Lauri Markkanen is starting to live up to NBA legend comparison

Lauri Markkanen came into the league with unfair expectations but despite that, he seems to be living up to them.
Indiana Pacers v Utah Jazz
Indiana Pacers v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

Since he was a prospect in the 2017 NBA Draft, the comparisons for Lauri Markkanen have been overblown and quite frankly, just wild. Due to his size, and playing style, many saw Markkanen as the next coming of Dallas Mavericks legend, Dirk Nowitzki. One of the greatest players in NBA history, a top three power forward of all time and maybe a top 25 player overall.

Comparing anyone to that type of legend is reckless, silly and hardly ever pays off in the end. it's something that needs to be done away with, as it doesn't help anyone and puts expectations that are needless onto the shoulders of players who can find their own exellence without being tied to a name that heavy.

They did it to Kobe Bryant (the next Michael Jordan) they did it to Ben Simmons (the next LeBron James) and so many countless others. It's just reckless to do. Rarely do people forge their own path the way Bryant did, and most succumb to the pressures like Simmons did.

For a while, it was unclear if Markkanen would ever get close to the comparisons may have made about him and famed German star Nowitzki. His time with the Chicago Bulls was underwhelming and while impactful for the Cleveland Cavaliers, he wasn't putting up the stats he could.

Now with the Utah Jazz, Markkanen is once again looking like an All-Star, and assuming he doesn't miss any more games, should be making his second trip to the game this year. Not only are his stats fantastic but he's been one of the biggest catalysts for the Jazz's turnaround this season. Putting up massive outing after massive outing as the Utah Jazz put together the best record in the NBA since Christmas.

He's living up to his hype finally, and it's why Indiana Pacers' head coach Rick Carlisle compared Markkanen to Nowitzki. Speaking to the media (via after the Pacers lost to the Jazz on Monday, Carlisle, Nowitzki's former coach, compared what Markkanen can do to what his former player could do, saying;

“He’s the closest thing that I've seen to Nowitzki in terms of a seven-footer that can really stretch the game out and play inside.”

Now listen, no one thinks that Markkanen is on Nowitzki's level just yet. He's got a lot of ground to make up on an NBA legend like Nowitzki, but Markkanen is showing that the entire NBA was wrong about him for years. He's truly a star in the making and that's been on full display with the Jazz this season.

He may never become the next Nowitzki, and that's ok because he could become the first Markkanen.

Lauri Markkanen gets some recognition for his stellar play. dark. Next. Lauri Markkanen gets some recognition for his stellar play