DALLAS, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 06: Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks celebrates after the Dallas Mavericks scored against the Orlando Magic in the second half at American Airlines Center on November 06, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Mavs’ Luka Doncic Shutdown Larry Bird Comparisons

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

During his first three years in the league, Dallas Mavericks point guard Luka Dončić has been compared to numerous NBA greats. Names such as Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Oscar Robertson. He has also been compared to Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, and Larry Bird.

During the first round of the 2020 plays, Carlise shared that Dončić’s number one goal is to win a championship. After asking him about the comparison to Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Oscar Robertson.

“I think Luka’s number one goal is to win and to be an NBA champion. He was talk time and time again about the fact that he doesn’t care about stats. He is really into winning. So, I have said for many years when it comes to players like Luka, we got Seth Curry, then everyone wants to talk about comparing him and Steph [Curry]. I wouldn’t say I like going there. I think Luka Dončić is one of the unique players,” said Carlisle.

“Really young players in the history of the game very much his own man, his own style of play. That is something that should be celebrated. I don’t particularly appreciate putting a lot of demand on young players with comparisons and then comparing stats. That should be relevant, what should be relevant that he continues work to redefine his game, which he has been doing each of these two years.”

Last season, Doc Rivers shared with the media Dončić had the passing ability of Jason Kidd, and can score like Larry Bird.

“[Doncic] has the ability to score, he gets to the paint, he’s strong, and he’s an elite passer,” Rivers explained. “So, there’s no great offense that doesn’t start with a great player, and he’s a great player.”

“Luka, to me, is a little bit of both,” Rivers continued. “He has the passing of Jason Kidd, but he has the scoring ability of Larry Bird, and that’s what makes him such a difficult cover.”


Dončić’s head coach Rick Carlisle can see the same comparison to Kidd and Bird.

“He knows where everybody is not only on offense but defense,” Carlisle told reporters after the game. “That’s the sign of a savant-type guy. I’ve played with Larry Bird; he could see everything like that. I had the privilege of coaching Jason Kidd … Luka is in that same mold.”

So, how does Doncic stack up against Bird through their first three seasons?

Luka Dončić is averaging 28.5 points, while shooting 47 percent from the field to go along with 8.4 rebounds, and 9.0 assists. As for Bird, he averaged 22.9 points, while shooting 50 percent from the field to go with 10.9 rebounds, and 5.8 assists.

But, if you asked Dončić, he has a long way to go to be compared to Larry Legend.

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On Saturday night, ESPN’s Rachel Nichols asked Doncic if he watched any old film on Bird.

Dončić replied, “I saw a lot of film of him playing, but you can’t compare me to Larry Bird. More and more games to go. A long time before you can compare me to Larry Bird. I just want to keep hooping, have fun playing basketball.”

Also after the game, Brooklyn Nets guard, James Harden said Dončić is special.

“There are some similarities,” Harden said.

“He never lets anyone speed him up, and he gets what he wants. That’s rare for a guy at a young age. I think he’s 21 years old. And to be able to dictate the game and control the game like he does, we all know he has a very, very bright future. The Mavs got a special one.”

The Mavericks improve their record to 16 and 16 after the win against the Nets.

What do you think?

Written by Landon Buford

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