Dirk Nowitzki on rookie Luka Doncic: ‘I didn’t have that confidence, that swag, when I got in the league’

Dirk Nowitzki has been impressed with Luka Doncic.

The 19-year-old rookie from Slovenia heads into Dallas’ matchup with the Jazz on Wednesday averaging a team-high 19.8 points as well as 4.4 assists. Nowitzki, the Mavericks great who has yet to appear in a game this season because of an ankle injury, discussed Doncic’s impact on the team in a recent interview with the New York Times.

“(Doncic’s) like a savvy veteran to me already. The way he sees things. The way he reads pick-and-roll situations,” Nowitzki said. “He’s got stuff in his repertoire that you just don’t have at 19.

“The whole floor game that he has — he really has no holes. If you go under the screen and roll, he shoots the 3-ball way better than I thought he would. If you go over, he kind of keeps you on his back. He’s got the floater. He’s got the passes. Really, really impressive for a 19-year-old. The sky’s the limit.”

Nowitzki said Doncic plays with “no fear” when he is on the court.

“He carries himself like a true vet,” Nowitzki said. “So, we have a great time. He’s a good kid. But so far, he doesn’t really ask me much. He just plays his game.

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“I didn’t have that confidence, that swag, when I got in the league. I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it in this league. This guy comes here basically knowing he’s going to make it in the league. And that’s how he carries himself on the court.”

The Mavericks enter their game against the Jazz with a 3-7 record.

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