Throughout much of the last three decades, Hall of Famer Michael Jordan has been held in tremendously high honor as being arguably the greatest player to play in the NBA. He’s the gold standard for what the best players have had to measure up in regards to their legacy. Many players have embraced the comparisons to Jordan over the years that has brought more perspective to their own careers along with high expectations. With that in mind, Derek Harper believes that Dallas Mavericks star forward Luka Doncic currently in the league can hold himself in the “same breath” as Jordan.
Luka Doncic’s brief NBA career
In his first two years in the league, Doncic has quickly risen the ranks as being one of the top players.
The 21-year-old has taken a significant leap forward in his production and impact on the game in his second campaign lifting the Mavericks into playoff contention. Along the way, he’s the second player alongside Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson to notch 2,000 points, 750 rebounds, and 500 assists in their first 100 career games.
Doncic holds the NBA record with 20 straight games with at least 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists, which surpassed the previous all-time mark held by Jordan (18 games). He’s the youngest player to record a triple-double and is the only player to notch multiple triple-doubles before the age of 20. Doncic is currently sixth in the league with 28.7 points and fourth with 8.7 assists per contest.
All of this has earned him extremely high praise and a bright future ahead.
Derek Harper’s Lofty comparison
Doncic has had a blazing start to his career that has quickly put him on a historic pace in his one-plus seasons in the league.
That has also garnered him high regard from many currently in the league and those retired. Among those is former NBA guard Derek Harper, who believes that Doncic should be held in the “same breath” as Jordan and Magic Johnson, as he stated on JaM Session with Jean-Jacques Taylor and Matt McClearin on ESPN Dallas 103.3 back in January.
“I’ve played against Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson … Luka is right in the same breath. I know people think your crazy. He’s right there with the best players ever to play, bar none, in my opinion.
Harper played against both Jordan and Johnson during the primes of their careers over his 17 years in the league. It has given him a unique perspective, given that he’s personally gone up against each of those all-time great talents.
That is high praise for Doncic, which he pushes himself away from any comparisons to Jordan from any records he has been involved with the Hall of Famer. He certainly has a long way to go in his own career, but the fact that he has earned this high acclamation less than two years in the league shows the promise he has in front of him.
Could Luka Doncic live up to those expectations?
Doncic is only in the second year of his NBA career, but it’s hard not to toss tremendous expectations ahead of him in the years to come.
He has proven to be an all-around talent that has helped transform the Mavericks back into a playoff team in the stacked Western Conference. Doncic is one of the league’s best scorers and passers over his brief time in the league.
However, what will separate him among the all-time greats and could one day put him in the same breath as Johnson and Jordan will be championships. Beyond the statistical dominance over a lengthy career, it’s the number of NBA titles that adds to any player’s legacy. If Doncic wants to make headway in that conversation one day, he knows what he needs to be accomplished.