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“Luka’s Already Better Than Larry Bird Was”: Former Maverick Sides With The Slovenian Prodigy Over The Celtics Legend

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

"Luka's Already Better Than Larry Bird Was": Former Maverick Sides With The Slovenian Prodigy Over The Celtics Legend

Luka Doncic’s impeccable performance in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the Minnesota Timberwolves is earning him plaudits from fans and analysts alike. The Slovenian sensation scored 33 points, dished eight assists, and grabbed six rebounds in a 108-105 win for his team. An outing as exceptional as his on the road deserves praise, but former Mavericks star Chandler Parsons may have taken it too far. On the latest episode of the Run It Back podcast, the retired star said,

“Hot take, Luka’s already better than Larry Bird was. He doesn’t have the resume, he doesn’t the championships, but he’s a better basketball player. As a basketball player, Luka Doncic can do everything Larry Bird did and more. I know the old guys are gonna say, ‘Oh it’s a different game… Luka could never play back then.’ He doesn’t have to. He plays now and he’s just better.”

Parsons’ comment came on the heels of Celtics star Paul Pierce dismissing Doncic being compared to Larry Bird, claiming that the Hall of Famer is a ‘top 5-10’ player ever. Pierce argued that Bird and Doncic cannot be compared because they have vastly different playstyles and the Mavericks star is a ‘European LeBron James.’ He added that the Celtics icon was a serial winner and made the league popular, transforming it into a juggernaut.

While Pierce harped more on legacy, Parsons clearly stated that Doncic’s resume, as stacked as it is, doesn’t hold a candle to Bird’s, but skill-wise, the Mavericks superstar trumps the Celtics icon. His argument has merit. The Slovenian sensation is a better scorer and passer than the Hall of Famer, but the three-time MVP was a better rebounder and defender. Doncic is one of the most menacing offensive weapons in NBA history and while he has improved defensively, he isn’t as good a two-way player as Bird was.

The Mavericks superstar may not be outright better than Bird as Parsons suggested, but the gap between the two isn’t as vast as Pierce claims. Both make valid arguments and it’s up to individual preference when deciding which of the two superstars is the better player. The comparisons with Bird showcase how highly Doncic is rated and as flattering they may be, the five-time All-Star isn’t entertaining them.

The Larry Bird comparison isn’t new for Luka Doncic

Luka Doncic‘s impact and ability to lead earned him comparisons to Larry Bird as early as his third season in the league. However, the guard has refrained from entertaining them. In a post-game interview in 2021, he was asked about being compared to the Celtics icon. He responded,

“You can’t compare me to Larry Bird. The things he’s done… I just want to keep hooping, having fun out there playing basketball.”

Doncic isn’t too keen on the chatter about him being as good as Bird and is only focused on being the best version of himself. However, he’d love to emulate the Celtics icon in helping his team win an NBA title in his sixth season in the league.

Post Edited By:Sameen Nawathe

About the author

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar


Jay Lokegaonkar is a basketball journalist who has been following the sports as a fan 2005. He has worked in a slew of roles covering the NBA, including writer, editor, content manager, social media manager, and head of content since 2018. However, his primary passion is writing about the NBA. Especially throwback stories about the league's iconic players and franchises. Revisiting incredible tales and bringing scarcely believable stories to readers are one his main interests as a writer.

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