Former NBA All-Star Advices Luka Doncic to Analyse Players Like Emoni Bates

Published 03/31/2021, 7:10 AM EDT
Dec 17, 2020; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) in action during the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Minnesota Timberwolves at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports


Luka Doncic is one of the foremost talents in the NBA today. The 22-year-old from Slovenia has shown that he is equipped to be the new face of the NBA. Since his arrival, Doncic has grown by leaps and bounds in just two seasons. Doncic has shown that he can be an MVP level player and also lead a team to an NBA championship in the future.

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Gilbert Arenas on new players in the NBA

Former NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas believes that players who are superstars today need to pay attention to upcoming players. There is no room to relax when you’re at the top. If top players become complacent, they will get caught by the new generation. They need to change their skill-set in order to cope with the new incoming players of the NBA.

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Arenas said, “The older you get, you have to look back down. You have to see what’s coming, you have to see the wave of what’s coming your way. Because if you’re stuck up there and all you see is the sky, and by the time you look down, it’s on your doorstep, you’re out. You have to come down and say ‘…I need to start changing my game now and start working on a new skill set. Because I’m going to have to guard it.’”

Feb 10, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) defends against Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) during the second quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Luka Doncic needs to adapt to the younger stars

Arenas illustrated his point with the example of NBA All-Star Luka Doncic. He noted that both he and Luka believe that Doncic is the future of the NBA. But Doncic must take notice of the new players coming and must try to adapt to newcomers like of Emoni Bates, or he will end up falling in terms of his numbers.

Arenas said, “Let’s say you’re Luka (Doncic). You’ve got to remember, to him, he’s the future. ‘I’m the future, I’m going to be the man of the league’. He still has to look down and see what’s coming. You still have to say ‘Oh you got Emoni Bates, he’s about 6’11, does the same thing I’m doing… he can do this, he can do that… I have to make room for improvement to face them.’ If you don’t do it, you’re sitting there guarding Trae Young and he keeps throwing the ball between your legs, and you’re like ‘what the hell is this?’”

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Can Luka Doncic improve and adapt to the new players in the NBA? He is currently in his third season in the league and is putting up excellent numbers, and hence, hasn’t been asked to make a lot of changes during his time with the Dallas Mavericks. However, as time goes on, the NBA will change, and he will have to change with the league.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1157 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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