Tim Hardaway says 23-year-old Luka Doncic is better than 23-year-old LeBron James was

Jason Simpson
3 Min Read

Former NBA star Tim Hardaway Sr. believes 23-year-old Luka Doncic is better than LeBron James was at the same age.

Hardaway offered the take during a conversation with SportsLens.

“I will take Luka at 23,” he said. “What he’s doing now, his jump shot, but we have to remember, Luka has been playing professional basketball since he was the age of 16. He’s been playing professional basketball. He’s been playing against grown men. LeBron just started playing against grown men at 18. Then he had to figure it out. That took him about three years.

“I will say right now, looking back, 23 and 23, what Luka is doing, yeah, I think that he’s doing it better than what LeBron was doing.”

Doncic is currently in his fifth season at the NBA level. This is his age-23 season, and he looks like perhaps the best offensive player in all of basketball.

In 11 games this season, he’s averaging a whopping 33.6 points per contest, which leads the league. To sweeten the deal, he’s shooting 48.8 percent from the field.

The former No. 3 overall pick is also averaging 8.3 rebounds and 7.9 assists per game this season for a Dallas Mavericks team that is 6-5.

James’ age-23 season was the 2007-08 campaign, which he spent with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was also 23 years old for part of the 2008-09 season, but the 2007-08 campaign goes down in the history books as his age-23 season.

In that season, he won the scoring title by averaging 30.0 points per contest. He also averaged 7.9 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game while shooting 48.4 percent from the field.

In the two seasons following the 2007-08 campaign, James won back-to-back MVP awards.

There’s certainly an argument to be made for both sides of the coin when it comes to comparing the two players at the age of 23.

When it comes to comparing the two players at their current ages, most NBA fans would probably take the 23-year-old Doncic over the 37-year-old James.

The Los Angeles Lakers superstar does still have plenty to offer, but he has certainly lost a step or two in recent years. The same can’t be said for Doncic, who is one of the league’s best players and likely isn’t done improving.

It will be interesting to see where Doncic ranks among the all-time greats when his career is complete. Of course, James will always be known as one of the greatest players in NBA history thanks to the remarkable career he’s had.

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Jason is excited about the LeBron James era of Lakers basketball and hopes that the end result will be multiple championships.