Luka Doncic wore jersey no. 7 when he was in Real Madrid to honor his favorite player growing up, Vassilis Spanoulis. With that said, it is pretty clear how much of an impact the Greek legend has on the Dallas Mavericks star.
Spanoulis recently announced his retirement from the game, and so Doncic made sure to send his parting message to the EuroLeague MVP and one of the best players in European basketball history.
Thank you for everything! #idol #7💯🙌 pic.twitter.com/MFAqwMMipc
— Luka Doncic (@luka7doncic) June 26, 2021
It is also not the first time Luka Doncic has spoken about the Olympiacos star, as the Mavs guard admitted earlier in the 2020-21 season that Spanoulis was one of the players that had a huge influence on his game.
Aside from the Mavs youngster, Milwaukee Bucks forward and two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo also grew up idolizing Vassilis Spanoulis, even calling him the “Kobe of Europe” in a previous interview.
Spanoulis is largely considered a European legend, and his accolades in the EuroLeague and with the Greek national team shows exactly why. He is a three-time EuroLeague champions with Olympiacos, a one-time EuroLeague MVP and a member of the Euroleague All-Decade Team (2010 to 2020). He played in the NBA for one season with the Houston Rockets, but his stint didn’t last long with the lack of opportunity presented to him.
It is pretty obvious why Luka Doncic admires the legendary basketball figure. Before coming to the NBA with the Mavs, he has been pretty much watching European basketball, and as Giannis said it, he was like the Kobe for kids in Europe.
Hopefully, Spanoulis’ legendary career will fuel Doncic even more to create his own legacy in the NBA.