NBA Legend Jerry West Shares His Assessment Of Mavs’ Rising Superstar Luka Doncic

Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on January 02, 2020 in Dallas, Texas.
Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

Since being selected as the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Dallas Mavericks small forward Luka Doncic has continued to make his own name in the league. As of now, the Slovenian star is not only impressing active NBA players but also getting the attention of NBA legends like Los Angeles Clippers consultant Jerry West. In a recent interview with Kevin Sherrington of the Dallas Morning News, the Hall of Famer shared his assessment of the reigning Rookie of the Year.

West said that every NBA team in the league wishes they have a 20-year-old who is as good as Doncic, adding that he hasn’t even “scratched the surface.” The Los Angeles Lakers legend called Doncic a “genius” and considered him as one of the active players in the NBA that deserves to be labeled as a “superstar.”

“I’ve been around a long time, and I’ve seen a lot of special players,” West said. How many superstars are there in the league at any given time? Maybe five or six. There’s a difference between All-Stars and superstars. A superstar is different, and that’s what he is.”

Some people may disagree with West’s assessment that Doncic is already a superstar in the league. Aside from the fact that he’s just a 20-year-old who clearly lacks experience, he has yet to reach the level of established superstars like LeBron James of the Lakers, Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers, Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets, and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. However, as of now, no one can deny the fact that Doncic is on the right path to stardom.

Though the Mavericks aren’t one of the top favorites to win the championship this season, West credited Doncic for turning his team into a legitimate playoff contender in the deep Western Conference. The Clippers consultant went as far as saying that Doncic could be the top player in Mavs history — and not Dirk Nowitzki.

“Look at Dallas,” he said. “One player has transformed them into a playoff team. He will be the best player Dallas has ever had. I have great respect for Nowitzki, but Dirk is not him.”

Doncic continues to post incredible numbers in the 2019-20 season. In 32 games so far, the 20-year-old Slovenian small forward is averaging 29.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, 8.9 assists, and 1.2 steals while shooting 47.5 percent from the field and 33.1 percent from beyond the arc. If he would be consistent with his performance and avoids any major injuries, it would definitely not be a surprise if he becomes one of the frontrunners to win the 2020 MVP award and earn a spot on an All-NBA team.