Luka Doncic has taken the league by storm this season, as the 19 year old Mavs rookie is already the front-runner for the ‘rookie of the year award’.
Doncic has been giving ‘Jordanesque’ performances in his rookie season and the comparisons have been starting to flow in.
Doncic ranks second in the all star voting in the Western Conference and 4th in the entire league.
Jordan managed to finish only 5th in his rookie season(3rd in the eastern conference).
Watch Luka Doncic play basketball: pic.twitter.com/kbltKzsRM7
— InsideHoops.com NBA (@InsideHoops) January 14, 2019
Luka Doncic is the youngest player with at least 25 points and 10 assists since LeBron James in 2004. pic.twitter.com/OTivsU5v8r
— ESPN (@espn) January 12, 2019
After another spectacular night against the Warriors, Doncic received a lot of praise from the reigning NBA champions, with Curry, Kerr, Durant and Draymond praising the young Slovenian for how quickly he has adapted to the league.
Steve Kerr admitted that he hadn’t seen much of Doncic before, but feels that he is already an all-star. Kerr commended him for being able to so quickly find his space in the league, despite coming in from another country.
“I didn’t know much about him. I never saw him play until we played Dallas the first time or watching him on TV before that, but he is confident beyond where you would expect somebody in his shoes to be — coming from a different country and being 19 years old.” Kerr said.
“He’s a brilliant player. I think he’s already an All-Star. I don’t know how the votes will shake out, but he looks like an All-Star player to me.” he added.
Curry came up with the best praise for the rookie. For someone who has had to silence doubters along the way, Curry commended Doncic for playing the game at his own pace and silencing his doubters along the way.
“He’s unbelievable,” Curry said of Doncic.
“You can tell he’s just experienced in terms of playing high-level basketball. A guy that’s always at his own pace.
“I’m sure he had heard all the doubters and people talking about his game who really didn’t know much about him, and he’s made himself known for sure.
“It’s fun to watch in terms of the future of the league.” he added.
Durant too wasn’t far behind in heaping praise on the rookie, complimenting his step back three, his strength and how he carried himself on the court.
Durant was impressed by his numbers at such a young age and felt that he could become one of the best players in the league.
Durant also highlighted how Doncic was playing in Europe last season, which is the second best league in the world, while all of the other rookies were still playing college basketball.
“He’s playing great ball,” Durant said.
“Definitely for a 19-year-old to average 20 [points], six [rebounds] and five [assists] is definitely numbers you can look at and consider him for an All-Star selection.
“But there’s so many great players out there at his position, so you never know, but just his poise for the game, his step-back 3 — that’s what he wants to get to most of the time.
“He’s big and strong, can pass, can play in the pick-and-roll. He played in Europe last season. The rest of the rookie class played in college. So he’s in the second-best league in the world learning how to play the game.” he added.