“With the 3rd pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, the Atlanta Hawks select Luka Doncic from Ljubljana, Slovenia and Real Madrid,” Adam Silver commissioner of the NBA announced. Doncic hugs his step-mom and proceeds to the stage putting on a Hawks hat.
Doncic has always played against older competition. When his father (Sasha Doncic) joined Union Olimpija located in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Doncic, who was 8 was invited to come to practice with kids his age. In a matter of 16 minutes Doncic was moved up to play with the 11-year olds. After practicing with the 11-year olds, he impressed the coaches and was selected for Olimpija’s select team. On this team he would practice and play kids 3-4 years older than him. At age 13 Luka signed a 5 year contract with Real Madrid’s U-16 Basketball team in the Euroleague.
During his time on Real Madrid, Doncic earned himself Euroleague, Euroleague Final Four, and ACB MVP. He was also rewarded Euroleague Rising Star and Euroleague Best Young Player. He showed out during Euroleague games leading his team to the Euro league Final Four. This immortalized Doncic in Real Madrid as he had been there since he was a kid and developed a special relationship with the fans.
Doncic was drafted 3rd by the Atlanta Hawks but was immediately traded to the Dallas Mavericks for Trae Young. In his first season at Dallas, he had a number of games where he proved he belonged in the NBA. He led his team in scoring and playmaking as a rookie. Doncic was the go to guy for getting that last shot when Dallas needed him and most of the time he delivered, establishing himself as a clutch player.
Doncic is loved on and off the court. Luka’s relationship with his teammates is great. He is a careless guy and always puts his team first. One of his previous teammates Dirk Nowitzki had a great relationship with Doncic during his time in the NBA. Dirk and Luka formed a special bond, especially since they were both from a European country. Nowitzki had this to say on The New York Times “He’s just such a confident young man that there’s not much you can really tell him, he’s got the experience, he’s got the confidence in crunch time already”.
From his time in Euroleague, Doncic was coming into the league as the most NBA ready player in his whole draft class. He backed this prediction by having an incredible 2018-2019 season where he averaged 21.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 5.1 assists and won the NBA Rookie of the Year.
This season Doncic has improved from last season and put up absurd numbers for a second-year player, averaging 30 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 9.2 assists per game. He has taken the Mavericks from the second worst team in the Western Conference to a playoff contender. Doncic and Dallas have achieved the best offensive efficiency rating in the league. Doncic is also breaking records, being the first player under the age of 21 to average 30 points or nine assists and breaking Michael Jordan’s streak of consecutive games with a minimum of 20 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds.
With the Mavericks new found success, Doncic is in the running for the NBA’s Most valuable Player award. He is in the conversation with superstars like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Lebron James, Anthony Davis, and James Harden. If Doncic wins the award, he would also be crowned the youngest MVP at 20 years beating out Derrick Rose’s MVP at 22.
What makes Doncic so special is his offensive arsenal at only 20. Doncic has perfected the unguardable step-back using it to score multiple times a game. He is always practicing, perfecting, and adding new moves to his game. He is still only 20 which makes this all crazy as he has not even hit his prime and still has a few years before.
Having been in the league for only 2 years now, Doncic’s domination is remarkable. He is already a superstar in his second year and he hasn’t even hit his prime yet. Doncic is already a top 5 player in the NBA and At only 20 years old he is doing things not even some of the best players of all time could do.
Javier Mendia Garcia/ Flickr