Luka Doncic came into the 2020-21 season as the NBA Most Valuable Player frontrunner. However, the Dallas Mavericks have struggled early in the season, which doesn’t help his case.
As great as Doncic has been, he thinks he can be better. Although he’s averaging 29.1 points, 9.4 assists, and 8.6 rebounds this season, Doncic recently told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith that he doesn’t deserve to be in the MVP race at this point.
“I don’t believe I should be in the MVP conversation this year.”
This is strange to say considering the historic numbers he’s put up this season, but Doncic has been harsh on himself for the record that his team has. Going 5-5 in their last ten games, the Mavs are currently 13-5 and ranked tenth in the Western Conference.
After practice late last week, Rick Carlisle shed some light on why he thinks Doncic is so hard on himself and doesn’t think he is an MVP candidate.
“I don’t think he’s happy having good stats if the team isn’t doing well.”
This was confirmation that Doncic cares more about winning games than putting up numbers. To be a league MVP, you almost always have to get your team into the playoff picture and usually have to be among the top teams in your respective conference. For Luka Doncic, that’s the next step towards improving his MVP resume.