Mavericks: 5 ways Luka Doncic can emulate Dirk Nowitzki in the playoffs

Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Dirk Nowitzki Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Dirk Nowitzki Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Dirk Nowitzki Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

How Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic can emulate Dirk Nowitzki: 5. Avoid negative criticism

Dirk heard everything throughout his career. First, he would never succeed in the NBA because he was from Europe. Then, the seven-footer was too soft, and he could not lead his team to a championship. They claimed he needed another superstar to carry him over the hump.

After leading his team to the NBA Finals in 2006, the Mavericks won the first two games before he imploded as the team lost four straight. The following season, Dirk won MVP as he led the Mavs to the best regular-season record, but they were upset in the first round of the playoffs by the Warriors. It was the lowest point of Nowitzki’s legendary career.

Dirk and the Mavericks’ season always seemed to end in disappointment. That was until 2011. Dirk led his team through a difficult playoff road.

First, they topped the Trail Blazers, who had a better team on paper. Next, they swept the two-time defending champion Lakers before defeating Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and the Thunder. In the NBA Finals, they topped the “Big 3” Heat in LeBron James’ first season in Miami.

Dirk had a stellar supporting cast of talent, who had a reputation of not being able to win. He teamed with an old Jason Kidd, who had lost in two previous NBA Finals. An aging Tyson Chandler and Shawn Marion. Jason Terry was his sidekick that helped propel them to the title.

Dirk Nowitzki credits his championship to his team and ignoring all the criticism that had haunted him for years. Rather than let it impact him, the Mavs GOAT used it as fuel to lead his team. If Luka Doncic wants to follow that winning path, he has to learn to ignore the criticism and not let it eat at him.

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