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Jason Kidd Expressed Gratitude To Reggie Miller For Calling Luka Doncic Out of Shape: "Jason Kidd Said Thank You"

Jason Kidd Expressed Gratitude To Reggie Miller For Calling Luka Doncic Out of Shape: "Jason Kidd Said Thank You"

Luka Doncic has proven that he is going to be an MVP-level player for years now, after his amazing performances across the last three seasons. He has led the Dallas Mavericks to the Conference Finals this season, but it didn't look likely at all, especially in December.

The Mavericks were below .500 through the first two months of the season but were one of the best teams in the league from January onwards. A clear change in defensive philosophy can be attributed to Jason Kidd introducing a switch-heavy defensive system that would tire most players out.  

As a result, Doncic had to step up to the plate and get in shape, something he did. He had an electric second half of the season as the Mavericks finished with a top-five record in the league. Kidd thanked Reggie Miller for motivating Doncic to get into shape after Miller criticized Doncic's shape in a December loss to the Brooklyn Nets:

“Jason Kidd said thank you because it’s almost -- and you know this very well as a parent -- you can say everything you want to your kids and it goes in one ear and out the other. But when they hear from somewhere else, and it’s the same message, they’re like, ‘Oh OK, I get it.’

“So he understood, and he knew, and Jason Kidd had been kind of verbalizing to him: ‘You’ve got the kingdom at your feet, young man, but you’ve got to get in better shape and you’ve got to stay off the officials.’ And [Doncic] took both of those advice coming from Kevin Harlan and myself and obviously from Jason Kidd, and this is where we are now.” (h/t The Dallas Morning News)

Doncic started the season after a busy off-season, where he played through qualification for the Tokyo Olympics and then made a very unlikely run to the semi-finals of the competition.

After the toll of the condensed 2020-21 season and his Olympic journey, Doncic didn't have enough time to unwind but also be in shape for training camp. While he got into shape through the season, it'd be best if he came into the season in the best shape to further bolster his perception in the league, similar to what Nikola Jokic has done to become a two-time MVP.