Though 19-year old Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic has yet to play a single minute in the NBA, similarities between his game and Yugoslavian basketball legend Drazen Petrovic are already being mentioned. The third overall pick is one of the most anticipated European arrivals in the history of the NBA, and he is now being compared to one of the all-time international basketball greats, the former Trail Blazer, Drazen Petrovic.
“Drazen Petrovic would be the closest example of what we’ve seen to this Doncic phenomenon,” said ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla. “If you were an NBA basketball fan pre-internet and Twitter, anyone who followed the game had heard of Drazen — not to the extent they’ve heard of Luka because of draft interviews and footage, so there’s even more anticipation for Luka than the great Petrovic because times and the media has changed.”
Petrovic, like Doncic, had won practically everything there is to win — multiple EuroLeague Championships, a EuroBasket MVP and EuroBasket gold medal — before joining the Portland Trail Blazers in 1989.
Petrovic was drafted by the Blazers in the third round of the 1986 draft and arrived in Portland in 1989 after a decorated career overseas. He spent a season and a half in Rip City, and went on to see tremendous success with the New Jersey Nets before his tragic death at the age of 28 due to a car accident in Germany.
Doncic joins a Mavericks backcourt that includes the talented Dennis Smith Jr., and he’ll get a chance to play under the tutelage of future Hall-of-Famer Dirk Nowitzki.
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