Tim Hardaway Sr. on Mavericks: ‘They’re missing a leader out there’

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The Dallas Mavericks are on the verge of missing out on the 2023 NBA playoffs.

The Mavs had high expectations heading into this season after reaching the conference finals during the 2021-22 campaign. However, things have not gone as planned.

Dallas has lost eight of its last nine games to fall to 38-42 this season. The Mavs, who are currently the 11th seed, could miss the Play-In Tournament altogether and are on the verge of completely giving up this season.

So what went wrong?

On a recent episode of “The Carton Show,” former NBA star Tim Hardaway Sr., who played for the Mavs during the 2001-2002 season, said the central problem in Dallas is a lack of leadership.

He took it a step further, pointing the finger directly at the team’s two superstars: Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

“They miss a leader,” said Hardaway Sr., whose son Tim Hardaway Jr. currently plays in Dallas. “Luka’s not a leader, Kyrie’s not a leader … They’re complementary players. They’re great scorers.”

Hardaway went on to define the characteristics of a leader, saying that, “A leader goes out there and gives confidence to the team. He makes sure the team is doing what it’s supposed to do. A leader shows with the ‘example, playing defense’.

Hardaway Jr. responded to his father’s comments with the full support of both Doncic and Irving.

“I disagree with that 1,000 percent,” he told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon and Dallas Morning News reporter Callie Caplan. “I’ve come out many times and told you all how much leadership Luka has shown throughout my time here in Dallas. Kyrie has been nothing. [other] than a leader since he’s been here – making sure everyone’s OK on and off the floor, texting everyone in our group just to make sure everybody’s OK, everybody’s sticking together and staying strong … There is nothing but leadership … I love these guys. I love my teammates.”

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