DALLAS - It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Add some self-effacing reviews from Luka Doncic regarding his attempt to mimic the legendary Dirk Nowitzki, as you may have captured Doncic's basketball persona all in two quick takes.
Start with the Dallas Mavericks' preseason win Monday at Milwaukee, in which Luka found himself in position to unveiled his best impression of Dirk's patented "One-Legged Euro Lean-Back.''
No, it wasn't executed exactly as Dirk did it over the course of two decades as one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history. But we can guarantee you that the Mavs icon Nowitzki reviews it with humble pride, as he surely does every single time he sees players of this next generation copying his move, mostly without even thinking about it, because ...
It's now an institutionalized, etched-in-hardcourt basketball move.
But while MFFL's were impressed, and while Dirk was surely flattered, the Mavs young superstar thought the performance left something to be desired.
"Slow,'' was Luka's self-evaluation.
Dirk, of course, used his move usually after creating a post-up opportunity. The more mobile Luka here does it off a drive, and in traffic ... because he can.
And "slow''? Maybe that's the result of Doncic not quite being in shape, as he readily admits. Or maybe it's just that aforementioned humility, with is quite Dirk-like.
But even with whatever limitations inhibited him, he led Dallas to a second win in as many meetings with the Bucks (he had 27 points, eight rebounds, and four assists in 29 minutes of play through three quarters in Game 2) ... and he'll likely do the same on Thursday in the preseason-closer at the AAC against Minnesota.
As new teammate Josh Richardson said, “What are you going to say about that guy on offense? He can do literally everything.''
Luka can even "do Dirk.''