Dirk Nowitzki knows there will be a transition period for Luka Doncic
Dirk Nowitzki will set himself up for the ultimate passing of the torch, from an international legend to another on the rise, getting to mentor European sensation Luka Doncic during his 21st and last year in the league.
While Doncic boasts plenty of talent, Nowitzki knows there will be some level of adjustment to the NBA game, just as he once had to go through two decades ago.
“Yeah, he’s been here now for a week. He’s scrimmaged every day and works hard. I’m really liking what I’m seeing,” said Dirk Nowitzki in an interview with 105.3 The Fan. “He’s incredible with the ball for a big guy. He’s unbelievable in pick and roll play. His court vision is already unbelievable. I couldn’t believe what I saw from a 19/20-year-old. He’s a good shooter when he has time and I think he’s going to be great for us for a long long time.
“Obviously, I don’t want to put too much pressure on him, either. But coming over from a different country, I went through the same thing 20 years ago. It’s tough. You have to adjust to a lot of things. For me, that took a whole year. That year was really really tough.”
Luka Doncic has spent the last three years of his life speaking Spanish as a member of Real Madrid, perhaps the biggest powerhouse in overseas basketball — something that will help him get used to the language, the lingo, and develop camaraderie with his teammate.
“We’re going to do everything we can to help this kid develop, have fun, and learn, so we can see the best Luka here hopefully in a year to a couple more years,” said an optimistic Nowitzki, hoping to hang them up after a positive season. “He’s an incredible talent. His court vision and passing for his size at his age is something I’ve never seen in my 20 years.”
The passing of the torch couldn’t have been scripted any better, as Doncic will get to learn first-hand through a player that had to forge himself from a raw talent, knowing the value of work ethic and dedication, which will pay off as a sure-fire Hall of Fame ticket.