Luka Doncic had enchanted everyone with his skills and talents right from his early teenage days of playing organized basketball. Growing up, Doncic always had an affinity for the game, with his family even claiming the Dallas Mavericks star to have started hooping right from the young age of just seven months old. As a teenager, Luka was nothing less than a wunderkind, earning his first professional contract with European giants Real Madrid at just 13 years of age.
Former Utah Jazz point guard Erick Green was more than fascinated to watch 17-year-old Luka dominate against his team. In fact, facing Doncic made Green realize how the American media and fans were not paying heed to the fine European talents then.
Doncic’s impact on his team with his basketball IQ and physical gifts at the age of 17 was what impressed Green the most. Calling Doncic his toughest matchup, Green highly praised the young Mavs star’s skills, in conversation with Entirely NBA, and remarked,
“He’s killing grown men at 17! This kid is nice…When I left that game, I was like, ‘Who is this kid?’ You know what I mean? I was like, for being 17, his IQ, his physical, you know? He was strong, he can shoot, he’s cocky. I’m like, ‘Yo! Who the hell? Where this kid come from?’ I was like ‘Yo! This dude is a real deal.”
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Luka Doncic started grabbing mainstream attention when he set a Liga ACB record for most points and the highest Performance Index Rating (PIR) for players under age 17 at Real Madrid. The 2017-18 season was the one that proved Luka to be an NBA-ready product for his skills and prowess.
Doncic was crowned the EuroLeague Final Four MVP and the youngest EuroLeague MVP winner after averaging 16 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 4.3 assists in 33 EuroLeague games for Real Madrid in that season. The Slovenian also earned the ACB Best Young Player and MVP accolades before enrolling for the 2018 NBA Draft.
Doncic was selected as the third overall pick by the Atlanta Hawks before soon being traded to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for draft rights to Trae Young and a protected future first-round pick in 2019.
Jerry West was surprised at Luka Doncic falling to a third overall pick of the 2018 NBA Draft
Luka Doncic had every potential and talent to emerge as the first overall pick for the 2018 NBA draft. Winning EuroLeague and Liga ACB MVP accolades just at the age of 18 is no easy task for a teenager. However, Deandre Ayton emerged as the best choice for the first overall pick, selected by the Phoenix Suns. Doncic slipping as the draft’s third pick surprised many, including Lakers legend Jerry West.
The logo exclaimed in a 2020 interview, expressing his anguish, “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. And not competing, but excelling.” However, all that happened for the good, given that Doncic has found the perfect fit and chemistry with his current team, the Dallas Mavericks.
West compared Luka Doncic’s situation to that of Kobe Bryant, who was also overlooked during his draft pick. The Lakers legend explains this, saying that scouts often tend to pass on such generational draft picks, given they are mostly unaware of how great the talent is.
With the incredible stats that he has been putting in this season, Doncic is on the line to win his first MVP title in the NBA. Even if the scouts did not see it coming, Doncic has transformed into a talent who can become the face of the league in the near future.
The post “He’s Killing Grown Men At 17”: Luka Doncic Had a Former NBA Point Guard In Shock Over His Dominance In His Teenage Years appeared first on The SportsRush.