Dirk Nowitzki opened the doors for almost all European players that play in the NBA today. While Dirk was not the first European to play in the NBA, he was definitely the first to become a franchise centerpiece and lead them to a championship. Nowitzki laid out a blueprint that we now see the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo follow. However, everyone in Dallas will be hoping that their new European superstar in, Luka Doncic, can learn from Dirk.
Doncic and Dirk have had a great relationship ever since the two played together in 2018-19, Luka's rookie season and Dirk's retirement season.
Dirk was recently at a Slovenia game and chanted 'overrated' at Luka alongside the crowd that was trying to trash talk him. When speaking about that incident with EuroBasket, Nowitzki opened up on how he thinks Luka has no weakness offensively and how he can read the game at his age.
"I'm still amazed how good he is already, how he reads the game at such a young age. You don't come in as a whole package on the offensive end, I don't even think this guy has any weaknesses. He can post, he has a step-back three, and his passing separated him from a lot of the great scorers. The way he sees the floor, the no-look passes to the roller or the 3-point shooter, whatever he can get. He still seems to amaze everybody and raise his level from year to year. He's the real deal."
Luka took the Mavs to the Conference Finals as a 23-year-old this season and will be hoping to improve on that next season. While they aren't favorites by virtue of their roster, many people do have the Mavericks as sleeper picks to win the Western Conference.
If the Mavs want to keep Luka for 21 years like they did Dirk, the team will have to put good players around him and give him a chance to win the title. If not, he may take his once-in-a-generation talent to some other NBA team.