When Luka Doncic was a rookie, he made a preposterous shot. Time was running out in Portland and the Mavericks needed a miracle. Down three points with 0.6 seconds left, Doncic basically shot a floater from the baseline, which rattled in, keeping the Mavericks alive.
That moment alone, I think most people knew. We knew that Doncic was special. At this point, it’s almost impossible to be surprised by what this guy does. His 60-point, 21-rebound, 10-assist triple double in a miraculous comeback win against the Knicks Tuesday night is just another notch in his belt.
It’s both unbelievable and very believable at the very same time. It feels like a million years ago, but Luka won MVP of the EuroLeague at 18-years-old. 18! The second best basketball league on the planet and Luka was the most valuable player at the same age as a high school senior. We sort of knew then, didn’t we? We should have.
Yet somehow Luka was the third pick in his draft in 2018. He somehow had a swath of doubters that thought because he didn’t score 22 points against Vanderbilt that he wasn’t athletic enough to translate his game to the NBA. Yet, he played an NBA preseason game as a 17-year-old and looked like a normal player. When I was 17 I couldn’t keep my shoes tied all day. He played an NBA preseason game as a 16-year-old. 16! We barely trust 16-year-olds to operate motor vehicles, and Luka was playing against an NBA team.
When Luka was a 19-year-old rookie, he scored 11 points in the final three minutes of the fourth quarter against a title-contending Houston Rockets team. He made two threes, hit a floater, then nailed a step-back to clinch the game. It felt like a lot of people knew then. For those that didn’t, they should have.
In Luka Doncic’s first playoff game, he scored 42 points on 62 percent shooting against a Clippers team with All-Defense level wings Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. Against that very same team one year later, in his first Game 7, he had 46 points and 14 assists. A lot more people were convinced, but still, since he hadn’t won a playoff series yet, some people still didn’t know. They should have.
In Luka’s second Game 7 one year later, Luka scored 35 points on 19 shots in 30 minutes to complete the 0-2 series deficit comeback, beating the team with the best record in the NBA. Yet, since the Mavericks lost in five games in the Western Conference Finals, some people still didn’t know.
Luka Doncic is inevitable. If you don’t know, if you don’t think that after Luka did something that not even Wilt Chamberlain did, then you’re a lost cause. Think about that. Then think about it some more. Wilt scored 100 points in a game once. His career averages are 30.1 points, 22.9 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game. He once averaged 50 points per game in 80 games during the 1962 season.
Luka scored 60 points, grabbed 21 rebounds, and dished 10 assists. It’s the second 60-point triple double in NBA history. It’s the first 60-point, 20-rebound, 10-assist game in NBA history. Wilt never did that. He averaged 50 points and 25 rebounds for an entire season, but he never scored 60 points, grabbed 20 rebounds, and collected 10 assists.
In other news, Luka is is 23-years-old. He doesn’t turn 24 until February. What does 26-year-old Luka look like? What does 28-year-old Luka do?
Luka Doncic is the most ridiculous basketball player in the world, and the most crazy part about it is nothing he does is all that surprising. We just, well, we know.