Dec 9, 2019

Luka Dončić breaks Michael Jordan's record

Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Dallas Mavericks' Luka Dončić just passed Michael Jordan for the most consecutive games since the NBA/ABA merger with at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists (19). Reminder: He's 20 years old.

Why it matters: We appear to be watching the emergence of an all-time great, and Dončić's historic start could forever change how overseas players are viewed.

By the numbers: Here are the best seasons by a 20-year-old in NBA history, according to their player efficiency rating (PER):

  • Dončić: 30.1 points, 10.0 rebounds, 9.2 assists in 33.4 minutes; 32.2 PER
  • Anthony Davis: 20.8 points, 10.0 rebounds, 2.8 blocks in 35.2 minutes; 26.5 PER
  • LeBron James: 27.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, 7.2 assists in 42.4 minutes; 25.7 PER
  • Shaquille O'Neal: 23.4 points, 13.9 rebounds, 3.5 blocks in 37.9 minutes; 22.9 PER

What they're saying:

"On draft day Doncic was likely to be an All-Star for a very good team one day. That he has, so quickly, done in this league what he did in Europe two seasons ago, tells us how similar the European leagues are to the NBA. After the top 50 or so players here, there isn't much separating the talent. Doncic's success will help pave the way for more guys to make the jump."
David Thorpe, TrueHoop (subscription)

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Former NBA commissioner David Stern suffers brain hemorrhage

Former NBA commissioner David Stern. Photo: Adam Jeffery/CNBC/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Former NBA commissioner David Stern, 77, received emergency surgery Thursday after suffering from a "sudden brain hemorrhage," the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: Stern led the NBA for 30 years and transformed the league into one of the most profitable sports operations in the world. Since leaving the NBA, Stern has been involved in efforts to use new technology, like virtual reality, to change fans' sports consumption.

Go deeper: NBA ratings are down, but fans are still engaged

Keep ReadingArrowDec 13, 2019

The NBA's first-quarter All-Stars

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

With the NBA season roughly a quarter of the way through, I've put together my Western Conference and Eastern Conference All-Star teams.

The intrigue: With 2019 All-Stars Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Victor Oladipo sidelined and Kyrie Irving, Kyle Lowry, Blake Griffin and Nikola Vucevic missing significant time, the door is open wider than usual for first-time selections.

Go deeperArrowDec 13, 2019

The NBA sets its sights on Africa

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The NBA has spent the last 25 years importing a surge of international talent — now it hopes to benefit by exporting the brand those global stars have helped build.

Why it matters: The NBA's attempt at operating a league outside of North America (they hoped to do something similar in China, but it failed) is part of a long-term plan to make the NBA synonymous with competitive basketball around the world.

Go deeperArrowDec 28, 2019 - Sports