Years before teaming up with Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and the Boston Celtics, Kristaps Porzingis formed a presumed — but failed — star tandem with Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic.

Porzingis ended his three-year run with the New York Knicks by undergoing a blockbuster trade to the Mavericks ahead of the 2022 NBA trade deadline. At the time, Doncic had already established himself as the franchise star in Dallas while Porzingis underwent several injuries, including a lateral meniscus tear in Round 1 of the 2020 NBA Playoffs.

Now, fitting like a glove in Boston, Porzingis reflected back on why pairing up with Doncic didn’t pan out.

“It’s a big mix of things. Maturity for sure — and I’m talking about what I could’ve done better,” Porzingis told ex-teammate JJ Redick on “The Old Man & the Three” podcast. “Better maturity for sure, and I wasn’t that much into analytics and numbers. If somebody at that stage of my career presented it to me the right way and said, ‘This is what we need to do. This is what we need from you. You’re going to be way more effective doing this,’ and explained it to me better, I think that would have made a difference a little bit.”

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Speculation stirred up, begging questions around whether or not Porzingis and Doncic butted heads over being the No. 1 option in Dallas. Porzingis confirmed to Redick that there were some chemistry-based issues for sure in clashing the two stars together, but feels in hindsight that both parties were responsible for never figuring it out on the floor.

“I think we both tried to make it work,” Porzingis added. “I think communication, maturity, communication on both of our parts should’ve been better.”

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With Porzingis, the Mavericks got bounced out of the first round of the playoffs twice — both times by the Los Angeles Clippers — and fell short in the Western Conference finals to the Golden State Warriors.

So far in Boston, there have been no issues of the sort whatsoever on a Celtics team that’s even more star-studded and is playing under significantly more pressure than Porzingis experienced in Dallas.

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Guess the 7-foot-3 center is living proof of that growth and maturity, right?

Featured image via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images