Luka Dončić has already established himself as one of the best players in the world at just 22 years old. The Slovenian came into the NBA with high expectations, but he even shattered those and proved that he is already a superstar in just three seasons. It’s only a matter of time when Luka becomes the face of the NBA, and the Dallas Mavericks know they have a centerpiece for building a championship team.
But the Mavericks aren’t the only team reaping benefits from Luka’s arrival, as the Slovenian’s national team has achieved some of their best success in history since Luka came into the scene. After being a vital part of the European Gold in 2017, Luka represented his country once again this year, as he led them to the Olympics for the first time in history. Luka dominated the whole qualifying tournament and led the Slovenians by the favored host Lithuania in a fantastic final game. By doing this, Luka managed to continue an insane winning streak.
That caught the attention of the whole basketball world, as numerous people had to admit once again Luka is a once-in-a-generation type of player. Even the notorious San Antonio Spurs and USA coach Gregg Popovich shared huge praise for the Slovenian point guard while talking to the media in the USA Training Camp.
“He’s a spectacular player, as we all know. He is one of the best players in the world, and I emphasize, in the world. He showed himself early on in Europe, and he was a fast study in the NBA, for sure. He’s fun to watch. His skills, his competitiveness, his size, his innate basketball IQ is so impressive. You put four hard-working people around him, and you’ve got a hell of a team, and that is what they have. They are also aggressive, execute well, the coaching staff is very committed, everybody wants to win, and nobody wants to win any more than Luka. I’m sure he’s very happy right now, and he’ll continue to compete at a high level without any doubt.”Gregg Popovich
Those are some pretty big compliments coming from one of the best coaches in NBA history. Popovich has had his fair share of encounters with Dončić and the Mavericks, as his Spurs play them often in their division. The two Texas teams always had a rivalry between them, and now with Luka on Dallas’s side, Popovich will have to dig out some new players and strategies to get on the upside. Regarding the Olympics, the Americans and the Slovenians will not face off in the group stage, but if Luka continues to play like this, he could lead them to a deep run, in which case the two teams could face off. It would be a great battle, but I’m sure coach Pop would find a solution even for the unstoppable Dončić.
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