Mark Cuban spoke about the importance of Dirk Nowitzki to Luka Doncic, the 19-year-old star who 'eats, plays basketball, and plays "Fortnite,"' and nothing else

  • In an interview at Goldman Sachs for their Talks at GS program January 29, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban shed some light on Luka Doncic, his team’s young star who is captivating NBA fans across the country.
  • Cuban marveled at the 19-year-old’s early success, poked fun at his hilariously simple lifestyle off the court, and talked about his relationship with 13-time NBA All-Star and veteran teammate Dirk Nowitzki.
  • Check out Cuban’s comments below and watch the full video here:

Mark Cuban is far from a typical NBA team owner. From barking at players from behind the bench to speaking openly about tanking, the 19-year owner of the Dallas Mavericks is no stranger to the spotlight and the controversy that often comes with it.

Most recently, Cuban shed some light on his team’s young star, Luka Doncic. In an interview at Goldman Sachs for their Talks at GS program January 29, Cuban teased the 19-year-old sensation for his hilariously simple life off the court.

“He does three things in life: eats, plays basketball, and plays Fortnite,” Cuban said. “I have to struggle with him to keep those priorities ordered correctly.”

Aside from poking fun at the rookie’s lifestyle, Cuban had nothing but praise for his young Slovenian star, who received more NBA All-Star votes from fans than Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry.

“This last guy we drafted last year, Luka Doncic, is the real deal,” Cuban said. “He’s 19 years old and already one of the top players in the NBA. It’s incredible. And he’s a good kid.”

Cuban went even further, comparing Doncic to 13-time NBA All-Star and Mavs great Dirk Nowitzki.

“They’re similar,” Cuban said. “They’re both European. They both have their own unique styles and bring something different that the NBA really hadn’t seen to their games. But they’re just good people. Dirk’s just a great guy… he’s just a unique individual and Luka has a lot of those same qualities.”

Cuban sees Nowitzki’s relationship with Doncic as a “passing of the torch” of sorts. Though he hasn’t officially announced his retirement, the 21-year NBA veteran is likely playing his last season in Dallas, while Doncic is just beginning his stint with the Mavericks. He will team up with fellow European sensation Kristaps Porzingis – whom Dallas recently acquired through a blockbuster trade with the New York Knicks – to bring success back to the franchise.

The “Shark Tank” star said that Nowitzki – whom he later referred to as the best person and player ever to suit up for the Mavs – has pitched in to help Doncic acclimate to life as an NBA star and prepare him for future greatness.

“It’s cool to see Dirk convey and support and educate Luka on how to carry himself because there’s a lot of different ways a kid today can be a professional,” Cuban said. “[He’s] learning how to do it in a manner that you’re always looking to get better, you always treat people with respect, you’re always supportive of the fans because they pay your salary, and recognising that is critical to working your way to being something special in this league. Dirk does a great job of educating Luka and all of our young guys.”

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