Luka Dončić keeps on doing things no Mavericks, and very few humans, have ever done.
The Mavericks’ point guard was named to the all-NBA first team for the third consecutive season. He joins Kevin Durant, Tim Duncan and Maz Zaslofsky as the only players to make the first team three times before turning 24 years old.
“It’s a blessing,” Dončić said. “As a kid, I only dreamed of playing in the NBA. It’s my third all-NBA team and it’s a really a blessing. I’m thankful.”
Dončić was joined on the first team by Denver’s Nikola Jokic, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, Boston’s Jayson Tatum and Phoenix’s Devin Booker.
“I don’t think anybody’s surprised that he’s first team,” coach Jason Kidd said. “But that’s really cool for him. It just shows the talent level. And the other four are pretty talented, too.
“What he does for this team is incredible, not just points and assists, but being able to rebound the ball. And there at the end of the game he got a nice little blocked shot to pad his defensive stats.”
As if on cue, Dončić turned in a phenomenal outing in a win-or-go-home victory over Golden State in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals. He finished with 30 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists. He also had two blocks and two steals.
“Again, he’s our leader,” Kidd said. “Where he goes, we go. And he loves that stage. For him to be first team with the other four, that’s a great honor for him.”
Though ballots for the all-NBA first, second and third teams had to be returned to the league at the end of the regular season, the play of Dončić in the playoffs clearly has validated his selection to the first team.
He averaged 28.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 8.7 assists during the season. And he’s backed that up with averages of 32 points and 10 rebounds in 13 playoff games.
Below is the official news release from the Mavericks:
LUKA DONČIĆ EARNS THIRD CONSECUTIVE ALL-NBA FIRST TEAM SELECTION
The NBA announced today that Mavericks guard Luka Dončić has been named to the 2021-22 Kia All-NBA First Team, marking the third straight year he has garnered All-NBA First Team honors. He joins Kevin Durant, Tim Duncan and Max Zaslofsky as the only players to garner three All-NBA First Team accolades before age 24.
Dončić (6-7, 230) averaged team highs of 28.4 points, 9.1 rebounds, 8.7 assists, 1.2 steals and 35.4 minutes in 65 games (all starts) during the 2021-22 regular season. It marked his third consecutive season averaging at least 25.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game and he finished as the only player to average those numbers in 2021-22.
The 23-year-old has now been named All-NBA First Team in three of his first four seasons, joining Larry Bird, George Gervin and Duncan and as the only players to earn three-or-more All-NBA honors within their first four seasons since the ABA/NBA merger (1976-77).
Among NBA leaders, Dončić ranked third in scoring, fifth in assists and 19th in rebounds. He finished in the top 25 in all three categories for the third year in a row.
Dončić, who already ranks 10th in NBA history in career triple-doubles (46) and second in 30-point, 10-rebound, 15-assist games (8), led the Mavericks to a 52-30 (.634) record in 2021-22 – their first 50-win season since 2014-15 (50-32) and their most victories since 2010-11 (57-25). Dallas also reached the Western Conference Finals for the first time since its championship season in 2011.
The three-time All-Star led Dallas in points, rebounds and assists in the same game 34 times during the regular season (including ties), the second-most times a player has led his team in all three categories in 2021-22, behind the reigning two-time league MVP Nikola Jokić (39). Dončić also finished with 49 20-point, five-rebound, five-assist games this year, his third consecutive season with 49-or-more 20-5-5 efforts (50 in 2019-20, 49 in 2020-21).
Following his third All-NBA First Team selection in 2021-22, Dončić is now one shy of Dirk Nowitzki’s franchise (4).
PLAYERS WITH THREE ALL-NBA FIRST TEAM SELECTIONS BEFORE THEIR 24TH BIRTHDAY
|PLAYER||ALL-NBA FIRST TEAM SELECTIONS BEFORE AGE 24|
|Luka Dončić||2019-20, 2020-21, 2021-22|
|Kevin Durant||2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12|
|Tim Duncan||1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-00|
|Max Zaslofsky||1946-47, 1947-48, 1948-49|
Note: Age is calculated on the final day of the regular season and stat courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau.
PLAYERS TO EARN THREE-OR-MORE ALL-NBA FIRST TEAM SELECTIONS WITHIN THEIR FIRST FOUR SEASONS SINCE ABA/NBA MERGER (1976-77)
|PLAYER||ALL-NBA FIRST TEAM SELECTIONS WITHIN FIRST 4 SEASONS|
|Luka Dončić||2019-20, 2020-21, 2021-22|
|Tim Duncan||1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-00, 2000-01|
|Larry Bird||1979-80, 1980-81, 1981-82, 1982-83|
|George Gervin||1977-78, 1978-79, 1979-80|
Note: Gervin came over from the ABA and stat is courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau.
DALLAS MAVERICKS SELECTED TO ALL-NBA TEAMS
Luka Dončić, 2021-22 (age 23)
Luka Dončić, 2020-21 (age 22)
Luka Dončić, 2019-20 (age 21)
Dirk Nowitzki, 2008-09 (age 30)
Dirk Nowitzki, 2006-07 (age 28)
Dirk Nowitzki, 2005-06 (age 27)
Dirk Nowitzki, 2004-05 (age 26)
Dirk Nowitzki, 2010-11 (age 32)
Dirk Nowitzki, 2009-10 (age 31)
Dirk Nowitzki, 2007-08 (age 29)
Dirk Nowitzki, 2002-03 (age 24)
Dirk Nowitzki, 2001-02 (age 23)
Dirk Nowitzki, 2011-12 (age 33)
Dirk Nowitzki, 2003-04 (age 25)
Steve Nash, 2002-03 (age 29)
Steve Nash, 2001-02 (age 28)
Dirk Nowitzki, 2000-01 (age 22)