The most commonly accepted take of late is that Luka Doncic is a spitting image of Houston Rockets star James Harden. In fact, there are even people that think Luka is better than James Harden. Here’s why we should pump the brakes on this take.
You’ve heard it all about Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks, ranging from how he’s only 20 years old to how he plays nearly identical to Houston Rockets guard James Harden. The age thing gets brought up far too often because Luka has been playing professional ball for Real Madrid ever since the 2014-15 season, dating back to when he was 16 years old.
Despite that, Luka is a generational talent, as evidenced by his 32.28 Player Efficiency Rating this season, which is second to only Giannis Antetokounmpo. Luka is also averaging 30.1 points per game, which is third behind only Harden and Antetokoumpo. As if that weren’t enough, Doncic is averaging 9.5 assists which ranks second behind only LeBron James. Not only that, but Doncic’s seven triple-doubles are leading the NBA as well.
It’s obvious that Luka is a baller, there’s no denying that. But why can’t it be just that? Why can’t Luka just be viewed as a beast on the floor? Why does he have to be compared to James Harden? It’s unfair to both players, as they are very different players, and it’s reminiscent of the James Harden comparisons to Michael Jordan, which are also unfair to both players.
I’ll do Luka a favor here and claim this is only his second professional season, although it’s technically his sixth. But since this is his second NBA season, it’s far too early to make the comparison to Harden’s greatness. Luka has only played in 89 games for the Mavericks, which is not nearly enough to make a comparison to Harden’s 782 games.
Despite that, the comparisons are there, which have more to do with society’s constant desire to compare players and place labels on athletes. Since there are constant comparisons between these two, I’ll delve into five reasons why we need to stop with the James Harden/Luka Doncic comparisons! Brace yourself for an unpopular opinion here, as this isn’t necessarily a “fun take.”
Nonetheless, let’s get started!
Next: No. 5