Lu Dort indifferent about Mavericks fans’ animosity toward him

As the Oklahoma City Thunder’s second-round series progressed, Lu Dort was pinpointed by Dallas Mavericks fans as their next villain.

Playing a physical brand of defense that involved Dort fighting over screens and staying tagged to Luka Doncic, the 25-year-old’s style can certainly rub opposing fans the wrong way.

Throughout the series, Dort was the target of loud boos each time he visited Dallas in their playoff series. When he was called for a foul, the Mavericks crowd loudly cheered.

For the first time in Dort’s career, he was mercilessly booed by the opposing crowd in a road playoff environment. After the Thunder’s season-ending loss, he talked about being a villain in a playoff series in his exit interview.

“At the end of the day, I just go out there and do my job and do what I have to do to help my teammate,” Dort said. “I don’t really talk when I play. I hope I’m not being seen as a really, really bad villain. My main thing is to go out there and make everything tough.”

Dort later admitted he was amused by the loud reaction from the Dallas crowd when a referee called him for a foul but also added he didn’t let it affect him.

“I was actually being surprised when I got a foul called and the whole crowd was cheering. That was a little weird,” Dort said. “I guess it’s a good thing because they want to see me out of the game. I don’t really pay attention to that.

“I’m still trying to play my game and stay aggressive. If the fans are happy when I get called a foul, it’s whatever.”

This is a pretty mature response by Dort. Many players who receive as much heat as he did throughout a playoff series would lean into the toxicity. It’d fit into their energy and provide an extra boost of confidence.

For Dort, he seems to ignore it and continues to play his style of defense. It worked wonderfully. He held Doncic to arguably the worst playoff series of his career yet with 24.7 points on 44.7% shooting.

Considering where the Thunder and Mavericks are, expect several more battles between the squads over the next few years. Both will enter next season as title contenders once more.

Story originally appeared on Thunder Wire