LA Clippers Executive Director Jerry West reveals his shock at the fact that teams ended up passing on a generational talent like Luka Doncic.
Luka Doncic is one of the best young players in the league right now. He is a favorite to win MVP this year. Last season, Luka Doncic put up amazing numbers, averaging 27.7 PPG, 8.0 RPG, and 8.6 APG.
Additionally, the Dallas Superstar is one of the top 10 players in the league. Surprisingly, the 2x All-Star is only 22 years of age and has so much room to grow.
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Hindsight is a wonderful thing. It is easy to say that Luka Doncic had to go as the No. 1 pick in the draft. Back then, he wasn’t as high a prospect as he played in Europe instead of coming through college like the majority of NBA stars.
As a result, two teams passed upon him, namely Phoenix Suns and Sacramento Kings. That is something that these two GMs will regret for the rest of their lives. One of them has already been nixed from his job.
Former NBA Superstar Jerry West made an appearance on an episode of the “Getcha Popcorn Ready With T.O. and Hatch podcast and heaped high praise on Luka Doncic.
Jerry West talks about teams passing on Luka Doncic
West compared teams passing on Luka Doncic to when teams passed on Kobe Bryant back in the day. The 14x All-Star goes on to say –
“With him (Kobe), his skill level at 18 years of age was ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. Everyone wants to credit me: they don’t need to credit me. The other people in the league, I cannot believe to this day that they would pass on a talent like that. I cannot.
He further added –
“We see it happen. Luka Doncic, what was he, the 5th player in the draft? Oh my god. I can’t believe that someone let him go. I can’t. He was a unique kid at 15 years of age. He was competing against men in Europe… but not competing, excelling.
It’s only a few years into Luka’s career. As of now, it looks like Doncic is a “can’t let go” type of player. It seems like history is repeating itself again. The Dallas Mavericks have a European Superstar who is going to carry them to a championship.
Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki himself said Luka Doncic is even better at 22 than he was at his prime. If that’ the case, the Mavericks can consider themselves lucky.
Dirk was the best player on a championship team, and if Luka is better than that, then Luka Doncic is a “unique kid”, just like Jerry West said.