Dirk Nowitzki reveals he thought Mark Cuban made mistake, claimed he had NO FAITH Luka Doncic would succeed in NBA 

Dirk Nowitzki reveals doubts on Luka Doncic's NBA success, questioning Mark Cuban's choice. Doncic proved skeptics wrong, elevating Mavericks

Dirk Nowitzki reveals he thought Mark Cuban made mistake, claimed he had NO FAITH Luka Doncic would succeed in NBA 

Luka Doncic ( via Fadeaway World) and Dirk Nowitzki ( via Basketball Network).

One season before Dirk Nowitzki‘s NBA retirement, the Dallas Mavericks acquired Luka Doncic on the 2018-19 draft night. Towards the end of Nowitzki’s career, the Mavericks struggled to enter the playoffs. The acquisition of Doncic breathed fresh air into the Mavericks.

Initially, it wasn’t very certain, but Doncic soon became a successor of Nowitzki and rekindled Mavreicks’ spirit to become an elite club again. Nowitski wondered if Doncic was perhaps a bit overhyped based on his success in Europe and whether some of his supposed physical limitations might hinder his NBA potential. 

Dirk Nowitzki expressed his true feelings recently. This is what he said:

We were struggling. There was some talk of tanking. We needed a little spark plug to change things. I didn't think it was going to be this kid [Doncic]. When he walked in the first time, he looked like a big boy, but I'm like, 'I'm not sure this is going to work. Is he quick enough? Is he athletic enough to go by guys like he is in Europe?' So there were plenty of doubts there, from everybody on the team.
Dirk Nowitzki via All the Smokes episode 208

It was typical of any rookie NBA golden child, as Nowitzki said that the Dallas veterans forced Doncic out into scrimmage as soon as possible. Therefore, he would be able to outplay grown men in Europe when he was just a teenager, showing off his skills, and style of play that he has.

Acquiring Luka Doncic challenged conventional wisdom in basketball scouting

In conventional basketball scouting, they always prefer players who jump higher and faster, among other things. Scouts often dismissed players with exceptional skills, believing that these individuals had definite physical traits of athletes like Stephen Curry, Nikola Jokic, or Luka Doncic. These athletes contradicted conventional beliefs that basketball excellence was solely dependent upon physique.

During the draft process, teams would likely go for players with the capability of Shaquille O’Neal, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, or Victor Wembanyama, to name a few. They provide teams with exceptional athleticism rather than the potential of players like Curry, Jokic, or Luka.

NBA Fans react to Bobby Marks prediction on Luka’s future contract
Luka Doncic (via Nba.com)

The Mavericks wanting Luka challenged the traditional notion of scouting. The scouts liked him, and initially, the Atlanta Hawks acquired Luka. However, the Mavericks traded Trae Young for Luka, believing in the Slovenian’s potential.

However, there are still prejudices within the scouting realm. Players who adopt modern skills such as ability and good hand-eye coordination must prove themselves before their athletic-oriented colleagues. The assumption that vertical jump and fast pace are necessary does not always make identifying persons with basketball intelligence or finely tuned skill sets simple.

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