“Man. I Could Have Been Here…”: Drafted by Hawks, Luka Doncic Pays Respect to Atlanta Fans After Historical 73 Points

Published 01/27/2024, 6:03 AM EST

Follow Us

What a week it’s been for the NBA. On the 18-year anniversary of Kobe Bryant scoring 81, we saw a few stars set their own history. Karl-Anthony Towns went off for 62, Joel Embiid recorded the ninth 70-point game in NBA history, and Devin Booker, the apprentice to Bryant has been on a scoring tear. Tonight, we witnessed another blazing performance, this time from the magical hands of Luka Doncic.

America’s Favorite Video Today

Playing against the Atlanta Hawks, the team that originally drafted him, the 6’7″ PG recorded the fourth most points ever in an NBA game. Doncic went off for 73, missing only right of his 33 attempts on the night. He quite literally made up for Kyrie Irving’s absence who is missing time due to a lingering thumb injury on his shooting hand.

Even though he was playing on Atlanta’s turf, the fans didn’t seem to mind. Cheers circled the arena whenever Doncic got close to breaking records. When asked about it in the press conference, the 24-year-old was beyond grateful.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Luka Doncic appreciates the support he got from the Hawks fans

What State Farm Arena witnessed was lauding worthy. Doncic was a serial scorer on the night. It wasn’t just one hot quarter for Luka Magic. He scored at least 16 in every period of the game. His consistency seemed video-game-like. There was no hesitation, it almost seemed like the Slovenian knew the night was going to be his.

Watching their team crumble and fail to fend off one guy must have been hard. But at some point, you have to imagine even fans enjoying a show. And today it was the Luka Doncic special. The entire arena was in a symphony, backing on Doncic every team he scored in that fourth quarter. It truly was a basketball fan’s dream to watch such history unfold in front of them.

Trending

Get instantly notified of the hottest NBA stories via Google! Click on Follow Us and Tap the Blue Star.

Follow Us

In some way, they might see Doncic to be one of their own. The Hawks did draft him before trading him away on the same night in exchange for Trae Young – a barter that we can argue was beneficial for everyone. Fresh off his 73-point explosion, Luka Doncic was asked about the reception he received from the fans. Turns out the Hawks fans love him more than one could imagine.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“Oh, it was great, man. I could have been here, but I think it benefits both sides. I actually saw one fan wearing an Atlanta jersey with 77, so I was glad,” he told the reporters.

“Wish He Was Here”: Luka Doncic Reminisces Kobe Bryant on Tragic Day After Historic Outing vs Hawks

Historically speaking, the Hawks were one of the franchises that had managed to keep Doncic in his shell. Before tonight, his career high against the organization was just 30 points in eight games against the Hawks. It was also the first time he shot over 33% from three against them.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Watch This Story: Who Has Reached 10,000 Points Faster Than Luka Doncic?

It goes to show that Doncic was unflappable tonight. No strategy was going to work, it was just magic.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Written by:

Anuj Talwalkar

2,318Articles

One take at a time

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Having composed close to 2000 articles, he aspires to manage his own team one day and is pursuing a top-tier college-level management program specializing in sports. Anuj's love for basketball blossomed after he started following the NBA a few years ago, and he decided to merge his writing skills with his understanding of this thrilling game.
Show More>

Edited by:

Ruth John

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

EDITORS' PICK

America’s Favorite Video Today