Future NBA Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki recently explained why LA Lakers duo LeBron James and Kobe Bryant are two of the best to have ever taken to the court.
The Lakers played a tribute video for the recently retired Dallas Mavericks star during Sunday's battle between the two franchises.
"I had no idea the Lakers were going to do that," Nowitzki said. "I’m super honored and humbled."
James and Anthony Davis were neutralized by the talented Luka Doncic in the 114-100 win for the Mavs, which snapped LA's 10-game winning streak.
And after the game, Nowitzki hailed the Lakers franchise as well as James and Bryant, who have won an astonishing eight NBA titles between them.
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“It’s amazing the basketball culture this club has had for such a long time,” Nowitzki told USA Today.
“Kobe and LeBron were always two of my favorites to watch and compete against.
"They know how to prepare with how they’re ready, how they compete every game and their skill level. Definitely two of the best to ever do it.”
Doncic has established himself as one of the hottest talents in the league.
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He went for 27 points versus the Lakers, shooting 10-of-23 from the field and 4-of-10 from 3-point range along with 10 assists and nine rebounds on Sunday.
"Normally, I’m never nervous before the game. That game, I was nervous for sure," Doncic said about last year's matchup with James, who ranted at his Lakers team-mates during the big defeat.
"I admire him today, too. He was my idol growing up. It’s not different."
Doncic already has seven triple-doubles this term and has logged three 40-point games as well as 10 30-point games.
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But Nowitzki thought it would take the 20-year-old Slovenian longer to establish himself in the top bracket of hoop stars.
"I got to be honest, I thought he would have a tougher transition here in year two," he added.
"Just because he was so phenomenal last year with all the triple-doubles, I thought people were really going to hone in on him. But he seemed to have gotten even better."
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