Former NBA DPOY Feels He Would Have a Hard Time In Guarding Luka Doncic Even During His Prime

Published 02/13/2021, 10:30 AM EST
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


Luka Doncic is one of the most hyped players in the NBA today. And rightly so, he has the ball-handling skills of a point-guard while having the frame of a forward. He is a point-forward in the mold of LeBron James and Larry Bird.

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So, he garners praise from all the corners. However, former NBA hard man Metta Sandiford-Artest is not someone to easily give away props to someone. He attests to Luka’s high IQ, on the court – “He is definitely one of the smartest players I have ever seen.”

Washington Wizards’ Michael Jordan, left, and Chicago Bulls’ Ron Artest battle for position during the fourth quarter Saturday, Jan. 19, 2002, in Chicago. Jordan scored 16 points in his return to Chicago in the Wizards 77-69 win. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) ORG XMIT: CXA105

Artest is one of the most elite defenders in the history of the league. He was a nightmare for offensive players while also playing the role of an enforcer. But the former Defensive Player of the Year believes that guarding Luka Doncic would have been no menial task –

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“It would have been really difficult because of his release and his patience. And he’s got a big body and he can score with not a lot of space. I think I would have (to be) on my A-game (when playing Luka).”

Metta Sandiford-Artest agrees with the assessment of Luka Doncic on NBA

The Dallas Mavericks superstar grabbed headlines when he entered the league and made an unpopular proclamation. He believed that it was easier for him to score in the NBA as compared to the European leagues. Artest agrees with his assessment, noting how the rules facilitate scoring in the NBA today.

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“Yeah, because the rules changed. Before, it wouldn’t have been that easy. It would have been not easy because what happened was in the NBA, back in the 80s and the 90s, the rules were different. And then in order to get a lot of players comfortable in America, they had to take the physical product out of it… It’s also tough to score overseas because of the rules,” the former Laker said on the basketball network.

Feb 6, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) drives to the basket past Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins (22) and guard Kelly Oubre Jr. (12) and forward Draymond Green (23) during the first quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Luka proved to be a man of his word. His NBA average of 24.7 points per game eclipses his 9.2 points per game average while lacing his boots for Real Madrid. The heir to LeBron‘s throne is something special, indeed.

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Bharat Aggarwal

684 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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