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#pounditSunday, April 11, 2021

Charles Barkley questions the competition Luka Doncic faced

Luka Doncic

Charles Barkley isn’t sold yet on Luka Doncic.

Entering Thursday’s NBA Draft, Barkley said he wouldn’t have taken Doncic with one of the top two picks. The TNT analyst says he has nothing against the Slovenian teenager, but Barkley questions the level of competition Doncic faced in Europe.

Chuck made his comments during an appearance on Scot Pollard’s “Planet Pollard Podcast.”

“I don’t trust the foreign competition. I have nothing against foreign players; I just don’t know what type of competition,” Barkley told Pollard. “At 18 years old [Luka Doncic] was the MVP. Well that tells me he’s playing against s—-y competition. Nobody at 18 should be dominating grown men.

“You go back and look at the NBA, there’s only one 18-year-old you can go back and say, ‘Oh, he’s the real deal.’ That’s LeBron James. People forget as great as Kobe Bryant was, he struggled for his first few years. Kevin Garnett struggled his first few years.

“They keep telling me that Doncic won the MVP 18 — I’m like, ‘who was he playing against?’ He should not be dominating grown men at 18.”

Barkley’s points are well taken, but the level of competition Doncic faced does not mean he will not be a good player. Even if it’s not the NBA, winning EuroLeague and being MVP at 18/19 is a big deal. Doncic also had success on the international level for Slovenia’s national team. Maybe Barkley needs to see it to believe it.

This is just another indication that the spotlight will be on Doncic when the season begins. He has a long way to go to make some of his NBA dreams come true.


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