The Dallas Mavericks, led by Luka Doncic, annihilated the Phoenix Suns on Sunday in one of the most stunning beatdowns in NBA history. The Mavericks were so dominating that they were up by 30 points at halftime. They ended up winning the game 123-90.
Dallas’ otherworldly performance was somewhat deja vu for NBA history buffs who recalled the last time the Mavericks’ best player was blatantly mocked by opponents. Doncic was openly laughed at by several Phoenix Suns players during the series, including Devin Booker and Chris Paul.
History repeats itself, according to NBA Insider Ric Bucher, who appeared on the Colin Cowherd podcast to give his thoughts on what happened in Game 7:
“I believe this game was lost two games ago. I honestly believe that when Devin Booker and Chris Paul, there was a little bit like the LeBron James, Dwyane Wade mocking Dirk Nowitzki. Everything was rolling for Phoenix and they were going at Luka one on one and they were laughing at him.”
Bucher added that the Slovenian’s long history of playing in front of hostile European crowds made him better-suited than most to sweep aside ridicule:
"This is Luka Doncic who was a European MVP, who has played in front of crowds with fireworks going off in the stands … with an absolute mushroom cloud of cigarette smoke hovering over the arena.
"There’s no situation that’s going to faze Luka Doncic and you basically clown him. You’re asking for it."
Back in 2011, a video of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade laughing and mocking Dirk Nowitzki during the NBA Finals caused heavy backlash against the superstar duo.
At the time, the German superstar was suffering from flu-like symptoms. However, he played on to push the Dallas Mavericks to tie the series heading into Game 5.
The immature act didn’t age well as the Dallas Mavericks went on to pull one of the biggest upsets in NBA Finals history. Dallas’ 2011 title remains the only one in franchise history, and it came at the expense of prime James, Wade and Chris Bosh.
Fast forward to 2022, and the Phoenix Suns were doing the same thing to Luka Doncic. They were relentless, targeting Doncic on defense and sneering at his defense almost every time they scored. Devin Booker and Chris Paul also took subtle digs at the Dallas Mavericks superstar in postgame interviews.
Also Checkout:- Dirk Nowitzki Wife
The mockery reached its height when Booker was fouled on a play and stayed on the floor for a few seconds while teammates around him were laughing. Before getting up, Booker looked into the camera and said “Luka Special.”
Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks obliterated the Phoenix Suns in two games after the “Luka Special” became viral
Per Ric Bucher, the Phoenix Suns doomed their fate when they clowned Luka Doncic with the “Luka Special.”
Following that mockery, the Dallas Mavericks murdered the Suns on practically every facet of the game. Dallas won Game 6 113-86 and continued their beatdown on the road in Phoenix 123-90.
The icing on the cake was Doncic’s blistering performance in Game 7, where he dropped 27 points in the first half alone.
Phoenix, as a team, combined to match the same score. Devin Booker and Chris Paul combined for three first-half points and scored the same number of field goals as the basketball fans watching the game.
Buchner felt like the Phoenix Suns, who were the best regular-season team in the NBA, had no idea how to respond to Doncic’s sizzling performance:
"If you insult him, he’s going to find a way to make you pay. Luka responded, the Dallas Mavericks collectively responded. The Phoenix Suns were basically the bully and they got punched back and they didn’t know what to do with it."