Luka Doncic James Harden
Photo credit: Sports Illustrated

How Luka Doncic Could Mirror James Harden's Path

Published April 21, 2024 at 12:17
BY KEVIN BARREAU
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Several pivotal factors hinge on the Mavericks-Clippers first-round playoff series starting Sunday. It's a path to the Western Conference Finals, sans the Nuggets. The red-hot Mavs aim to sustain their momentum into playoffs. The outcome could shape Paul George's future and spotlight Dallas' star-studded duo if they exit early. At the forefront is the whispered notion in the NBA: Is Luka Doncic the next James Harden? Despite Doncic's current greatness, questions linger about his playoff success. Stan Van Gundy even dubbed him the best offensive player he's seen.

In a candid moment on his podcast "Gil's Arena," Gilbert Arenas offered frank commentary on Luka Doncic's status in the NBA. Despite Doncic's stellar performances this season, Arenas suggested that he may not be the basketball superstar many perceive him to be, likening him more to James Harden than Michael Jordan. He also criticized what he perceived as a double standard in how NBA superstars are treated in the league.

''He's literally James Harden. He scores a lot of points and doesn't play defense, but we see what they did to James Harden who didn't play defense. They let the world know he didn't play defense--- Luka is considered the next Michael Jordan. The Michael Jordan, who played defense and offense," Gilbert Arenas said.

Luka Doncic's talent is undeniable. However, similar to Harden, if Doncic and the Mavericks fail to surpass Harden and the Clippers, his career trajectory might fall short of the greatness anticipated. While there's room for change, just like Nikola Jokic's narrative shifted with a remarkable playoff run last year, Doncic needs a similar breakthrough. Although Doncic possesses exceptional skills, another premature playoff exit could draw comparisons to James Harden's career path in Dallas.


Source CBS Sports : Why Luka Doncic is at risk of becoming James Harden 2.0 and how Mavericks superstar can set himself apart
Source Yardbarker : Luka Doncic comparisons should be with James Harden and not Michael Jordan, says Gilbert Arenas
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How Luka Doncic Could Mirror James Harden's Path

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