NBA: Luka Doncic and the rise of European players
Before the 1992 Dream Team, the game of basketball was not much popular outside the USA. Since the Dream Team played in the Olympics, it has become more of a global game, and everything changed.
Many players from other countries started coming to the NBA. Some of them left an everlasting impact on the game. Greats like Tony Parker and Dirk Nowitzki had begun their professional careers in a European Basketball league and then went on to play in the NBA.
The San Antonio Spurs created a dynasty with Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Tim Duncan. Helping Spurs to multiple titles. Whereas Dallas Mavericks won their first championship with Dirk Nowitzki and he has been the face of the Mavericks franchise since they drafted him.
After earning a championship in the year 2012, Dallas Mavericks have struggled to get back to the finals. Dirk Nowitzki has been aging, and they have been struggling in the past few years. Last season was one to forget for all the Dallas Fans.
Which earned them a high draft this year. With the draft choice, they chose Trae young and had a trade worked with Atlanta for the player they drafted. This player was most talked about before the draft as he came from Europe.
Luka Doncic who has been playing professional basketball since the age of 16 for Real Madrid Baloncesto. Last season in the Euro League he led them to the title and won the MVP.
After achieving the glory in the European basketball, he finally made the choice of bringing his talents to National Basketball Association. With a top of the draft trade with Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks picked Luka 4th overall.
He is not the first European player to join the NBA, but Luka surely is one the best to come. He has some elite company in Tony Parker, Dirk Nowitzki, Giannis Antetokounmpo and many more. We all know that Tony Parker and Dirk Nowitzki will surely be making the Hall of Fame when they retire. And Giannis Antetokounmpo is in contention for MVP this season.
There have been very few successful players outside of America who have played professionally in Europe, then made their mark in the NBA. This predicament has been changing is the past few years. Everyone was shocked when the then-general manager of the New York Knicks Phil Jackson drafted Kristaps Porziņģis. He turned out to be an excellent pick for them. Probably a cornerstone for the franchise.
This season Luka Doncic is on course to be Rookie of the Year, and the spectators love his style of play. They love Luka so much so that they wanted to see him in the All-Star game in his rookie year. He has been having an exceptional season as well. Making the history of his own as gets set for the fast pace of the game in America. He became the first player in his teens to have a 30-point triple double.
Surely Dallas Mavericks look ready for the future, they can finally move on from their ageing star Dirk Nowitzki. They have found their new face of the franchise in Luka Doncic, more importantly, he has paved the way for more of the European talent to come and play in the NBA. Showing everyone that the game has evolved and indeed become global.