Dallas Mavericks

Mark Cuban on Luka losing his ‘teenage-inity’ with 20th birthday

Luka Doncic: ‘I was just having fun out there’

Dallas Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic said Friday night's Rising Stars game wasn't about winning and losing but putting on a good show for fans.
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Dallas Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic said Friday night's Rising Stars game wasn't about winning and losing but putting on a good show for fans.

When Mark Cuban turned 20, he was already deep into earning an MBA from Indiana University. 

He left high school to enter college early, first at Pittsburgh before transferring to Indiana and eventually, as you know, becoming a billionaire and buying the Dallas Mavericks.

“But I didn’t have four triple-doubles,” Cuban said before the Mavs hosted the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night at American Airlines Center.

Rookie Luka Doncic, who recorded his fourth triple-double Monday in Los Angeles, turns 20 on Thursday. 

Few in NBA history have accomplished what Doncic has done in his teens. In fact, all other teenagers in the history of the league have a combined one triple-double.

“When I turned 20, me and my friends talked about losing our ‘teenage-inity,’ Cuban joked. 

Doncic’s smooth transition from the European leagues to the NBA helped instigate two trades at the deadline earlier this month, including a seven-player deal with the New York Knicks that brought former All-Star Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas. But Porzingis is still recovering from a knee injury and won’t play for the Mavs until next season. 

“Yeah, of course. Obviously, we’ve already started that and have a lot more to do,” Cuban said. “Guys, have to adjust. Everybody is figuring it out.”

It’s too early, Cuban said, to pin wins and losses on Doncic because “we just got rid of 80 percent of our starting lineup.”

“We’re trying to teach Luka how to carry a team. And that’s a process. There are times when you can let him learn from his mistakes and keep him out there or you can pull him,” he said. 

“And we’re letting him learn from his mistakes. We still want to win every game possible. This isn’t last year by a long shot. Last year we weren’t sure what we had to build on.” 

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Stefan Stevenson has been covering sports for the Star-Telegram since 1997. He spent five years covering TCU athletics, which included two BCS bowls, two trips to the college World Series and the move to the Big 12. He has covered the Texas Rangers since 2014 and started reporting on the Dallas Cowboys in 2016.

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