If it is possible to go from the fast track to an even faster track when it comes to fulfilling one’s potential, Luka Dončić has done it.
The honors keep coming for the Mavericks’ point guard as he was voted to the all-NBA first team, joining Dirk Nowitzki as the only players in franchise history to make the exclusive first team.
Dončić was joined on the first team by Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Lakers’ LeBron James and Anthony Davis and Houston’s James Harden.
The 21-year-old native of Slovenia became the third-youngest player ever to be on the all-NBA first team, just behind James in 2006 and Max Zaslofski in 1947.
It’s just another in a long line of accomplishments that have elevated Dončić to a new level of greatness and an even faster ascension to whatever new heights are next.
First it was rookie of the year in 2019. Then it was his first All-Star Game at age 20. Then he hit The Shot in the first-round playoff series against the Clippers.
Now, he’s all-NBA first team.
“I’m pretty sure he was on the map before this,” coach Rick Carlisle said of Dončić during the playoffs. “The shot he hit in Game 4 is an iconic shot. And that kind of event is going to elevate somebody even higher. Statistically, he’s been amazing in the series.
“We know this kid has a flair for the dramatic. He’s a performer as well as a great player. He lives for these moments and is completely fearless. He sees the game in 6G, not 5G. It’s another level beyond the way most people see it. Just a very, very special player.”
With more accolades yet to come, no doubt.
Here’s the Mavericks’ official release about the all-NBA voting by media members.
LUKA DONČIĆ NAMED TO ALL-NBA FIRST TEAM
DALLAS — The NBA announced today that Mavericks guard Luka Dončić was named to the 2019-20 All-NBA First Team. He becomes the third Maverick to earn All-NBA honors, joining Dirk Nowitzki (12 times) and Steve Nash (twice). He also joins Nowitzki (2005, 2006, 2007, 2009) as the only Mavericks to garner All-NBA First Team accolades.
Dončić (6-7, 230), who was 21 years, 168 days old on the final day of the 2019-20 regular season (Aug. 14), becomes the sixth player to earn All-NBA First Team honors at age 21-or-younger, along with LeBron James (2006), Max Zaslofsky (1947), Kevin Durant (2010), Tim Duncan (1998) and Rick Barry (1966). James (21 years, 110 days) and Zaslofsky (21 years, 114 days) are the only players to achieve the feat at a younger age than Dončić. In fact, if the season would have ended on its originally scheduled date (April 15), Dončić would have been the youngest to ever do it.
The second-year guard becomes the first player named to the All-NBA First Team in either his first or second season since Duncan in 1998-99 (Duncan made the First Team in each of his first eight seasons from 1997-98 to 2004-05).
Dončić averaged 28.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 8.7 assists in 54 games before to the restart (through March 11). The 2018-19 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year saw his numbers increase in the bubble, as he nearly averaged a 30-point triple-double (30.0 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 9.7 apg) in Orlando en route to being named a unanimous Kia NBA All-Seeding Games First Team selection. Dončić finished the regular season with averages of 28.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists in 61 games (all starts), becoming just the third player in NBA history to average at least 28-9-8 for a full season (Oscar Robertson, Russell Westbrook).
The 21-year-old recorded a league-high 17 triple-doubles in 2019-20, becoming the youngest player in NBA history to lead the league outright in the category. Dončić not only broke Jason Kidd’s Mavericks single-season triple-double record (nine in 1995-96), but he became the franchise’s all-time leader in the category as well (25). Twelve of his triple-doubles were of the 30-point variety, and he again joined Robertson and Westbrook as one of three players to record at least 12 30-point triple-doubles in a single season.
Dončić also finished the season as the league leader in 25-point, 10-rebound, 15-assist games (five), 30-10-7 efforts (18) and 20-5-5 games (50).
At 20 years, 353 days, the Slovenian became the youngest European-born player to start an All-Star Game when suited up for Team LeBron in Chicago this past February. He also took home Western Conference Player of the Month (November 2019) and Player of the Week (Nov. 18 through Nov. 24, 2019) honors in 2019-20, and was a finalist for the Kia Most Improved Player Award.
Dončić ranked sixth in scoring (28.8 ppg), 17th in rebounding (9.4 rpg) and third in assists (8.8 apg). He became the seventh player since the ABA/NBA merger (1976-77) to finish a season ranked in the top-20 among qualifiers in scoring, rebounding and assists (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Grant Hill, Kevin Garnett, James, Westbrook).
In six first-round playoff games against the L.A. Clippers, Dončić averaged 31.0 points (.500 FG%), 9.8 rebounds and 8.8 assists en route to becoming the fifth player in NBA history to average at least 30-8-8 in a playoff series (James, Westbrook, Michael Jordan, Robertson). Dončić was the first to do so in his first career postseason series.
Voting for the 2019-20 All-NBA Teams was based on games played through March 11 (prior to the hiatus).
YOUNGEST PLAYERS SELECTED TO ALL-NBA FIRST TEAM
LeBron James, 2005-06 (21 years, 110 days)
Max Zaslofsky, 1946-47 (21 years, 114 days)
Luka Dončić, 2019-20 (21 years, 168 days)
Kevin Durant, 2009-10 (21 years, 197 days)
Tim Duncan, 1997-98 (21 years, 359 days)
Rick Barry, 1965-66 (21 years, 359 days)
Note: Age is determined by the final day of the regular season.
If the 2019-20 season would have ended on its originally scheduled date (April 15), Dončić would have been 21 years, 47 days old.
DALLAS MAVERICKS SELECTED TO ALL-NBA TEAM
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)