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Mavs Season Ends on Dismal Note

Frustration. Tanking. Resting Stars. An Investigation. Uncertain Offseason.

Luka Doncic and Jason Kidd
Luka Doncic and Jason Kidd

Photos and Story
By Dorothy J. Gentry
Sports Editor

Frustration. Tanking. Resting Stars. An Investigation. Uncertain Offseason.

And for the first time since the 2018-19 season – when star Luka Doncic was a rookie on the outside looking in. 

It’s not how the Dallas Mavericks – who last year made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals – thought the season would play out. 

But it did and it has.


The Mavs lost their last game of the season Sunday afternoon at home to the San Antonio Spurs 138-117. One year after almost making the NBA Finals, they finished (38-44) – the tenth worst record in the NBA 

“We had plenty of opportunities, we just didn’t deliver,” said head coach Jason Kidd after the game. “We weren’t consistent, and we have to look at that going into the summer. We will look at that and talk about that this summer. 

“All the losses hurt,” Kidd said when asked if any specific loss hurt the team more than others. “We needed to win and we weren’t able to do that over the stretch.”

When asked what his message to fans moving would be, he said simply: “To be patient.”

“The big thing is, when you’re building a championship team, you have to be patient. It doesn’t happen overnight. Success doesn’t come with one trade. It takes a couple of seasons.”


The Mavs were actually officially eliminated from the playoffs on Friday night after they were defeated by the Chicago Bulls at home 115-112. Doncic played only one quarter; Kyrie Irving didn’t play at all, and the Mavs appeared to be in full “tank” mode with two games left in the season and a slim chance to still get into the NBA Western Conference play-in spot. 

However, in addition to a loss, the Mavs ended up the subject of an investigation. As a result of their perceived tanking and team decision to sit out several key players in Friday night’s game, the NBA announced Saturday it was launching an investigation into the team for intentionally tanking. 

“The NBA commenced an investigation today into the facts and circumstances surrounding the Dallas Mavericks’ roster decisions and game conduct with respect to last night’s Chicago Bulls-Mavericks game, including the motivations behind those actions,” NBA spokesperson Mike Bass said Saturday afternoon.

Mavs officials declined comment on the investigation and there’s been no update.

But it’s all neither here nor there now. 


The Mavs season is over. But now swirling around are numerous questions about the direction of the franchise and who will or won’t be a part of it. Tops on the list is the fate of Irving, who will be a free agent and can resign with the Mavs. It’s been reported that he wants to explore free agency. 

Mark Cuban earlier this week said he wants to keep Kyrie and that re-signing him is their top priority. 

“I think it’s a great fit,” Doncic said of Irving. “Obviously people are going to say no [and] look at the results we are having, but like I said, chemistry and relationships takes time. I wish he can still be here. He’s a great player.”

Irving did not play in Sunday’s game and also did not talk to the media afterward.

Reports have also surfaced that Doncic will be looking for a trade if things don’t change with the franchise soon. 


He disputed that after Sunday’s season finale in which he did not play.

“It was funny, you know, because I didn’t know that was true. I didn’t say it. I’m happy here, so there’s nothing to worry (about),” he said.

However, Doncic was clear as the Mavs players prepared to go home – much too early for the season – that things must change for the Mavs moving forward.

“Something’s got to change, for sure,” Doncic said. “I mean, last year we went to Western Conference finals. We were having fun. I always talk about the chemistry we had. It was great. But something’s got to change for sure.”

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