It is not a very well-kept secret around the NBA that one of the league’s greatest all-time players—certainly the most accomplished active player—is a very big fan of the Mavericks’ superstar, Luka Doncic.
That would be LeBron James of the Lakers, who has long been rumored to have eyes for Doncic. If that needed any confirmation, look no further than a video posted to James’ entertainment company, Uninterrupted. Ahead of the start of the EuroBasket championship next month, which will star Doncic for the defending-champ Slovenian side, FIBA reposted the video:
I mean, he’s gigantic. He’s 6-8, a 6-8 point guard, he’s 225 pounds, he has the ball on a string. More importantly, his vision. That’s why I love (him),I his vision. He can control a game, he doesn’t even have to shoot. He will literally walk the ball up the court 10 times and get to his spot every single time, just because of his pace. He knows when he comes off the pick-and-roll, if they’re hard-showing or if they’re hedging or if they drop in the pick-and-roll, he know, ‘I can turn the corner because I got the shoulder and I know, the third line of defense, if I just slow down, if I just slow down, use my pivots, not even jump, use the Euro 1-2, the guy’s flying by every time.’
Would James Want to Play With Luka?
There has been chatter for some time that James would like to be paired with Doncic, even if it is a big-time longshot. The Mavericks, obviously, are not parting with Luka any time soon, and James is not going to be dealt to Dallas, either.
Perhaps the only realistic way for James and Doncic to pair up would be if the Mavericks drafted James’ son, Bronny James, in 2024, when he will be eligible to enter the league. LeBron James has stated unequivocally that he will play with Bronny before he retires, and that’s likely to happen during Bronny’s rookie season, when James turns 40.
Certainly, Doncic is putting up LeBron-style numbers at age 23, so the source of the appreciation is obvious. Doncic averaged 28.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 8.7 assists last season, his fourth in the NBA. James, in his fourth season, averaged 27.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 6.0 assists.
Windy: LeBron ‘Would Love to Play With Luka’
ESPN‘s Brian Windhorst, back in April, speculated on James’ desire to play with Doncic, based on what has happened when James was able to pick his own All-Star side. Again, it is a longshot, and the best chance for it to happen would be James signing a minimum deal in Dallas if the Mavs choose Bronny James, but it’s worth a thought.
“He talked about how much he admires Luka Doncic,” Windhorst said. “And that is something you should put in your back pocket. Don’t ever judge LeBron 100% on his words, judge him on his actions. The best way you can see how LeBron feels about people is who he drafts in his All-Star draft. He has drafted Luka Doncic all three years he has been an All-Star. …
“He, I think, would also love to play with Luka, and in the fantasy world, if you want to enter the fantasy realm, that is something I think is more worthy of having a discussion about.”