Head coach Rick Carlisle of the Dallas Mavericks compared Luka Doncic to LeBron James and Magic Johnson by highlighting that Doncic has “deceptive size, strength, and quickness” and complimented the young phenom’s understanding which was “beyond his years on how to use his body to make plays and draw fouls”.
Marc Stein of the New York Times got Doncic’s evaluation from coach Carlisle:
“I hesitate to throw out names like LeBron James and Magic Johnson, who have been do-everything kind of stars, but it’s pretty clear now that Luka has many of those same traits and has proven that he can do a lot of those things. He has deceptive size, strength and quickness — and an understanding beyond his years on how to use his body to make plays and draw fouls.”
The comparison that Doncic mimics James and Magic by using his body is a fair analysis, and the young player plays beyond his years. Doncic body movement could be accredited to his knowledge from playing in euro basketball leagues, which seems to be paying dividends.
Doncic compares to James and Magic more than some might imagine. According to statistics, Luka Doncic has a better rookie year than James and Magic. In his rookie year, Doncic is averaging 21.9 points, 5.7 assists, and 7.2 rebounds while Magic averaged 18 points, 7.3 assists, and 7.7 rebounds, LeBron averaged 20.9 points, 5.9 assists, 5.5 rebounds in their rookie years. Therefore, it’s a fair comaprison to make considering the numbers.
The only thing that matters more that statistics is the game, and Doncic is able to electrify the crowd and win over fans. His play style has made Doncic one of the biggest young superstars in the league, and the Slovenian talent is performing at extremely high levels for a rookie year.