Tim Hardaway Sr. Shares Harsh Take On Luka Doncic's Constant Complaints To Referees

tim hardaway sr. shares harsh take on luka doncic's constant complaints to referees

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Tim Hardaway Sr. has gone off on his son's Mavericks teammate Luka Doncic for his constant complaints to the referee on the Craig Carton show. After Carton tried to defend Luka by saying all superstars do this, Hardaway further emphasized how egregious Luka's antics are.

“I have seen Luka from when the ball is thrown up and then for 48 minutes, the whole time, he talks to the referee. LeBron doesn’t do that! Luka does it for a whole game. That's what fans, players, and other teams are upset about because he gets to talk to the referee the entire time, and they can't."

Hardaway made a valid point that Doncic acting like this will drive fans away from him.

"A lot of people like him less, because that’s all he does.”

Hardaway Sr. has made extremely valid points. He has been known to be overly critical of Luka, which has put his son in a tough spot before. Nonetheless, his points about Doncic complaining too much and upsetting fans have been seen throughout this season. Even the most ardent Luka fans can't defend him on this.

We understand that calls don't go his way sometimes, but arguing with the referee doesn't make the call come back. In fact, Doncic has previously antagonized referees and has received heaps of technicals over the last three seasons.

Given Doncic's defensive improvements in the playoffs, his habit of complaining to the referees might be the only major flaw left in his game.

Luka Doncic Knows He Needs To Stop Arguing With Referees

Luka Doncic made an active effort to stay engaged in the on-court action for 48 minutes in Game 5 of the second round against the OKC Thunder. This reaped rewards as the injured Doncic broke through his slump and had a great game, putting up 31 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists.

Doncic was asked about his noticeable reduction in conversations with the referees on the night, and the 25-year-old gave a very frank answer about needing to play with a smile as he used to.

“I just tried to play basketball. Just focus on basketball. Sometimes I forget this is the thing I love, this is the thing I do. My mental focus was to just go out there and play basketball, you know? With a smile on my face, and just go.”

Doncic's aggressive demeanor in recent seasons is a noticeable departure from the happy wonderkid we saw come into the NBA in 2018. Game 5 proved to him that he can have success without trying to get the referees on his side.

According to sources, the Mavericks told Luka to get his complaints under control after that behavior hurt the team in their Game 4 loss. Thankfully, he listened and saw how much he could impact his teammates' energy by staying engaged on the court.

Luka Doncic Going Through A Lot Of Injuries In 2024 Playoffs

One of the reasons Doncic has been visibly frustrated throughout this Playoff run is that he's been playing through a series of injuries since the first round. It started with a knee sprain that Doncic claimed would sideline him if it happened during the regular season. But Luka is playing every game he can if he's even remotely available, but it has taken away from his performances.

Doncic has already suffered four different injuries through 11 played games in the postseason.

Anyone watching the games can see Doncic struggling to run the ball up the court or even get the snappiness of movement he uses to freeze defenses. Luka spent the entire season as one of the best inside finishers in the NBA, but with his knee injuries, he has been playing out of the mid-range and 3-point range more often than not.

Doncic is averaging 27.1 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 9.0 assists this postseason, excellent numbers but with poor efficiency. They also don't stand a candle to the regular season numbers he's put up and the postseason numbers he has over his career.

His contributions have been enough to get P.J. Washington and Derrick Jones Jr. to put up career numbers, as Kyrie Irving is playing the best defense of his career. Now, the Mavs are one win away from their second Conference Finals appearance in three seasons.

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