“I don’t think there’s a ceiling for Luka,” Barkley said. “I think he is just special.”
That’s high praise from one of the best players in the history of the NBA. There’s plenty of ways to know that Doncic is a special talent, from the way he plays to the numbers and awards he’s accumulated so far. But hearing the way basketball greats of the past (and present) talk about him helps you understand just how talented he really is. They’re in awe of how he plays.
“[Luka] is a special talent,” Barkley continued. “He’s a tough kid. The stuff he’s doing right now at 22 is incredible.” (He’s actually 23, but we’ll forgive Chuck for the slight inaccuracy)
Barkley also had some constructive criticism for Luka:
“He’s got to learn to play off the ball a little bit more. I think one reason you saw this Dallas team get to the next level is because when Luka got hurt, other guys had to be more aggressive.”
He went on to compare the situation to Michael Jordan learning to trust his teammates in the 1990’s when the Chicago Bulls went on a historic run. It’s a good analogy, though Doncic isn’t playing with anyone nearly as talented as Scottie Pippen. Barkley did go on to say it’s up to Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie to be more aggressive, like they were in the first round against the Utah Jazz, in order to take some pressure off of Luka when he’s off ball.
The interview is a great listen for Mavericks fans, as Barkley goes on to discuss why he picked Dallas to beat the Golden State Warriors, and why he’s not worried after the Game 1 loss.