From Doubt to Star: Dirk Nowitzki Remembers His First Meeting with Luka Doncic

A Legend's first impression of a rising star

by Sededin Dedovic
From Doubt to Star: Dirk Nowitzki Remembers His First Meeting with Luka Doncic
© Tom Pennington / Getty Images

Dirk Nowitzki was a guest on the "All The Smoke" podcast hosted by former NBA players Steven Jackson and Matt Barnes. Nowitzki, a 14-time NBA All-Star and one of the most respected players in NBA history, reflected on his first meeting with Luka Doncic, the young Slovenian superstar who is considered one of the best players in the league today.

Doncic entered the NBA in 2018, the same year that Nowicki announced his retirement. The two played together for one season in Dallas, and Nowitzki was immediately impressed with the young guard. "I didn't think he was going to be that kid when he first walked into the training room," Nowicki said of Doncic.

"He was just a kid and I wasn't sure he was ready for the NBA. But he quickly showed us that he was a special player."

Doncic was already playing as a veteran before entering the league

"He had a poise and a maturity that was beyond his years," Nowicki said.

"He was always in control and never seemed to get flustered. He was also incredibly talented. He could score, pass and rebound, and he had a great feel for the game." He said that he knew that Doncic would be a star, but that he did not think that he would become one of the best players in the world.

"I'm so proud of what he's accomplished," Nowicki said. "He's one of the most exciting young players in the NBA, and I can't wait to see what he does in the years to come." In his career so far, Doncic averaged 25.7 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game.

He was also selected to the All-NBA first team three times and to the All-Star game three times. Nowicki said he was happy that he had the opportunity to play with Doncic. "He's a special player and I'm glad I got to see him up close," Nowitzki said. "He will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come."

Dirk Nowitzki Luka Doncic