There’s a tendency of longtime Mavericks fans to talk about Luka Doncic and compare him to Dallas legend Dirk Nowitzki. There are obvious similarities, of course, but the differences are stark too. Talking about the career path of Dirk and comparing that to Luka Doncic is unwise, if we’re being honest, though I totally sympathize with the inclination.
This season, Luka’s made a permanent addition to his game which makes these comparisons even easier. Behold, from PandaHank41 on Youtube (you should really subscribe!)
As you can see from the video, it’s not just the fade away Dirk Nowitzki added to basketball that Luka Doncic does so well. It’s all sorts of other plays too. Of course, that’s going to happen when people play basketball, there are only so many moves and plays and possibilities in a given game. Yet that doesn’t take away any of the magic, watching these two transcendent talents do things side by side.
Dirk and Luka are very different athletes. This is forgotten to time (and a big reason why you should subscribe to Hank’s channel on Youtube) but early career Dirk was a truly special athlete. He was quick as a cat and there weren’t defenders who could keep up with him. Luka is obviously a special athlete in his own right but in very undervalued ways in the NBA. What he lacks in explosiveness, he makes up for with the ability to slow down and change directions.
Which makes all these plays that much more fun to watch, since they’re two very different guys doing very similar things.
Of these side by side plays, do you have a favorite? Let us know in the comments!