Sportress of Blogitude

Rick Carlisle: Social media puts pressure on stars to generate highlights

Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle believes that NBA superstars are under enormous pressure to make highlight reel-worthy plays to appease fans hungry for such content on social media, an issue that concerns him when it comes to young star Luka Doncic.

“Social media has created really an undue pressure on guys like Luka to generate highlights,” Carlisle said, via Tim MacMahon of ESPN. “[Fans] want to be seeing stuff every day on their phones.”

Doncic, the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year is on a meteoric rise to superstardom, and rightfully so, as his second season is starting off on a remarkable, if not unprecedented, trajectory.

Doncic does admit he sometimes tries too hard to make the flashier play instead of the smarter one.

“That’s what I do. I like to enjoy the game,” Doncic said. “I like to be an entertainer. Sometimes it’s good to be, sometimes it’s too much. I just like to enjoy playing basketball.”

Carlisle of course recognizes social media isn’t going anywhere. He nevertheless believes Doncic has his priorities in the right order.

“I understand that he’s a performer, he’s an artist,” Carlisle said. “It’s important for him to feel that he is out there doing a job to win a game, but also he’s an entertainer. I get that. What the great players in history of sport have in common is they can take the understanding of the entertainment side and fit it into the team concept and still make winning the priority.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that for Luka Doncic, winning is the No. 1 and most important thing, hands down.”

While social media obviously can be a pervasive presence when it comes to the day-to-day experiences of the modern superstar athlete, there has long been an abundance of outlets that celebrated NBA player highlights, from the “Top 10 Plays” list on “SportsCenter” to programs like “NBA Inside Stuff.”

However, social media without question has a greater potential to exert a toxic influence on NBA superstars. Carlisle presumably is simply highlighting how Twitter and the like has changed the game in that regard.