By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
CHICAGO – While the US media flocked around Zion Williamson, most world media that were present in the Rising Stars media day have surrounded the podium in which Luka Doncic was expected to sit.
To be exact, before he was even seated, the first question was asked with the Slovenian wunderkind replying with a smile: “Can I first sit down, and then we can start?”
Doncic’s charm can’t be denied – yes, he has a valentine, since he was asked about this and gave a simple “yes” as an answer – and the biggest news that came from his media availability should bring a smile on the fact of his compatriots. “I will definitely play for the Slovenian national team,” he confirmed when asked about his presence in the pre-Olympic tournament.
Slovenia is the reigning European champion after winning the gold in 2017, led by Luka Doncic and Goran Dragic. Still, the national team couldn’t count on them, as well as other key players in the qualifiers for the FIBA World Cup, which resulted in them getting eliminated before the main tournament.
Doncic didn’t hide his disappointment for not getting a chance to help Slovenia, but this time around, things are going to be different.
He also commented on the growing number and importance of European players in the NBA: “There are good players all over the world, and the sport is getting better and better.” However, when asked about what he brings to the league, he just added: “That’s for others to say, not for me.”
Meanwhile, he admitted that he missed Real Madrid and even answered to Portuguese media on a question about his relationship with Christiano Ronaldo since both of them have played for the “Whites.”
And he also had some kind words for one of Europe’s most significant NBA prospects currently playing for Maccabi Tel Aviv, Deni Avdija: “I know him, he is a good player.”
Luka’s advice for him? “Just play basketball and enjoy it.”
After all, Doncic is doing just that, and it’s more than enough, taking the NBA by storm with Steve Nash giving him advice during the Team World practice and former US president Barak Obama giving him his two cents about his shot technique.”This guy knows how to pass the ball, but don’t listen to him when it comes to shooting,” Obama said to Luka about Jason Kidd.
— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) February 14, 2020