Credit: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images for The Match/AFP
Credit Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images for The Match/AFP

Luka Doncic's 35-point game in Phoenix has caught the attention of basketball people all around the globe. 

Player of the Game
Luka  Doncic
Luka Doncic
Points 35
Accuracy 12-19
Rebounds 10
Assists 4

After CJ McCollum, who tweeted that "an NBA road game isn’t really pressure" to the Dallas Mavericks superstar, his brother Errick came forward with a tweet to remind everyone of the skepticism prevailing over Doncic's case when the Slovenian boy prodigy first moved to the NBA.

"I remember when Charles Barkley criticized overseas basketball and the EuroLeague because 'we let an 18-year-old kid get MVP of league and dominate.'

Now look what that same kid been doing to the NBA since he got drafted! He dominating more, and it look easier for him," Errick McCollum wrote on Twitter. 

As with most NBA topics, Charles Barkley has a strong opinion about Luka Doncic, who was taken third overall by the Atlanta Hawks before surprisingly getting traded to the Dallas Mavericks during the 2018 draft.

"I don’t trust the foreign competition. I have nothing against foreign players; I just don’t know what type of competition," Barkley said after the draft.

"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."

As a 19-year-old sensation, the Slovenian guard won EuroLeague season and Final Four MVP honors with Real Madrid and led his team to the title. In the process, he dominated his opposition, showed off his clutch gene, and filled box scores on a nightly basis.

But Barkley wanted everyone to temper their immediate expectations for Doncic at the NBA level.

"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," Barkley noted.

Luka Doncic

Luka  Doncic
Luka  Doncic
MIN: 35.49
PTS: 28.83 (53.36%)
REB: 9.24
As: 8.45
ST: 1.25
BL: 0.53
TO: 4.41
GM: 75

More recently, when the Mavs were down 0-2 in the Western Conference Semifinals series against the Phoenix Suns, despite Doncic's sensational play, Barkley said it was because of the Slovenian himself.

"The next transformation for (Luka Doncic) is he has to learn to play without the ball. When you are a great player, you have to learn to play without the ball, because you have to give the other guys confidence. And Jalen Brunson has got to be more aggressive, Spencer Dinwiddie has got to be more aggressive, and Luka is going to have to learn to do what Chris Paul does," Charles Barkley, NBA on TNT.

Three years ago, when Doncic didn't make the All-Star Game, Barkley had clearly changed his mind compared to 2018.

"Let me tell you something, that boy Doncic, he's the real deal," the Hall-of-Fame forward told Brad Townsend of SportsDay.

"As we used to say in my day, that's a bad white boy. I mean, he's not there yet, but we're getting really close to little black kids in the 'hood’ wearing his jersey. Real close. It used to be Larry Bird, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, [Manu] Ginobili, that was it."

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Phoenix Suns
Dallas Mavericks
Field goals
Free throws

Best players

Cameron  Johnson
12 PTS
3/6 FG
4/4 FT
Luka  Doncic
35 PTS
12/19 FG
5/5 FT
JaVale  McGee
Luka  Doncic
10 REB
Chris  Paul
4 As
0 TO
31 MIN
Dallas Mavericks
Few players
4 As
Ishmail  Wainright
14 EFF
67% 2P%
100% 3P%
Luka  Doncic
39 EFF
75% 2P%
55% 3P%