The Dallas Mavericks have been blessed with a non-stop competitor in Dirk Nowitzki for the past two decades. Luka Doncic may be next in line for Dirk’s role as the humble star.
When Dirk Nowitzki showed up in his first year with the Dallas Mavericks, he was relatively unknown. People around the league had only a couple opportunities to actually see him play live and he never really boasted in his abilities leading up to the draft. Part of this is the reason he fell all the way to number 9 in the 1998 NBA Draft.
In fact, shortly after Dirk Nowitzki was drafted, people began to compare him to Detlef Schrempf, the only reasonably respectable German to hit the NBA up until that point. In that interview, the interviewer asked Dirk if he thought he would be as good as Detlef. Dirk’s humble response, of course, was “I hope so.”
This was honestly the exact response that you would expect from Dirk, maybe even still today. Dirk is selfless, easygoing and to himself, which makes him even more likable than he already is. Luka Doncic appears to be similar.
In an interview between Luka and former Yahoo! Sports writer, Shams Charania, you can see the humility in his responses. One of the first questions was who Luka’s favorite NBA player is. His answer was LeBron and then he talked about being excited about playing against him. This led to one response that befits him and would sound exactly the same if it came from Dirk.
“If I dunk on LeBron, I can retire.”
This was just one of many great quotes from Luka in the interview. He also talked about how he likes comparisons to Steve Nash but he knows how hard he would have to work to get to that level. He has also praised other comparisons he has received of Drazen Petrovic.
In reality, most NBA fans and many Mavs fans realize that Dallas got a steal of a deal even at the third pick of the draft. After one of the most impressive seasons from a foreign born player in history, Luka is on his way to greatness and he will continue to play it off like it is just another day.
(You can read the full interview here).
It will be nice if Luka continues to carry on that very simple mantle that Dirk carried for so many years. It is not always an easy thing to do, especially with the pride that engulfs many NBA players, but if anyone is ready for it, it’s Luka Doncic.