Former NBA Champion Reasons Why Luka Doncic Should Celebrate Comparisons With Larry Bird Instead of Downplaying It

Published 03/02/2021, 11:33 AM EST
Jan 25, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) warms up before the game against the Denver Nuggets at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports


Luka Doncic is just 22-years-old, but the Slovenian sensation has already taken the league by storm. He is an exceptional player, a phrase which Doncic would’ve probably heard a thousand times in his career. But was it right of Luka Doncic to downplay comparisons with Larry Bird? 

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That’s the topic of appeal now. Luka Doncic is only in his third year in the league but has been posting numbers like a seasoned veteran. Furthermore, his style of play resembles that of the legendary Larry Bird, and even one of Bird’s former teammates had said the same. 

So Luka Doncic is receiving high praise from a lot of legends who excelled at the game, but the 22-year-old doesn’t want to fill up his head with such thoughts. To put it straight, Doncic doesn’t want to be compared to Bird. 

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“You can’t compare me to Larry Bird because of the things he has done… More, more games to go. A long time so you can’t compare me to Larry Bird. I just want to keep hooping, have fun playing basketball,” he recently said

Jan 23, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) makes a jump shot against the Houston Rockets during the second quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Ex-NBA star disagrees with Luka Doncic

It’s clear that Luka Doncic is being modest about the comparisons with Larry Bird. He does not want to be on that pedestal right now, but Matt Barnes had some advice for the Dallas Mavericks star. 

“Not from a championship overall perspective, Larry’s one of the greatest we’ve ever seen, but like Cedric Maxwell said, he’s a 2K version of Larry Bird with all the footwork and ball handling, the size, and his ability to get a bucket anytime,” Barnes mentioned on ESPN. 

“I think it is a high honor when former teammates of one of the greatest players we’ve ever seen can compare a current player to him. If we do it it’s different, we never played with Larry, don’t know Larry, but when guys who played with him and went to war with him can give you that kind of compliment, I just think Luka is being modest,” he added. 

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Barnes just expressed himself clearly. If someone who played with Larry Bird compares you to him, it is a huge honor. Though Doncic was modest, he should’ve taken the compliment instead of letting go of a comparison made by an NBA great! 

ESPN’s comparison also highlighted that Luka Doncic is doing well in terms of points and assists when compared to Larry Bird’s third year in the league. The question is, can Doncic sustain his greatness and win multiple championships by the time he retires? 

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Arjun Athreya

1729 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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