By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Excitement is building up early for Luka Doncic at the top of training camp with the Dallas Mavericks.
Returning to Madrid to face his former team, Real Madrid, in a preseason game on October 10 has been officially confirmed by the NBA. The Mavs superstar recalled growing up in Spain’s capital, even beyond basketball and multiple individual and team accolades as a teenager, including the 2018 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague.
“It means a lot. I have been thinking about this game since they told me I was going to play there,” he said in a press conference following practice on Wednesday.
“That game is going to mean a lot to me,” he furthered, “I was raised there. I was taught there, how to speak English, Spanish, everything, how to play basketball. That is my second home for sure. I am very excited to be back.”
Luka Doncic expects ‘way better’ stuff with Kyrie Irving
The 2023-24 NBA Regular Season will feature him alongside Kyrie Irving. After speeding up the process of forming a partnership midway through the 2022-23 Regular Season, Doncic and Irving can instead work together through the training camp.
“Better, for sure,” he projected the backcourt combined performance, “He came in the middle of the season last year, and we didn’t have much time. We went straight to playing games. It takes time to do chemistry, especially on the court, so we didn’t have the whole training camp, and then I mean, the preseason, too. So I think it’s going to be way better.”
The Slovenian sensation tallied 32.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, 8.0 assists, and 1.4 steals per contest through the 2022-23 NBA campaign. However, the Mavericks did not make the postseason field.
Dealing with injury
Doncic, 24, represented Slovenia in the 2023 FIBA World Cup during the offseason, playing through a thigh injury. “It is better,” he noted falling shy of declaring himself fully healthy.
Averaging 27.0 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game, he helped Slovenia rank seventh overall. Individually, he notched a spot in the All-Star Team of the tournament.
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