Luka Doncic was ecstatic to finally get a chance to play against LeBron James, and the Mavs’ 19-year-old rookie made sure to get a signed jersey Wednesday night from The King.
Doncic says he has long been a fan of James.
LeBron had 29 points, six assists, five rebounds, three steals and hit the game-winning free throw in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 114-113 home win against Dallas.
“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.”