After the Dallas Mavericks cut ties with long-time head coach Rick Carlisle this offseason, and the team will miss his maturity and leadership. Carlisle was a respected and loved coach among most players, and with his departure, the Mavs will need to find leadership in a different place.
Some of that responsibility will fall on Jason Kidd, but a chunk of it will also have to lay on the shoulders of Luka Doncic. Entering year four, the expectations for Luka and the Mavs are sky high, and fans are itching to see positive results in the playoffs.
Establishing a culture and having continuity between players is the driving force for great teams. Good chemistry on the court is typically the result of a good leader. With the Mavericks not having as much high-end talent as teams like the Nets and Lakers, they must play together to compete with the league's best. Luka will have to be the best version of himself as a leader to display the chemistry needed to beat teams with superior talent.
How Mavericks star Luka Doncic can become a better leader this season
Now Luka is not a lousy leader at all. Most players like him, and there have not been any major complaints regarding how he leads. The 22-year-old can certainly grow in this area, though.
The most obvious thing is Luka needs to improve as a leader in controlling his emotions. It's good to be animated and show that you care, but there is a fine line between controlled passion and hurting your team by losing your cool. The complaining about calls leading to technical fouls and the slow walks back on defense set an example for guys. Luka playing hard and channeling his passion into hustle and effort is a much more constructive way to galvanize his team.
I do love the passion, and it's something special that many guys don't have. That love for the game will inspire guys to play to their absolute best if used correctly.
Luka improving as a leader will be one of his most important and final steps to begin ascending to the list of all-time greats. LeBron James has repeatedly said that his career started to take off as soon as he understood what it took to lead a team. Once Luka Doncic figures out how to perfectly manage all the personalities on the team, it'll catapult the Dallas Mavericks along with Luka to the top of the NBA standings.