Last time a shot rang this hard around the world, we were killing redcoats…
MFFLs have seen the second coming for awhile, but mark down the Sunday afternoon of August 23, 2020 as the day the rest of America finally realized who their next one true God will be.
Make no mistake about it… Ten years from now, the question will not be if Luka was the best player of the 2020s; it will be whether or not he’s the best player of all time.
Luka transcends everything we used to know about basketball. He’s a mixture of LeBron and Steph with the brain of Jason Kidd. If you think that is hyperbole now, then enjoy being the last person on the goat wagon whenever your time comes.
He may not be quite as powerful as Lebron, but he can still drive on anyone in the league. Once he gets into the paint, he’s got quicker feet and even better passing skills than the so-called king.
He may not be as quick as Steph, but he’s got the range anyway. His size and strength make him open with just a single sliver of separation.
If you replaced Lebron on the Heat with Luka as he is right now, that team wins four titles. If you did the same with Steph on last year’s Warriors, that final shot in game 6 would have been a winner. Luka would’ve beaten Kawhi just like he’s doing right now.
If it seems like he is a cyborg created and developed to be a perfect specimen of basketball prowess, it’s because that’s basically what he is. Unlike his American peers who had to waste time in school, he grew up in a basketball academy. When he turned 16, he didn’t have time to enjoy any newfound driving privileges because he was suiting up for Real Madrid (and guarding Russell Westbrook).
Look – I’m a big proponent of high school and college sports in America. People sleep on the sheer amount of opportunities and benefits it provides for young men and women everywhere. Our athletes are still the best in the world, but their development does not compare to what Luka got.
So after years of replacing pointless schoolwork with professional basketball, he came into the league with the mental acuity of a fully seasoned vet. The cyborg had already maxed out on human potential between the ears.
And that gets us to the most controversial part of this piece. This is a comparison I take very seriously and I’m not afraid to proclaim it for Luka Dončić. Yes, he has some Jordan in him. His adrenal gland is on par with a level we haven’t seen since the current goat was in his prime.
That circus shot on Sunday was nothing new to anybody who’s been watching him before. Europeans knew about his clutch gene for years. MFFLs like myself got accustomed to it all last year.
The NBA put out a sweet video yesterday of Luka’s ‘career clutch moments’, which is mostly a compilation of highlights from his 20yo rookie season. It includes but is not limited to…
- A rainbow to the moon and back for a Derek Fisher style game winner at Portland with .6 seconds on the inbound
- A step back game winner vs Houston to complete 11 unanswered points in the final 2 minutes
- A comeback win over the Lakers in a game that he began by blocking Lebron twice in two seconds
Believe it or not, there’s actually been some growing pains in this 2nd year. His numbers improved dramatically, but we haven’t seen nearly the same clutchness as he showed his rookie year. I wrote during the seeding games about MFFL concerns over our offense going from the best ever in normal times to below average in clutch time. It turns out he was just waiting for a bigger moment.
In the first two months of this season (back when he was still 20), he averaged 30-9-9 and was breaking records left and right before succumbing to newcomer wear and tear. He’s only going to get better. Age 21 is not an athlete’s prime.
The potential was goat-worthy even if he was too humble to admit it…
He will average a 30pt triple double within the next three seasons. Mark my words. He will also win the MVP next year without a doubt. Bet on it this winter, or keep doubting us and be poor. You’ve been warned.
P.S. Don’t worry Dirk, you are still our Prometheus
As if he cares