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Mavericks star Luka Dončić responds to weight, conditioning criticism: 'I've got to do better'

USA TODAY SPORTS logo USA TODAY SPORTS 12/8/2021 Analis Bailey, USA TODAY
Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Dončić reacts to a call during the second half against the Brooklyn Nets at American Airlines Center. © Jerome Miron, USA TODAY Sports Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Dončić reacts to a call during the second half against the Brooklyn Nets at American Airlines Center.

Luka Dončić's weight was a frequent topic of discussion at American Airlines Center on Tuesday when the Dallas Mavericks hosted the Brooklyn Nets.

“To me, looking at him, this is the heaviest I’ve probably ever seen Luka look, right now,” analyst and Hall of Famer Reggie Miller said on the TNT broadcast of the Mavericks' 102-99 loss, noting that Dončić "has got to trim down."

According to ESPN, the 6-foot-7 Dončić reported to training camp weighing more than 260 pounds for the second year in a row. NBA.com lists his weight as 230 pounds.

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The 22-year-old Mavs star tallied 28 points, six rebounds and nine assists in Tuesday's loss and is averaging 25.5 points (eighth in the NBA), 7.9 rebounds and 8.5 assists (fifth in the NBA) per game this year. 

The criticism came with acknowledgment of Doncic leading Slovenia to a fourth-place finish in its first Olympics.


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“And I know he’s had a long year with the Olympics, but look how he’s plodding up and down," Miller said. "He’s not really running.”

TNT announcer Kevin Harlan added: “We’ve done a couple of these Mavs games and when you’re around the team what you hear is he’s worn out... My eyes tell me he’s a little heavier.”

Dončić was asked about his fitness level after the game and he agreed improvements need to be made.

"People are going to talk about it, yes or no," Dončić said. "But I know I've got to do better. I had a long summer... I had the Olympics, took three weeks off, and relaxed a little bit. Maybe too much. I've just got to get back on track."

Dončić's efforts to get in better shape have been interrupted by a string of recent injuries causing him to miss multiple games, including Saturday's loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. The Mavericks are 11-12.

Contact Analis Bailey at aabailey@usatoday.com or on Twitter @analisbailey.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Mavericks star Luka Dončić responds to weight, conditioning criticism: 'I've got to do better'

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