Highlights from Doncic and Brunson's intro news conference

The Mavericks introduced their top two picks in the 2018 NBA Draft on Friday. Here are the highlights from 3rd overall pick Luka Doncic and 33rd overall pick Jalen Brunson, as well as coach Rick Carlisle, GM Donnie Nelson and Assistant VP of Basketball Operations, Michael Finley.

 

Michael Finley on the Mavs’ draft: 

“What we're trying to do here in Dallas is build back a winning culture. We have a coach who is a winner. We're trying to supply him with players who are winners. With Luka and Jalen, we are giving Coach those types of players. Players with winning attitudes, players who know what it takes to win games and become champions. We are excited to have two quality guys be a part of this franchise. You guys will be excited to see them on the court as well.”

 

Carlisle's opening remarks on Doncic and Brunson:

“These guys are great winners. The other thing I want to mention is that it was great to see Dennis Smith Jr. and Harrison Barnes here to welcome these guys. It means so much to young men like this when the two present young stars of the team are here to greet these guys. What Jalen has done the last 3 years is remarkable. Two national championships. He loves proving people wrong. He's proven time after time that he's the ultimate winner. As for Luka, we had a Skype interview. He impressed me as a kid that is a joyful competitor. He's a pass-first teammate that will in seamlessly with our guys.”

 

Doncic on the emotions of the last week:

“First of all I want to thank Dallas for having me here. I'm happy to be here. It's been an amazing week for me. Since I was a little kid, I always wanted to win a championship, and be drafted and be an NBA player. It's like a dream come true for me.”

 

Doncic on what he knows about Texas and first impressions of Texas:

“I know about the Cowboys. I don't really know that much. I've just been to L.A. and Santa Barbara. So, it's really hot. In my country, it's freezing all the time. So I really like it.”

 

Doncic on when he realized he could play basketball for a living:

“I've been a professional since I was 15. I played one year with Salah Mejri. When I came up, when I was playing with those guys, I thought maybe I could be somebody. If I listened to the other guys, maybe I could be somebody.”

 

Brunson on his mentality coming into the league, and how experience at Villanova will help him:

“I believe it will help me, just the way I've been raised. I've been raised by a great set of parents. In college my goal was to finish school. I'll be done in July with my communications major. That was the most important thing. My transition now is something I've known for a long time. I've been around basketball for a long time. But to actually go through with it is going to be something different. I'm just going to have fun with it.”

 

Carlisle on Doncic’s role in the offense:

“I sat here last year and projected Dennis as a starter, and I'll do the same thing here. I think Luka will be a starter and play with Dennis and Harrison. Those guys will complement each other well. In terms of the position, I don't really know exactly. I believe he can play the 1,2,3, or 4. If you saw Harrison this year, you saw him handling the ball... he can probably play all those positions as well. Dennis is mostly a point guard, but he's learned to play off the ball. So much is about flexibility and being able to do things on offense and defense. I feel like Luka's position is on the floor. Sometimes trying to slot a guy into a certain position can be counterproductive. I think he’s got an extremely bright future. I think him and Jalen really fit what we're trying to do here.”

 

Doncic on Steve Nash and other NBA comparisons:

“I received a message from Steve. It's just amazing. I only know about my game. I don't really want to compare to anybody because all the players in the NBA are at such a high level, so I don't like to compare my game.”

 

Carlisle on Doncic comparisons:

“If you watch Luka's game and some of the great international players that have come into the NBA over the years… I got to coach Drazen Petrovic back in the early 90s before he tragically passed. There are some of those elements in his game. Toni Kukoc… there are elements of his game with what Luka does. Manu Ginobili... there are some elements of Ginobili's game. But I think it's important we shouldn’t try to compare this guy to anybody. Let him be himself. Let his game take its own form. We're going to let these guys grow together.”

 

Brunson on how much his dad (a former NBA player) had an impact on him:

“I've been able to listen to him for the last 21 years of my life. Everything he's told me has translated to basketball and being a leader, not a follower. He's always told me to work hard in everything I do. It's definitely prepared me for this moment. He's very wise, and I'm happy to have my dad in my ears.”

 

Doncic, a huge ‘Friends’ fan, on if he’s heard from Jennifer Aniston:

“Jennifer didn't text me yet.”

 

Doncic on pace of play between the NBA and EuroLeague:

“The NBA game is quicker, the court is wide open, more open than in the EuroLeague. I like to play quickly. I think it benefits me.”

 

Carlisle on if the Mavs’ offense will try to resemble the Warriors or 76ers:

“We're playing Mavs basketball. We're not trying to copy anyone else. These guys fit so well in so many ways. Both of these guys are guys that are givers by nature. They both have demonstrated leadership qualities. They understand the importance of cutting and moving and giving yourself up. Those kinds of things help get shots for you teammates. You can never have too many playmakers in the NBA. Jalen more so from the point position. Luka from other positions.”

 

Doncic on embracing high expectiations:

“I like challenge. When they say ‘you're going to be good,’ I like to challenged. When they say ‘you won’t be good,’ I say ‘let’s see.’ When I step on the court, I need to show, no matter what pick you are, you need to show it on the court.”

 

Carlisle on Mavs’ stable of young guys:

“Our young guys have really flourished here. When you go with young guys, you’re going to lose games and take hits. Both those years have allowed us to draft Dennis, Luka and Jalen. But now we need to turn this thing back in a winning direction. There are still moves to be made. We are extremely patient. Last night was symbolic to me that it was a defining moment in this rebuild. We're going to propel forward with the idea that we need to start winning games and do everything possible to create amazing chemistry and everyone needs to be tied together. We got the character with this group of guys to do that. Going forward, we're going to do better in terms of winning games. That's the number one goal.”

 

Brunson on if he was undervalued in the draft:

“I'm just thankful I got the opportunity with this organization. The things I've done in the past, I'll cherish those when I retire. I'm not worried about what people think or what should have happened. I'm here now and ready to move forward.

 

Nelson on being patient with these picks:

“Each of these guys have their own signature they’ll put on their game. We do have to be patient. We're very lucky we have a championship coach that also rolls his sleeves up and spends time with guys in the summer. These guys are going to go through their hard knocks. Dennis went through it. These guys will have to come together and grow. 20 years ago when Dirk was getting thrown around, a lot of people didn’t think he belonged in the league. These guys are playing against men. You absolutely need to bring it every single day. The good news is we got two winners. They’ve won on every level that they’ve played. That's just the DNA that I'm sitting next to.”

 

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