Luka Doncic is the Next Larry Bird And Its Totally Not Because He’s White



Luka Doncic is good. Those are in fact two different shots on back to back possessions last night in the Mavs 128-108 win over Houston. Doncic already looks to be on another level compared to the rest of the rookies in the NBA. Sure, he’s already played professionally in Europe, but any basketball game played with a multi-colored ball doesn’t count according to the Hall of Fame.

Two players were selected ahead of Donic in this year’s draft. Deandre Ayton has been solid for an absolutely abysmal Suns roster full of wasted potential. So far this season Ayton is averaging 16/10/2.5 with 1 block per game while the Suns are 4-17. Devin Booker is essentially the only player trusted with the ball in his hands for Phoenix and is 3rd in the league averaging 4.3 turnovers per game. Doncic surely would have been a more impactful addition over Ayton, but hindsight is 20/20.

Marvin Bagley III was the other player selected before Doncic. He might be good, he might not be. I literally have no clue. If you told me that the Kings haven’t played a game this season I would believe it in a second. They’re remarkably forgettable as a franchise. So honestly I’m glad they didn’t take Luka because we would probably never hear from him again.


I’ve been real eager for a real next Larry Bird. There have been plenty of tall whites that can shoot and have been called the next Larry Bird, but for a couple years I’m pretty sure Doug McDermott held that title, so I take it with a grain of salt.

So far this season, Doncic is averaging 19/6.5/4 shooting shooting 45% from the field. Bird’s rookie season he posted a 21/10/4.5 shooting 47%. Bird was also a full 4 years older than Doncic is now in his rookie season, because education was once important.

Doncic plays very similarly to Bird, a great playmaker who can shoot and rebound. Doncic also has the advantage of actually having a back. People forget that Larry Bird essentially game into the league with the back of a 52 year old carpenter. Luka plays a much more athletic brand of basketball from how Bird did, but the court vision and great range from deep are what really draw these comparisons. Totally not the complexion. Luka Doncic is similar to Larry Bird for how they play the game of basketball, NOT for how he looks while playing the game of basketball. There have been plenty of other white guys that haven’t been compared to Larry Bird, surely. Steve Nash, the Bob Cousy of his time, was never known to be the next Larry Bird.

Hopefully Luka stays hot, and hopefully one day Luka can be the next white guy that we compare all other good white guys too. Larry Bird was once the Rick Barry of his generation, Rick Barry was the George Mikan of his time, and George Mikan was the first guy to ever shoot a basketball. Little history lesson there.

-Riley Banks(@rileybanks10)


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