Luka Doncic has been defying the notion of “off” during the NBA offseason and season. The talented guard from the Dallas Mavericks has been representing Slovenia in the 2023 FIBA World Cup, adding to his already demanding schedule.
Unfortunately, Luka Doncic, this increased workload in Manila, Philippines, has taken a toll on his lingering leg injury. Luka Doncic initially suffered a thigh injury during the NBA regular season in March. Following Slovenia’s recent victory against Lithuania in the classification round game on Thursday, Luka Doncic was asked about the injury and current status of his injury.
“I do not know what to say,” Doncic said via Grant Afseth of Sports Illustrated. “It’s not okay. At the same time, I have to prepare for one more game, for training camp, for one more game in training camp, and then for a whole whole season, regular season in the NBA.”
Luka Doncic, the 24-year-old superstar of the Dallas Mavericks, will have less than three weeks of rest between his World Cup participation and the start of the team’s training camp. This news may not be ideal for Mavs fans, as their young phenom will be battling through pain just a few weeks before training camp and a few weeks before the NBA season kicks off.
Despite his tender age, Doncic’s game already bears the weight of significant basketball experience. The Slovenian prodigy began his professional career mere months after celebrating his 16th birthday last season.
Although his body endures the strain of playing well, Doncic remains resolute in playing representing his country unless faced with a severe injury. Slovenia, in their quest to play for Olympic qualification, will be vying in the early months of next year to play.
This might not be the season in the NBA that Mavs fans were hoping for. Doncic has acknowledged the criticisms he has faced at the FIBA level after Slovenia finished seventh in the tournament, even though they had one of the best seasons in the NBA and the world’s best players on their team.
“There is a lot of criticism every day, but I have learned to live with it,” Doncic said. “I don’t think I’m the best in the world, though. I simply love playing for Slovenia and will continue to do so.”
Since Luka admitted that he wasn’t the best player in the World Cup, he was prompted to reveal his opinion on who he believes holds that title.
“Nikola Jokic, then Giannis Antetokounmpo. So, Europeans,” Doncic said. “Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is also one of the two best players.”
Slovenia did not secure automatic qualification for the upcoming Olympics. As a result, they will now compete in further qualifying games, striving for a chance to play again to earn their spot. The country achieved its best-ever performance playing in the FIBA World Cup, finishing seventh. Doncic asserts that their effort throughout training camp and the NBA season has been consistent and unwavering.
“Although many will know what to say and that this is a big disappointment, we still have a chance to achieve Slovenia’s best ranking at the world championships,” Luka said. “I know it could be much better, which is what we hoped for. But we all fought for the last breath.”
The superstar maintained an impressive average of 27 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 6.1 assists. They shot at a 42.7 percent accuracy from the field and showcased a 32.4 percent shooting proficiency from three-point range.
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