In recent times, Dallas Mavericks marquee player Luka Doncic has become one of the biggest draws in the NBA. Some experts and fans reckon that “Luka Legend” is an incredibly unique player destined to carve his path in the sport. But contrary to what Luka’s father, Sasa Doncic, revealed, the Slovenian superstar was like any aspiring NBA star as a teenager.
New blood from the old school
Having been mentored by Sasa, a six-time Slovenian domestic basketball league All-Star, Luka has immersed himself in the sport at an early age. And according to Sasa, his son was also fascinated by the idea of becoming an NBA superstar. However, what separated the teenage Luka from the pack was the motivation behind it.
Sasa said that while other hoopers his age gets excited about the money and fame, Luka was focused on adding skills to his arsenal by studying the game of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and the likes.
“The NBA? [Luka] He is just 16 years old,” Sasa said in 2015 via Bleacher Report. “I tell him to have fun, be a kid, forget about the money and the cars. Other kids have talent, too, but dream of millions of dollars and lose focus on basketball. The NBA Luka thinks about is watching film of Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson.”
It did not take long for Luka’s hard work to pay off. Sasa then decided to take his son’s game to another level and move to Spain, where Luka became an instant star in Real Madrid at 13. Since then, he took off and never looked back.
Aside from the unparalleled mentality, the young Doncic’s physique and basketball IQ were also exceptional. In the same interview, former San Antonio Spurs center and Basketball Federation of Slovenia secretary general Rasho Nesterovic said, unlike other youngsters, “Luka Magic” didn’t need to hit the gym and grow muscles as he was “big enough to compete at the highest level” and was “much smarter than the average 16-year-old.”
Luka takes over the NBA
Luka’s colossal long-term deal with Real Madrid was reportedly stretched to 2022. However, given his out-of-this-world qualities, the contract had “multiple NBA escape clauses,” which implies that “El Matador” could talk things over with Real Madrid if the opportunity to play on basketball’s biggest stage knocks.
In 2018, that day finally came, and fate led Doncic to the Mavs. And the rest, as they say, is history. When we say history, it really is history as Luka, at 22, already tops the Mavericks’ all-time list in triple-doubles with 46 to date. And in just four seasons with Dallas, Luka is already one of the franchise’s top 10 all-time scoring leaders.