Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic was reportedly spending time smoking cigarettes and drinking soda before a recent international game. On his "What's Wright? With Nick Wright" podcast, the analyst said:
"Luka's gotta know better than to drink soda. Listen, I'm not gonna knock him for a delicious cigarette. Every once in a while, you just need a delicious cigarette. You just do. Soda's toxic. Soda is no good for you. Luka, I can look the other way on the cigarette. Let's put healthier things into our body than cola."
Doncic has been one of the NBA's brightest talents in his four seasons. The third draft pick in 2018 has already made three All-Star teams and three All-NBA teams.
Wright said he believes Doncic's legend has grown with the reports:
"I'm still wearing them. It's been 15 years of nicotine patches. Cigarettes are a hard habit to kick, and the fact that Luka is out here kicking ass and taking names while dragging a few heaters, it just adds to his legend."
Many may make a big deal of Doncic's habit, particularly since he had his worst game of the tournament. But it's hard to say if his habits affected his performance. Presumably, this isn't the first time that he has had a cigarette or soda the night before a game, and he has been a stellar player thus far in his career.
Doncic may have preferred the news to come out following a big game and a victory, but it is a story that shouldn't be overblown.
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Can Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks compete for a championship?
Luka Doncic is widely viewed as an up-and-coming superstar, but he hasn't had the team success usually associated with that status. He led the Dallas Mavericks to a surprising seven-game, first-round win over the top-seeded Phoenix Suns. Dallas then lost to the Golden State Warriors in the second round.
The Mavericks attempted to surround Doncic with more talent by swinging a trade for Christian Wood with the Houston Rockets in June.
Despite losing Jalen Brunson, their second-leading scorer, to the New York Knicks, many believe the Mavericks will field a better roster than last season. Wood's addition gives the Mavericks what they hoped Kristaps Porzingis would be: a big man who can space the floor alongside Doncic.
While Wood may not be enough to get them out of a tough Western Conference, the trade was a step in the right direction. It should, at least, serve the purpose of showing Doncic that the Mavs are committed to building a winner around him.