Mavs Star Luka Doncic Refuses to Make Statement Regarding LeBron James

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks.

Getty LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks.

The Dallas Mavericks are in a funk. They’ve lost five of their last seven games, including two in a row to the Portland Trail Blazers. However, one of their wins was a double-overtime thriller over the Los Angeles Lakers in which Luka Doncic hit two clutch buckets.

Doncic managed to outduel LeBron James, leading the Mavericks to a 119-115 win. After the game, Doncic was asked about where he believes James ranks among all players in NBA history. However, the Mavericks star refused to rank James on that list, but he did shower the Lakers star with praise.

“I’m not doing the rankings stuff, man,” Doncic said via Grant Afseth of “I just enjoy great basketball players. That’s it. He’s an amazing player, an exceptional player, but I’m not doing the rankings stuff.”

Right now, Doncic is one of the best players in the league and is leading a new wave of NBA talent at just 23 years old. Meanwhile, James has been the face of the league for the last 20 years, breaking plenty of records in the process.

In the win over the Lakers, Doncic delivered a masterful performance, leading the Mavericks. He poured in 35 points, 14 rebounds, and 13 assists on 14-of-28 shooting from the floor and 4-of-9 shooting from behind the three-point line. Doncic’s game included two game-tying shots at the end of regulation and the first overtime period.

As for James, he tried his best to help the Lakers earn a win but ultimately fell short. The Lakers superstar dropped 24 points, 16 rebounds, and nine assists on 9-of-28 shooting from the field and 0-of-7 shooting from distance.

Tim Hardaway Sr. Chooses Luka Doncic Over LeBron James

The Mavericks star and James have a lot in common. Just as James was dominant at a young age, playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Doncic has been able to accomplish some incredible feats, too. He could be on track to have a career on par with James.

During a recent interview with Nick Raffoul of Sports Lens, NBA Hall-of-Famer Tim Hardaway Sr. said that he would take Doncic at age 23 over James at age 23.

“Who’s better at age 23? I will take Luka at 23,” Hardaway Sr. told Raffoul. “What he’s doing now, his jump shot. But we have to remember, Luka has been playing professional basketball since he was the age of 16. He’s been playing professional basketball. He’s been playing against grown men. LeBron just started playing against grown men at 18. Then he had to figure it out. That took him about 3 years.”

EXCLUSIVE: SportsLens Interviews Tim Hardaway2022-11-10T11:33:34Z

Mavs Coach Compares Luka Doncic to LeBron James

In addition, one coach familiar with both players compared the two. Current Mavericks assistant coach Greg St. Jean, who coached the Lakers in The Bubble, said that both of them “just want to be coached.”

“LeBron’s biggest thing is respect, and any of the great players, they want to be coached,” St. Jean said via Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News. “That’s kind of been Luka’s and I’s relationship, too. We’ve seen some high-stakes moments together where we’ve built a trust together that I’m not always going to be right, but more times than not, he believes in me, and I always believe in him.”

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