The NBA Draft has been full of surprises and Luka Doncic is no different. With a lot of hype around his potential, many people seem to be forgetting about Larry Bird and the impact he had on the league.
Luka Doncic is a rising star in the NBA. He has been compared to Larry Bird, but he still has a long way to go before he can be considered on the same level as Larry Legend.
Luka Doncic, nicknamed “Baby Bird,” is one of the greatest emerging players in the NBA and probably the MVP favorite for the next season. Luka takes a cutthroat approach to the game, much as Bird did, but he does it his own way, with a mischievous smile on his face at all times. Luka and Bird are both confident in their abilities and have the ability to play in all areas of the court.
As a result, it’s only natural that Doncic’s style has drawn parallels to Larry Bird’s since both players approach the game similarly and have a diverse set of skills that include scoring, rebounding, and passing. Both guys are very dominating below the rim despite not having athleticism as a God-given talent. But, based on his current form, might Luka be a greater player than Larry Legend? Luka’s rise to become one of the game’s top-10 players has been amazing to witness, but now it’s time to see whether he can match or perhaps surpass the Celtics’ superstar.
It’s difficult to tell the difference between the two superstars when it comes to scoring the ball. Luka Doncic has already averaged 25.7 points per game in three seasons, with a season-high of 28.8 points per game. Luka has the ability to score from all areas of the floor, including the three-point line and the basket. Doncic, who is gifted with stature and a delicate touch, should attack the basket more often.
Larry Bird was a far superior shooter than Luka Doncic, averaging 37.6% from three throughout his career compared to Luka’s 33.1 percent. Bird also shot 88.6 percent from the free-throw line, compared to the Slovenian’s 72.5 percent average. However, Doncic evens things up in this area since he has demonstrated the potential to take over games with his offense, particularly when he gets his stride from deep. So far, Luka has managed to match Bird’s offense, which has been remarkable.
Athleticism – Even if you’re not a natural athlete, you can
Neither player was an outstanding athlete in terms of athleticism. Luka is 6’7″ and weighs 230 pounds, while Bird is 6’9″ and weighs 220 pounds. Doncic possesses a powerful upper body and a fast first stride that make him seem bigger than he is when he plays. Bird was taller and therefore a superior rebounder, but he lacked Luka’s speed.
Even though Doncic is faster with the ball, Bird’s height and length put him ahead in this area. It will be difficult to tell the difference between Bird and “Baby Bird” unless a player is obviously a superior athlete.
Larry Bird is on defense.
Neither Luka nor Bird are considered outstanding defenders, but Larry Bird takes the lead once again. Bird was named to three All-Defensive Teams throughout his career, averaging 1.7 SPG and 0.8 BPG. Bird has also set career highs of 1.2 BPG and 2.0 SPG, which Luka has yet to match. Bird was, at the very least, a towering forward capable of bothering shooters with his length.
Luka has yet to be named to an All-Defensive Team, and his career averages just 1.0 SPG and 0.4 BPG. We all know Doncic is still a work in progress and has a long way to go before he can lock down opponents, but his defense has so far fallen short of that of one of the best Celtics players of all time.
Larry Bird’s Clutch
Luka Doncic has the clutch gene, as shown by the manner in which he accepts responsibility at the conclusion of games. Doncic possesses a variety of offensive skills, including a trademark stepback jumper that he can pull off at any moment, making him a dangerous player in the clutch. But he’ll have to wait at least a decade to overtake Larry Bird in the clutch category.
Bird is one of the most clutch perimeter players in NBA history, and he can hit any shot he wants because to his long shooting range. Bird, after Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, is perhaps the third greatest clutch player in NBA history, with a high release and sublime confidence. Bird, according to legend, would often warn his opponents what he was going to do before he did it. As a clutch performer, few players can match Larry Bird, and Doncic is no exception.
Larry Bird is a great leader.
Image courtesy of Getty Images
Image courtesy of Getty Images
Luka Doncic, who is just 22 years old, has shown great leadership skills by leading a below-average Mavericks club to the playoffs the last two seasons. When the Mavericks were expecting a lengthy rebuild after the departure of Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki, the arrival of Doncic completely altered the franchise’s plans. Dallas was determined to win at any costs at this point.
