Luka Doncic, Mavericks

Luka Doncic Among Guys Who ‘Can Do Anything’ On The Court

Despite being destined for stardom since he was a child, the rise of Luka Doncic still surprised compatriot Goran Dragic.

The early part of Doncic’s NBA career was all about making people know his name. He did that, becoming one of the faces of the league. Dragic, however, knew about Luka Doncic since he was just five years old.

Then a ball boy at Geoplin Slovan, where Dragic began his career, Luka Doncic was already turning heads. Fast forward to when he was 13 years old, and Real Madrid signed him to it’s academy. 

“He’s going to be the best player in Europe in a couple of years, trust me on that. In the NBA, too,” Dragic said after the 2017 EuroBasket championship game.

 

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Dragic was named MVP of that tournament, but afterwards he only had words for Doncic.

“Mark my words, he’s going to be one of the best in the whole world.”

However, Doncic still rose to prominence faster than Dragic predicted.

“I thought he was going to need some more time to develop and to figure out the NBA style and NBA game,” Dragic says. 

“I knew that in four or five years, he would be one of the best players in the league. But, yeah, he demonstrated that I was wrong about that.

“It happened a lot faster.”

Doncic still had to prove himself in the United States, though. There were lingering doubts over the ability of someone his size to play point guard. Now, however, with Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle comparing him to the all time greats, it’s safe to say those doubts have been assuaged. 

 

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“He was playing the point and he was seeing everything, he was making amazing passes look so simple,” Carlisle says. 

“He was impacting every part of the game, he was getting a lot of rebounds. Finding people on time, on target. It was clear that he could play point guard, let’s put it that way.”

“At any time,” Carlisle says, “you can see something you’ve never seen before.

“I played with Bird. For three years straight, I watched, and that was the feeling when you watched him every single night. Magic Johnson was the same kind of player. Really, LeBron James is the same kind of player, too. These guys can do anything on a basketball court.”

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