Luka Doncic Reveals Advice Kobe Bryant Gave Him Entering NBA

Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks, NBA News
NBA Analysis Network

Luka Doncic was the third overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks. He wasn’t with the franchise very long, as they traded him to the Dallas Mavericks for the pick that was Trae Young and future selection that turned into Cam Reddish.

While the Hawks are likely happy with how things have gone with Young as their point guard, there has to be some within the organization wondering how things would be going had they kept Doncic. While Young has his strengths, he isn’t yet near the level of Doncic, who has ascended into true superstardom in only his fourth season in the league.

Doncic has taken over the mantle of the Dallas Mavericks face of the franchise, looking to continue what Dirk Nowitzki had begun before him. It is hard enough to become a superstar, but when you are an international player, there are some added challenges along the way.

As a top-pick, there is already a target on his back as his peers want to see how good he really is. Guys will bring their A-game consistently against high-level rookies and Doncic has fared rather well throughout his career. But, the one thing that he faces that many other top prospects don’t is the stigma of being a European player.

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It is one of the things that the late, great Kobe Bryant provided Doncic advice about. On a recent episode of The Old Man & Three podcast hosted by J.J. Redick and Tommy Alter, Doncic discussed some advice that Bryant provided him before his NBA career had even gotten started.

“It was in Portland just after I was drafted,” Doncic said. “We were at the Nike campus, he was there and the one advice he gave me was ‘Watch out, they’re going to go after you because you’re from Europe. They’re going to try to go after you.’ And it was true.”

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Some players around the league have garnered a reputation over the years for specifically targeting and picking on European players. For a long time, the stigma that followed them around was that they were soft and could be easily thrown off their game with some physicality and trash talk.

While some players may be true, it isn’t limited to just Europeans. There are plenty of American players that cannot handle trash talk and physicality and get thrown off their game when they face it.