It’s very early in his NBA career, but Luka Doncic already looks like a star. Doncic has been a bright spot for the 3-7 Dallas Mavericks, as his 19.8 points per game lead the team while his 6.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists a night are second on the squad. He’s also been an efficient scorer, connecting on 47.7 percent of his attempts from the field and 38.2 percent of his threes.
While it’s always a bit eyebrow raising when a rookie performs at this level, Doncic isn’t your typical rookie, as he came to the league after winning basically everything there is to win during his time at Real Madrid. He’s instead playing like an NBA rookie who already had professional experience and success in the second-best league in the world.
It’s something that has already caught the eye of the best player in Mavericks history. Dirk Nowitzki spoke to Marc Stein of the New York Times in his weekly newsletter and heaped praise on the fearless rookie.
“He’s a very confident player already,” Nowitzki said. “He was a full-on pro since he was, I don’t know, 14 years old. He lived in a different country before he even came here. His English is good. He feels like, in his head, he’s running the show already. He carries himself like a true vet. So we have a great time. He’s a good kid. But so far he doesn’t really ask me much. He just plays his game.
“I didn’t have that confidence, that swag, when I got in the league,” Nowitzki continued. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it in this league. This guy comes here basically knowing he’s going to make it in the league. And that’s how he carries himself on the court. No fear. It’s just completely different.”
It’s high praise for Doncic, who told us back in August that he wanted to learn “everything” that Nowtizki could possibly teach him. While there’s assuredly things for him to learn, Nowtizki believes he’s already gotten that confidence thing down.