Sports Illustrated released it’s 2019 Sportsperson of the Year awards this week and a familiar face is among their ranks. The magazine honored Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic as the Breakout of the Year.
For the Mavericks and their fans, it comes as no surprise that Doncic won the award. He’s been one of the most captivating figures in sports since joining the NBA in the summer of 2018. Dallas knew what it was getting in Doncic. Fortunately for them, three other franchises didn’t know enough.
From SI’s Chris Manix:
Now, about 100 games into his NBA career, everybody knows. Doncic averaged 21.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 6.0 assists last season, running away with Rookie of the Year honors. This season he is pouring in around 30 points per game and threatening to become just the third player in NBA history to average a triple double. At 20, he’s an MVP candidate leading a surprise contender in the West. After dueling with the Lakers in November, LeBron James bear-hugged Doncic, telling him, “You’re a bad mother------.”
Currently, Doncic holds the record for the most triple-doubles before age 21, 15, and averaged one for the month of November. His November performance netted him Player of the Month for October and November when he averaged 30.8 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 9.6 assists.
Doncic’s seemingly meteoric rise didn’t happen by accident. He’s earned everything he’s accomplished thus far. As the year comes to a close, expect to see him on more lists like SI’s. And as his career progresses, the accolades will only mount and he’ll keep drawing comparisons to legends of the game. That’s great for the Mavericks and their fans. Doncic, however, isn’t worried about comparisons or his stats, he just wants to play.
“If feels like every time there’s stats you don’t know about it and you’re with somebody like every day.” Doncic said earlier this season. “It’s great but—it’s just great to hear it.”