Seven years ago, Luka Doncic got his first taste of NBA action when he was just a teenager.
His Real Madrid squad took on the Oklahoma City Thunder in the preseason, with him going toe-to-toe with Russell Westbrook right in his prime.
It was the first time that he proved he could be special, and it didn’t take long before he took his talents to the U.S. after that.
Looking back on that day, the Dallas Mavericks star told the NBA on Twitter that it was definitely a special day, but even though a lot of years have gone by, he’s mostly the same person, although with a grown beard.
“I got more beard now but I’m probably the same person…” 😅
From playing against the Thunder in 2016 with Real Madrid to bringing his Mavericks back to play his old team in 2023… it all comes full circle for @luka7doncic!
📅 Mavs/Real Madrid: TODAY, 2:45pm/et, NBA TV… pic.twitter.com/Af2NwDDLqm
— NBA (@NBA) October 10, 2023
Doncic is still the same joyful teenager who took on a league MVP as if he were playing in his own backyard.
But he’s also become one of the best players in the game, so maybe that wasn’t an accurate assessment.
The Mavericks have become a legit dark-horse contender out of the Western Conference, and that’s all because of him.
Of course, some still feel like he needs to be a little more mature, especially when complaining to the refs, as he’s gotten into tough situations with technical fouls and whatnot.
But when he’s focused on playing, he can control the pace of the game like few players have done in the past.
Despite not being the fastest nor the most athletic player in the league, he can get to his spots almost at will, and his career numbers are already some of the most impressive in NBA history.NEXT: Jason Kidd Reveals Kyrie Irving’s Status For Madrid Game