Blazers star Dennis Smith Jr. confirms reports as ESPN reveals just how awfully Rick Carlisle treated anyone not named Luka Doncic
Luka Doncic may be a superstar. But, as many in the NBA community have stated on numerous occasions, he is a pretty cool guy in general.
The Mavericks star has been often been seen laughing with his fellow teammates, and even some opponents on multiple occasions. But, for the life of him, he could never quite get along with one specific NBA figure. And no, it’s not Marcus Morris.
The Slovenian sensation always seemed to be a little on edge whenever he spoke with former Dallas head coach, Rick Carlisle.
Fans had started to see the cracks in their relationship a long time before Carlisle was actually fired. But just how bad the whole situation really was, was exposed by one very clear incident. Take a look at the YouTube clip below.
In the clip, Doncic is literally screaming at Rick Carlisle for taking a timeout at the wrong time, during the Mavericks’ and Clippers’ first-round series in the 2021 NBA Playoffs. But hey, losing games can get frustrating sometimes, right? Maybe it was all just a product of that.
Or maybe, there was a lot more going on behind the scenes here.
Let’s get into, it shall we?
ESPN report confirms Rick Carlisle’s awful treatment of Luka Doncic’s teammates, including Dennis Smith Jr., during his time in Dallas
Let’s be clear here. Rick Carlisle is a championship-winning coach. He is one of the most brilliant minds basketball has seen in a long time and deserves all the credit in the world for his success stories.
However, even with that being said, ESPN’s latest report wouldn’t exactly be the best look for him.
ESPN’s Tim MacMahon highlighted a key incident between Carlisle, and former Maverick, Dennis Smith Jr., in his recent piece regarding Carlisle’s history of terrible behavior. Here is what was said.
“Carlisle, for his part, doubted Smith could be a productive NBA starter, team sources said. He had wanted the Mavs to draft guard Donovan Mitchell, and had completely soured on Smith midway through his rookie campaign.”
“It might not have been a basketball fit, but Doncic and Smith had formed a bond. And Carlisle’s apparent determination to make Smith miserable during their brief time as teammates was appalling to Doncic, several former players and staffers told ESPN.
Multiple players were shocked during one early-season team meeting when Carlisle accused Smith of being jealous of Doncic, sources said. The players considered it incredibly unfair to Smith, who wasn’t playing well but was making an honest effort to mesh with Doncic on the court.
Doncic particularly resented what he perceived as Carlisle’s attempt to pit him against his friend and teammate, team sources said.”
As we said, the report doesn’t exactly paint the prettiest picture. Unfortunately for the Pacers head coach though, it doesn’t stop there.
A separate story from back in June 21st, 2021 by The Athletic’s Tim Cato further goes on to highlight Carlisle’s awful behavior.
“While Carlisle adapted to Doncic, they still never got along. Even outward, public examples of Doncic showing him disrespect on the court are too many to list. Doncic deserves his own share of blame for this too, of course. But Carlisle was often difficult to deal with: lashing out verbally at non-star players he disliked or having angry outbursts directed at inanimate objects behind closed doors.”
And the worst part is, Dennis Smith Jr. even recently came forward to confirm that it had all indeed happened.
This article about my time there is spot on. And that’s coming from staff members n players! Y’all don’t even know the half. https://t.co/9gh2DI4xPu
— Dennis Smith Jr. (@Dennis1SmithJr) December 15, 2021
With the looks of just how bad this situation was, it seems that Rick Carlisle’s departure was a long time coming. And frankly, for the Indiana Pacers’ sake, we truly hope the man has changed his ways.
But frankly, we doubt it.