Charles Barkley doesn’t think that the case of Luka Doncic is anything special. Former NBA star and now TV pundit on TNT Charles Barkley has criticized the foreign leagues ahead of Draft pick Luka Doncic’s move. Entering Thursday’s NBA Draft, Barkley said he wouldn’t have taken Doncic with one of the top two picks. The TNT analyst says he has nothing against the Slovenian teenager, but Barkley questions the level of competition Doncic faced in Europe.
Doncic has had a historic season with Real Madrid, winning the Liga Endesa and EuroLeague titles, claiming the domestic, regular season and Final Four MVP award in the process. The Slovenian also won the Rising Star trophy, and he helped Slovenia win their first Eurobasket title to add. NBA General Managers and front offices have been raving about Doncic’s talent. He was projected as a lottery pick and even a possible No. 1 selection by pretty much every NBA Draft specialist. In the end, he ended up being the 3rd pick by Atlanta and traded to Dallas in exchange for Trae Young.
But Barkey was skeptical about Doncic’s success, claiming that he must have been playing in a “shit league”, for that to happen. Here’s what Barkley said in an interview for Scott Pollard’s podcast “Planet Pollard Podcast”:
“I don’t trust foreign competition. I don’t have anything against foreign players. I just don’t know what kind of competition it is. They’re like, at 18 years old he was the MVP. Well, that tells me he was playing against shi**y competition. Nobody at 18 should be dominating grown men. I don’t care how bad the grown men are.” You go back and look at the NBA. I’ve been in the NBA for over 30 years. There’s only one 18 year old that you can go back and say ‘oh he’s the real deal’. That’s LeBron James. People forget, as great as Kobe Bryant was, he struggled for the first few years. Kevin Garnett? Struggled in his first few years. They keep telling Doncic won MVP at 18. He shouldn’t be dominating grown men at 18. For this kid to be dominating… I wouldn’t take him with the No. 1 or 2 pick in the NBA Draft.”
Seems like Sir Charles is not fully sold on Luka Doncic, but the Dallas Mavericks are firm believers he will live up to the hype and possibly be the next foreign face of the team after Dirk Nowitzki.