Luka Doncic is playing good basketball this season.
In a recent interview with Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban I asked him if Doncic’s game reminded him of LeBron James, Larry Bird or Dirk Nowitzki.
Cuban was candid.
“He has a little from all of them,” Cuban tells me.
“Basketball IQ, ability to take over a game. Passing skills. Can shoot from deep. And most importantly the desire to work as hard as it takes to be the best in the game.”
That’s high praise.
Doncic, 21, is one of the most polished and well-rounded products in recent years. The NBA’s reigning Rookie of the Yea also fills up a stats sheet.
In his rookie campaign last season, Doncic posted a solid 21.2-points, 7.8-rebounds and 6.0 assists campaign for the Mavs.
Being mentioned in the same breath of LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki and Larry Bird is a big deal for a player of Doncic’s caliber.
A two-time NBA champion during his stints with the Clevland Cavaliers and Miami Heat, LeBron James is averaging 25.7 points, 7.9 rebounds, 10.6 assists and 1.2 steals per contest. Currently James’ Los Angeles Lakers are 49-14 and sit in first place in the NBA’s Western Conference standings. Back in the fall, popular rapper, Jim Jones told me that the NBA should remove Jerry West as the NBA’s logo and make LeBron James the league’s new logo.
A Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer, Larry Bird was a 12-time NBA All-Star, three-time MVP and retired with career averages of 24.3 points per game, 10 rebounds per game and 6.3 assists per game.
Dirk Nowitzki is a Mavericks legend he won the team a championship in 2011 in an upset victory over the Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James-Big 3 era Miami Heat.
In an interview with Mark Cuban back in 2016, the Mavs owner told me that he overpaid Nowitzki because of his years of service in Dallas. “Dirk wasn’t even in the country and people couldn’t even reach him when free agency started,” Mark Cuban told me.
“I basically told him, look, you tell me the price and it actually started lower. His agent said ‘how about this much’ and we said ‘we’ll have a little more money, we’ll give you more’ and as the numbers started getting bigger and bigger, it was like ‘what about this number?’ ‘We’ll give you more.’ Finally, it was like ‘this is what we got left, take it!’ We wanted to make it a two-year deal with a team option so that people wouldn’t speculate that he was going to retire because Dirk is the type of guy, he’s just a good guy. He would hate going city to city to city and everyone asking him if he was going to retire because he has no intention of retiring after this year and, with the team option that we have, he gave us the flexibility that said ‘if we find somebody that we can send the money to that he likes, we all like, then let’s do it and if not, let’s give the money to Dirk again which I’m fine with too.”
The NBA will resume play on July 30 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
22 NBA Teams will compete to fill the league’s 16-NBA playoff spots in both the NBA’s Eastern and Western Conferences with the NBA Finals expected to finish no later than October 13.
Doncic and the Mavericks will be part of the reboot.
This season, Luka Docic is averaging 28.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 8.7 points per game for the Dallas Mavericks who sit in seventh place in the NBA’s Western Conference standings with a 40-27 record.