Back in 2014, Jamahl Mosley was appointed as an assistant coach with the Mavericks and stayed with the team for seven years until he accepted the head coaching job with the Orlando Magic in 2021. As a part of Rick Carlisle’s staff, he witnessed legend Dirk Nowtizki’s final campaign just as young Luka Doncic was in his rookie season in Dallas.
In a recent interview on the “HoopsHype” podcast, Mosely talked about many subjets, but most interesting was his take on coaching the Slovenian during his first year with the Texan franchise.
According to the team’s former assistant coach, Nowitzki had a very powerful influence over Doncic, assuming a mentorship role at the end of his Hall of Fame career. Jamahl assured that the rising star was like a sponge around the German, and saw him learn from one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
Orlando Magic coach Jamahl Mosley shared behind the scenes stories with Carmelo Anthony, Allen Iverson, Kyrie Irving, Dirk Nowitzki, Luka Doncic, Jalen Brunson, and what’s next for Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner and Markelle Fultz on the @hoopshype podcast. https://t.co/2OpVVi5cqC
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) September 20, 2023
“When he came to Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki mentored him and the way he worked. He showed him what he did inside and out how he did things,” he said of their dynamic. “Luka observes everything, not just on the court, but how you conduct yourself off the court and carry yourself.”
Luka was only 20 years of age when he signed for the Mavericks, after winning the 2018 Euroleague trophy with Real Madrid and earned the tournament’s MVP. Mosley couldn’t help but be in awe of the point guard’s natural understanding of the sport, especially as a playmaker.
“The first time you saw it was in pickup games. We had runs in the summer. Luka came in after winning it all overseas,” he recalled. “He was tired because he was playing nonstop, but he picked up right where he left off. Some of his passes he made you’re seeing now, but it’s always been his natural instinct.”
We’ve always known that Dirk and Luka are very close, just as the Mavs’ Hall of Famer decided to follow his Slovenian friend’s steps during the most recent FIBA World Cup.
“Well, you know, I saw Luka’s also in Japan, so I’m going to see [him] when I go to [the] group [stages] to see Germany play. I’m going to see Luka for sure. He was obviously playing for the Mavericks and one of my favorite players, and so [I] can’t wait to see him and of course so many stars,” Nowitzki said last month.
Mosley describes Doncic as an ‘artist’, and says that his love for the basketball game was contagious for the rest of the team
During the interview, the current Magic coach recalled how inspiring young Luka was due to his joy to play basketball everyday and be around his teammates. Mosley specifically used the word “artist” to describe his abbilities with the ball.
“He loves to play the game and loves being around his teammates. There’s a joy he plays with,” Mosley said of Doncic. “That stood out more than anything. The talent level, he sees things other people can’t see. He’s always creating the game. He’s an artist in that way. He helps other guys be better.”
In the video above, check out some of the best plays between Doncic and Nowitzki during their only campaign sharing the Dallas jersey together.
It is also known that the Slovenian superstar always shared great respect for Mosley, and supported his decision back when he decided to accept the head coaching job in Florida two years ago.