Sportress of Blogitude

Dirk Nowitzki: Luka Doncic already ‘better than me now’ than anytime in my prime

Dirk Nowitzki has passed the torch to Luka Doncic, who the Dallas Mavericks legend believes is already well on his way to surpassing anything he ever accomplished with the organization.

Amid a week when both Nowitzki and Doncic were announced as cover athletes in different versions of the upcoming “NBA 2K22,” the retired icon showered praise upon his successor as the franchise cornerstone of the Mavs.

“He’s such a special talent and so good already at leading the floor at just 21, 22, and his just unbelievable all-around game,” Nowitzki said of Doncic, via SLAM. “I would say he is better than me now than I’ve ever been in my prime and that’s how good he is at 22 already.”

For Nowitzki to say Doncic is already better than him when the rising superstar just wrapped up only his third season in the NBA is obviously quite the compliment. Nowitzki of course was one of the league’s biggest stars throughout a remarkable 21-season career that will ultimately result in a Hall of Fame induction when he becomes eligible in 2023.

A 14-time All-Star, four-time All-NBA First Team member and 2007 NBA MVP, Nowitzki led the Mavericks to the organization’s only championship in 2011, where he earned NBA Finals MVP honors. The presumption is that Doncic is well-positioned to potentially do the same should the pieces fall into place around him in Dallas, not to mention the belief the 22-year-old will be in the mix for MVP consideration for years to come.

Regarding their respective cover athlete status for “NBA 2K22,” Doncic is featured on the standard edition and cross-gen bundle, while Nowitzki lands on the cover alongside the legendary Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant on an edition of the iconic video game series that celebrates the NBA’s upcoming 75th anniversary.

Nowitzki took to Twitter to recognize the honor, and made sure to crack a joke about his inclusion.

Same old Dirk.