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Stephen A. Smith Explains Why He Refuses To Compare Luka Doncic To LeBron James

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

Dallas Mavericks’ star Luka Doncic is having a great season, posting big numbers every night, recording 7 triple-doubles so far this campaign. These good performances have prompted people to start comparing Doncic to other stars, especially LeBron James, arguably the best baller on earth right now.

Luka is making the case to be considered an MVP candidate at the end of the season, the same as LeBron. However, not everybody is sold on the idea of the Slovenian being at the same level as the King. One of those is ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, who explained why he refuses to compare the Mavs’ star to Bron.

“I’m not going to say it’s not ok [to compare Doncic with James], I’m gonna say I won’t do it,” Smith said on Thursday’s edition of First Take. “I’m not trying to discredit Luka Doncic in any way, I had the pleasure to speak with coach Rick Carlisle about him and Rick Carlisle was like ‘he’s just that dude, he’s a walking triple-double. On any given night, I put the ball in his hands.’

“Here is a part ways with everybody: athleticism matters to me, speed matters to me and the reason why is because I think that when you measure a guy and you’re comparing him to a superstar like LeBron James, remember, LeBron James was on the cover of Sports Illustrated, ‘The Chosen One’, the expectation that came with him wasn’t just because of his basketball IQ and his abilities, but the athleticism and whether or not the skill set that he had was sustainable for the long-haul. He [Doncic] can shoot, he can pass, he can rebound, the brother’s special, which I totally agree. (...) You gotta show me that is sustainable because I’m looking at LeBron athleticism in his second year, where he was averaging 27, 7 and 7, where he was shooting 48-49% from the field, where he was shooting 36% from 3-point range, playing 42 minutes a night, while Doncic is playing 33, so I’m looking at that and I’m saying ‘ok, less minutes, less speed, less athleticism and now they know you can ball.’ Can you sustain it? And that’s where I’m going.”

Only time will tell if Doncic will be as good as LBJ, but this season he’s looking just great. He’s just entering his 20s and the future couldn’t look better for him, so we’ll see how things go with his career.