Back in the day, it wasn't so usual to see a foreign player being one of the faces of the NBA.
Hakeem Olajuwon and Dirk Nowitzki were obvious exceptions to that trend. But even in the era of globalization, foreign players were often overlooked by the league.
It's safe to say that those days are far behind us. Rudy Gobert, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Nikola Jokic have won the most important awards in the league over the past couple of years, and foreign players continue to make their way into the NBA.
But, among them, perhaps no one shines brighter than Luka Doncic right now.
Doncic is already one of the most popular players in the world, up to the point that he was chosen to be on the cover of NBA 2K22 despite having just three seasons under his belt.
And, according to Ronnie 2K, his impact and worldwide meaning for basketball made him an obvious choice for this honor:
“Luka, obviously with the success he’s had early in his career and what he means to the global world of basketball, he was an incredible partner. We just did the 2K foundation’s court in his hometown in Slovenia. And opened up a court to give back to the game he loves so much and is making his life now, was incredible to partner with him," Ronnie said on ESPN's The Jump.
Despite his youth, Doncic is one of the clear-cut favorites to win MVP next season, according to most oddsmakers and casinos.
He's only gotten better since entering the league and he's still far away from his prime, which is a scary thought for the rest of the NBA.
Also, his role as an international player will continue to open doors for more foreign hoopers trying to make it to the league, finally putting an end to the stigma and doubts about them.