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It appears Kristaps Porzingis has a bigger issue with Mark Cuban than with Luka Doncic.
After Cuban, the Mavericks owner, said his team’s two biggest stars have had some “dust-ups” off the court, Porzingis refuted the report.
“I’ve never had any problems with my teammates off the court, I’ve always gotten along very well with them,” Porzingis said in Spanish during an interview with Marca radio, according to CBSSports.com. “I don’t know what Cuban was talking about. I try to be as professional as possible, do what I have to do and be a soldier for the team.”
It’s been a rocky road for Porzingis, the injury-plagued former Knicks lottery pick who was traded in 2019, signed an extension with the Mavericks and has been the subject of trade rumors ever since.
Doncic, 22, and Porzingis, 25, should be a nucleus in Dallas for years to come – if they get along.
“On the court they are fine,” Cuban said on the K&C Masterpiece Show. “I mean, coaches coach, and coach kind of runs the show so everything gets worked out on the court. That’s not to say there aren’t dust-ups, because there are.”
Cuban compared it to the roller-coaster relationship between two former Mavericks stars, Jason Terry and Dirk Nowitzki, after Terry replaced Nowitzki’s close friend Steve Nash as the other end of the 1-2 punch.
“If you remember, when we first got Jet [Terry], Dirk was not a fan. Dirk did not like him. And we lost in a playoff series because Jet made a mistake against [Steve] Nash and that just made it even worse.
“They weren’t best friends at the beginning, but they grew to like each other and grew to be great friends and that’s just part of the process when you’ve got young kids who are growing up. It took forever before Dirk and Jet did anything off the court together. A long time. Yeah, I mean, K.P. and Luka get along fine. It’s just that they’re different people. They like to do different things.”
Going back further, the Mavericks infamously had bad chemistry when Jason Kidd and Jim Jackson were teammates in the early 1990s.
The Mavericks have clinched a spot in the NBA’s Western Conference playoffs and are trying to hang on to the No. 6 seed rather than slip into the play-in tournament. Some analytics suggest the Mavericks are a better offensive and defensive team when Doncic is on the floor without Porzingis.
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