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Shaquille O'Neal On Luka Doncic's Detractors: "Luka Has Been A Pro Since 16 So He’s Already Going Up Against The Best. In 2 Or 3 Years Everyone’s Going To Fade Out.”

(via The Athletic)

(via The Athletic)

Even though a lot of people thought he was going to be just an average player at best, Luka Doncic is now drawing praise left and right around the NBA community, and rightfully so.

Due to his game, skills, size - and let's not going to lie, the color of his skin - Doncic has often been compared to Larry Bird.

However, Shaquille O'Neal believes that Doncic actually has a shot at being better than him, and thinks that even though it's unfair to compare Doncic to Bird, he's got a chance to surpass those expectations and silence those who still doubt him:

“I wasn’t a fan of what Larry Bird did growing up because I thought everything he did was lucky," Shaq confessed on The Dan Patrick Show.

“It is unfair, but listen. I can tell he wants to be great, he will be great. He has a lot to live up to. I remember when in my second year I was named to the NBA Top 50 and people were going crazy. But I knew. I was like, ‘all you old-timers think I’m not top 50, watch this’. Luka has been a pro since 16 so he’s already going up against the best. In 2 or 3 years everyone’s going to fade out," Shaq said.

Well, perhaps Shaq is right and it's still way too early to compare a player who's entering his third season with one of the all-time greats. Then again, those legends of the game were legends from the very first second they set foot on an NBA hardwood.

Doncic looks like a once-in-a-lifetime kind of talent and we wouldn't judge anyone for jumping to conclusions and saying that he'll have a Hall-Of-Fame career. Now, it's up to him to live up to those expectations and continue taking the world and the league by storm.