DALLAS — His early indoctrination into the NBA hasn’t been much of a surprise to Dallas Mavericks rookie Luka Donicc.
“Nothing has surprised me,” Doncic said. “When I was in Madrid I always watched (the NBA), so nothing surprised me.”
Ironically, not many were surprised when Doncic was named Monday as the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for his performance during the months of October and November. In 20 games during those two months, Doncic led the Mavs with 18.5 points per game and was second on the team in rebounds (65) and assists (4.3), and also scored 20 or more points in 10 games.
In all, it was as if Doncic made a seamless transition from playing in the EuroLeague the past three seasons to playing in the NBA.
When asked if he thought he would get off to such a great start in the NBA, Doncic said: “Honesty, not exactly. I didn’t know I would play like that this soon.
“But I still have a lot to prove. There’s a lot of improvements left.”
Doncic becomes the sixth Mavs player to win the Rookie of the Month award. They include Mark Aguirre (November 1981), Jay Vincent (December 1981, February 1982, March 1982), Jason Kidd (March 1995), Devin Harris (November 2004) and Yogi Ferrell (February 2017).
“He obviously had a terrific month,” coach Rick Carlisle said of Doncic. “I certainly feel like he’s deserving of it.
“Not too much else to say. Have another month like that.”
Since he played pro basketball for Real Madrid the last three years and was the Most Valuable Player in the EuroLeague last season, Doncic was asked if he felt like a rookie. He paused and said:
“It’s different. You’re a rookie and it’s a new league. In the beginning, of course, I felt a little bit like a rookie. But in the other games it’s just basketball and I just want to play basketball and be good at it.”
Doncic said he was playing Fortnite when he got the call that he had won the Rookie of the Month award.
“Every award is welcomed,” Doncic said. “That’s one of the reasons to keep improving — the motivation.
“So every award for me is special. It’s just another example for me that I keep working and I keep fighting for what I want.”