Luka Doncic Breaks Another Dirk Nowitzki Record

Dirk Nowitzki

Getty Dirk Nowitzki and Luka Doncic high five in a game during the 2018-19 NBA season.

As the leader of the Dallas Mavericks spanning over two decades, Dirk Nowitzki is one of the most well-respected players in NBA history. One of the top power forwards the game has ever seen, he was the face of the franchise in Dallas from his early twenties through age 40.

While it was sad to see Nowitzki retire following the 2018-19 season, he knew that the Mavericks were in good hands. In fact, during his final NBA season, Nowitzki got to mentor a young 19-year-old rookie Luka Doncic.

A top-five pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, many knew Doncic was going to be a spectacular player. Now, in just his fourth NBA season, it’s clear that he is a generational talent.

Dallas was truly blessed as one Mavericks legend left the court for the last time while a rising superstar would fill the void.

Now at age 22, Doncic is continuing to break records that were previously set by Nowitzki.

Elite Production

Following a win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night, Doncic notched his 131st game with 20+ points, 5+ rebounds and 5+ assists. That put him above Nowitzki, who finished his career with 130 games. 

The game has certainly changed, especially offensively, but this is very impressive nonetheless. Nowitzki is considered one of the best players in the history of the NBA and Doncic is crushing his records at age 22.

The favorite to win MVP coming into the 2021-22 season, Doncic has been spectacular to this point. Through the first ten games of the season, he’s averaged 24.9 points, 8.0 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game.

The Mavs are 7-3, off to their best start since the 2013-14 season.

Drawing Comparisons

Although they play very different positions, Doncic has been compared to Nowitzki since his rookie season. Rather than the similarities being around play style, it’s about their impact on winning games and leading a franchise to the ultimate goal of winning an NBA championship.

The Mavericks have only ever earned one title, which was when Nowitzki was at his peak, carrying the team to win the 2011 NBA Finals. While Doncic hasn’t reached that level yet in terms of team success, he has the intangibles to do so.

After a game last week, Mavs coach Jason Kidd talked about how both of these guys are special. Kidd played with Nowitzki during his time in Dallas and now has the chance to coach Doncic.

“I’ve played with a player like that before here. Everybody knows the ball is going to 41 (Dirk Nowitzki) and he delivers. I think everyone knew the ball was going to 77 (Luka Dončić) and he delivered. I understand he loves that moment and his teammates know that. I would say that the other team knows the ball was going to Luka and there’s nothing they could do.”

Dirk Nowitzki

GettyDirk Nowitzki celebrates a rookie Luka Doncic in a game against the Sacramento Kings.

As Doncic continues to break Nowitzki’s records, the only one that truly matters should be the number of rings at the end of his career. With how talented this Mavericks roster is this season, he’ll have a good chance to make a splash in the playoffs.

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