketball player and coach, who responded to the criticism, with a little sarcasm thrown in.

“I don’t know. Maybe this journalist is probably the biggest basketball genius.

“So [laughing] please don’t ask me about it. I’m telling you, what he is doing in the NBA is more than great. I’m talking as a basketball fan.

“As a father, I’m very proud of him. He’s not afraid of anybody. He has this heart and guts to compare with everybody. What he’s doing at 22 years old in the NBA, as a European player, I think, nobody does this.”