"I was waiting for this game, and it was very special to me.”
Dallas Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic had October 31 circled on his calendar and it wasn't because he was looking forward to dressing up for Halloween. Rather, the 19-year old Slovenian sensation was looking forward to the Mavs' showdown against the Lakers last night because he finally had the opportunity to go up against his idol, LeBron James.
Not only did he get to take the court against LeBron, Doncic also left the arena with an autographed #23 jersey.
Per ESPN's Baxter Holmes:
“I always wanted his jersey,” Doncic said afterward, with James’ jersey sitting in his locker. “It was something special to me.”
Speaking of his first matchup with his idol James, Doncic said, “It’s very special. I was waiting for this game, and it was very special to me.”
James said he isn’t surprised that Doncic has been able to thrive in the NBA at such a young age.
“I think European players are developed faster than NBA guys, meaning American players,” James said. “I think he’s been in a pro development stage now for how many years? Since he’s 15? So I don’t think this is intimidating to him. I don’t think this game is something he hasn’t seen before.
“I think that’s the best thing about European basketball, pro basketball over there. They develop their players so early.”