Luka Doncic is a familiar name to those who watch the Euro League, FIBA tournaments and Real Madrid games. To the uninitiated, let us do a brief introduction of this basketball rising star.
At a tender age of 16 years old, Luka started bagging Most Valuable Player honors and Championships. Below is a summary of his teenage accolades thus far.
Second most votes for All-Star Game 2019 Western Conference Front Court
Fourth most overall votes for All-Star Game 2019
NBA Rookie of the Year (2019)
NBA All-Rookie First Team (2019)
EuroLeague champion (2018)
EuroLeague MVP (2018)
EuroLeague Final Four MVP (2018)
All-EuroLeague First Team (2018)
2× EuroLeague Rising Star (2017, 2018)
3× Liga ACB champion (2015, 2016, 2018)
Liga ACB MVP (2018)
All-Liga ACB First Team (2018)
2× ACB Best Young Player (2017, 2018)
3× ACB All-Young Players Team (2016–2018)
2× Spanish King’s Cup winner (2016, 2017)
FIBA Intercontinental Cup champion (2015)
EB Next Generation Tournament champion (2015)
EB Next Generation Tournament MVP (2015)
Still don’t believe the hype around the young man who goes by the nicknames ‘Wonderboy’ or ‘Nino Maravilla’ in Spain as well as ‘Lord Luka’, ‘El Matador’ or ‘the Matador’ in the NBA? It is fine, let us delve further into his stellar statistics and record-breaking feats in his young first two years as an NBA player.
Consider just coming out of the gates this 2019 / 2020 season, Luka already clocked a historical feat. He scored 34 points in the season opener, making history by scoring the most points in the opening game being a 20 year old.
Consider production on the court? Luka managed to eclipse 300 points, 100 rebounds and 100 assists in his past 10 game streak.
Consider youth prodigal talent? When he first arrived in the NBA in 2018, Luka immediately became the second-youngest player ever to notch a triple-double with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in January 2019.
Luka then became the youngest player in NBA history to record three consecutive games of scoring 30+ points and dishing 10+ assists in November 2019. At 20 years 265 days old, he became the youngest player with consecutive 35 point triple-doubles, breaking the long-standing record held by the Hall of Famer, Oscar Robertson, who previously held the record at 22 years 34 days old in December 1960! His statistics for the two games were 42 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists for one game and 35 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists for the game after.
Consider the accuracy of execution? Luka is the only player with 30 points and 5 assists on 90% shooting percentage in a half over the last 20 seasons.
Consider consistency? Luka is in rare air, being just the fifth player in NBA history to average a 30 point triple-double over at least a span of 10 games. Luka also notched his seventh triple-double in his first 14 games, the second-most ever by any player in history, behind just Oscar Robertson, who had 11 way back in the 1961 / 1962 season.
Consider efficiency while exhibiting elite excellence? Luka became the first player in NBA history to record a 35 point triple-double in 25 or less minutes played. Luka also joins Karl-Anthony Towns as the only two players over the last 15 seasons with 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in just a single quarter.
Consider dominance over the opponent team? Luka is the first player ever to out-score, out-rebound, out-assist his opponent team in a quarter since Allen Iverson did it on 19 February 2003 against the Chicago Bulls. Luka Doncic accomplished this feat against the Warriors this year in the first quarter.
Consider elite All-Star performance? Luka Doncic recently etched his name in history by being just the fourth player since 1983 / 1984 to have four consecutive games scoring 30+ points and dishing 10+ assists. This is elite company among four other All-Stars and Most Valuable Players like Russell Westbrook, James Harden (both did it in 2016 / 2017) as well as Michael Jordan (in 1988 / 1989).
If we want to benchmark Luka Doncic’s performance against the standard of an NBA superstar, who else is better for comparison than the most complete player of this era, LeBron James?
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LeBron James has long been the golden standard for the modern-day NBA superstardom. A quick comparison between ‘Lord Luka’ and ‘King James’ immediately reveals that Luka Doncic is the real deal.
A sophomore year comparison between the two showed uncanny resemblance in their elite all-around statistics. As a sophomore, LeBron averaged 27.2 points per game, 7.4 rebounds per game, 7.2 assists per game, 2.2 steals per game and 0.7 blocks per game while Luka is currently averaging 29.5 points per game, 10.7 rebounds per game, 9.3 assists per game, 1.2 steals per game and 0.2 blocks per game throughout his first few weeks of the season.
If you want to go way back and compare Luka with a Hall of Famer, you can take a look at Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson. The Lakers legend had seven triple-doubles in the year before his 21st birthday. Even LeBron James had only five. Luka is turbocharging ahead by eclipsing both top players. Luka Doncic now bagged 14 triple-doubles in the year before he turns 21, setting the new golden standard for an all-around young superstar player.
As you can see, Luka Doncic is fast solidifying his status as a rising young star and his ascension seems anything but done. Watch out as we all bear witness to this international basketball prodigy making history. One thing for sure is, Luka Doncic will continue to announce his arrival with greater and more impressive achievements.