Doncic’s ability to manage that kind of pressure demonstrates his outstanding leadership abilities. Larry Bird, on the other hand, is in a different league. With the Boston Celtics, the Celtics icon earned three MVP awards and three NBA titles, and he was the driving force behind their great success. Because of his self-confidence and trust in himself, you always knew who could deliver in the clutch and lead your team to victory when Larry Bird was on the squad. Bird’s natural skill and self-assurance made him one of the NBA’s greatest leaders.
Basketball I.Q. (Intelligence Quotient) –
Because they are/were the greatest player on their teams and bore a significant burden on the offensive side of the court, both players have a high basketball I.Q. Bird and Doncic are both capable of rebounding the ball and have great passing skills when there are gaps in the defense. But has Luka shown enough as a savvy player to be compared to Larry Bird?
Yes, it is correct. Luka has a high IQ and a penchant for making an impression in every game he participates in. Luka will find ways to be successful even if his shooting is off, whether it’s ending a game with a triple-double or finding ways to score the ball. Luka has had numerous games when his shot doesn’t fall, yet he still manages to help his side win. As a scorer, rebounder, and passer, Bird was known for his basketball IQ, and Doncic is already demonstrating comparable abilities.
Larry Bird’s Impact
NBAE/Getty Images/Andrew D. Bernstein
On both ends of the floor, it’s difficult to dispute that Bird is the greater superstar right now than Luka Doncic. Bird was a great rebounder throughout his career, averaging 10.0 RPG and a career-high 11.0 RPG in 1983. Bird was also a talented shooter, having made the “50-40-90” club in 1987 and 1988 for the second year in a row. Luka is unlikely to accomplish that achievement at his current pace of progress.
As a talented scorer and facilitator, Doncic is a great offensive player, but he has not done enough to earn an advantage against a superstar of Bird’s level. Doncic is still just 22 years old and has the rest of his career ahead of him, so he might continue to improve his whole game. Bird, on the other hand, had always been a bigger star, particularly as a championship player.
Luka Doncic in a one-on-one match
Luka has demonstrated exceptional one-on-one skills, even though Bird was a better shooter. When he has a clear route to the rim, Luka is a force to be reckoned with, and he has no trouble hitting jumpers against even the most tenacious defense. Doncic has also shown the ability to take contact and finish near the rim, establishing himself as a complete offensive player. All he has to do now is increase his efficiency, which can always be improved.
Bird was a far superior shooter and had several great scoring seasons, like averaging 29.9 points per game in 1988 and 28.7 points per game in 1985. Bird had a high career shooting %, but Luka is doing things on the offensive end that are really unique at such a young age.
Larry Bird’s Career (Not included in the final score)
It would be absolutely inappropriate to compare Donic to Larry Bird in terms of his career. In his first three seasons in the league, Doncic has earned Rookie of the Year, made two All-NBA teams, and two All-Star teams. He is clearly on his way to being an MVP contender for the remainder of his career. But nothing compares to what Larry Legend has accomplished in the game.
Bird played in the NBA for 13 seasons, earning three titles and two Finals MVP awards. The Celtics icon was also named to three MVP teams, 12 All-Star teams, and ten All-NBA teams, as well as winning Rookie of the Year. Doncic still has a long way to go to equal Bird’s résumé, and it will be difficult for him to accomplish so in the future.
Larry Bird vs. Luka Doncic, 1-4
Luka Doncic is on his way to become one of the greatest players of all time. He has the skills, drive, and potential to excel at the top level, and the Slovenian may be on his way to a genuine MVP-caliber season. The Dallas Mavericks superstar is currently one of the game’s top-10 players, but he has to win in the playoffs before establishing himself as perhaps the greatest player in the league.
However, it’s difficult to claim that Doncic is a carbon clone of Larry Bird right now. Bird was a one-of-a-kind talent who dominated the 1980s era of basketball with Magic Johnson, earning three MVP awards and three NBA championships. Bird was a part of several great teams, but he was always the one who made the difference in their success. Doncic is on the right track, but he’ll need at least a decade in the league before anybody can compare him to one of the top ten players of all time.
Doncic, Luka: “You can’t put myself in the same category as Larry Bird. There are still more games to play. I just want to keep hooping and having a good time while playing basketball.”
“Luka Doncic Is The Baddest White Dude Since Larry Bird,” says Stephen A. Smith.
Toni Kukoc on comparisons to Luka Doncic: “That Was Exactly The Way I Played When I Played In Europe.”
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“I Remember As A Rookie Larry Bird Walked By Our Bench And Said ‘I Feel Like 43 Tonight,’” says John Stockton.
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