Luka Doncic is perhaps the most polished 23-year-old ever to play the game of basketball. He is arguably the most lethal scorer in the NBA, averaging a career-high and league-leading 33.3 points per game this season. He has at times carried the Dallas Mavericks offensively in a fashion that has drawn many LeBron James comparisons.
And yet, there is debate over whether he is even the greatest European player in the game today. Doncic knows competition is stiff for that crown with his biggest competitors winning the last four MVPs. Naturally, the Slovenian native played it diplomatically when asked about his claim to NBA’s European GOAT.
“It’s a possibility, but you have guys like Giannis [Antetokounmpo] and [Nikola] Jokic, guys like [Drazen] Petrovic and [Arvydas] Sabonis. It’s really tough. You’ve got some really, really good players,” Doncic said per Ben Golliver of The Washington Post.
The league is brimming with an overall infusion of international talent. Exceptional modern players like Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece) and Nikola Jokic (Serbia) have undoubtedly forced scouts and executives to expand their resources overseas in hopes of finding the next perfect blend of size, athleticism and basketball IQ.
Doncic surprisingly, and probably mistakenly, omitted one of his early mentors, Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki. The German Wunderkind rejuvenated the stalling franchise upon his arrival in 1998 and led Dallas to its first championship in 2011. His NBA Finals showing against the Miami Heatles is among the best in history.
At the risk of piling on Doncic, it is probably best to refrain from discussions about the greatest Mavericks player of all-time until the three-time All NBA First Teamer is a bit further along on an already stellar career.
Whether it concerns the franchise, a continent or all of the world, Luka Doncic will likely find himself near the top of many Mount Rushmores when it is all said and done.