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#pounditSaturday, January 28, 2023

Articles tagged: Luka Doncic

Luka Doncic makes 1 bold prediction

Luka Doncic smiles

May 15, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) reacts against the Phoenix Suns in game seven of the second round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Even in the summer, Luka Doncic is ready to bring his A-game.

The Dallas Mavericks star spoke with reporters in Europe this week ahead of the 2022 EuroBasket tournament, which officially kicks off on Sept. 1. In his remarks, Doncic, who will be playing for his native Slovenia, made a bold prediction — that the Slovenian team will win the gold medal.

“We are going to Germany to win gold,” said Doncic, per EuroHoops. “In every competition where we compete, the goal must always be first place. We will do everything for it, but we will see if we make it. In 2017, no one took us seriously when we announced our attack on the gold medal. [But] today is different. It’s nice when you see that everyone will make an extra effort against us to win.”

This year’s EuroBasket will be hosted by four countries — Germany, Italy, Georgia, and the Czech Republic. Games in the group stage will be played in all four countries, but Germany alone will host the knockout stage games.

Doncic and Slovenia boast a superb team that also features fellow NBA players Goran Dragic and Vlatko Cancar. They also won gold at the last EuroBasket held in 2017 (when Doncic was just 18 years old).

But Slovenia will have tough competition from the likes of Serbia (led by Nikola Jokic), Greece (led by Giannis Antetokounmpo), and France (led by Rudy Gobert). Nonetheless, Doncic seems to be coming for blood based on these comments as well as on the way that he has looked in recent pictures.

Luka Doncic made 1 big change this offseason

Luka Doncic in his Mavericks uniform

May 28, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) in action during game three between the Clippers and the Mavericks in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The rumors you have read and heard about Luka Doncic this summer are true. The Dallas Mavericks star decided to get in shape this offseason.

A photo emerged that showed Doncic on vacation looking much slimmer than usual. Doncic’s trainer Anze Macek says that is no coincidence.

According to comments Macek gave to Slovenian outlet SportKlub, Doncic told the trainer he wanted to get into shape immediately after the season ended.

“Shortly after the end of the season, he contacted me and said that he wanted to start fitness training immediately. Together with Goran Dragić, they worked for three weeks. The national team action followed. When he went on vacation, he asked me for a work plan. It remains active. I am in contact with him almost on a daily basis. It keeps its shape. He will upgrade everything during the national team trainings, where he will prepare for maximum efforts,” the trainer said, according to Google Translate.

Doncic is listed at 6-foot-7 and 230 pounds. He has faced questions regularly regarding his fitness level and conditioning.

Last season, Doncic apparently showed up to training camp weighing around 260 pounds for the second year in a row. It apparently took the three-time All-Star months to drop that weight.

Doncic averaged 28.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 9.1 assists per game last season. He also led the Mavs to the conference finals, which was their best finish since winning the championship in 2011.

Perhaps the new dedication to fitness will lead to even better results for the Mavericks next season.

Photo of incredibly slim Luka Doncic goes viral

Luka Doncic smiles

May 15, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) reacts against the Phoenix Suns in game seven of the second round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It is safe to say that Luka Doncic is no longer built like a 7-Eleven employee.

A photo of the Dallas Mavericks star Doncic looking stunningly slim while recently on vacation went viral this week. Doncic posed for a picture with a fan and appeared far skinnier than we have become accustomed to.

In a recent interview with European outlet SportKlub, Slovenian team strength and conditioning coach Anze Macek said that Doncic has been taking his physical health extremely seriously this offseason.

“Shortly after the end of the season, [Luka] contacted me and said that he wanted to start conditioning immediately,” said Macek, as translated by Sports Illustrated. “Together with Goran Dragić, they worked for three weeks. The national team action followed.”

“When he went on vacation, he asked me for a work plan,” Macek continued about Doncic. “He remains active. I’m in contact with him almost on a daily basis. He keeps his shape. He will upgrade everything in the national team trainings, where he will prepare for maximum efforts.”

Doncic, who will be playing for his native Slovenia at EuroBasket beginning next month, is officially listed at 230 pounds. While he relies more so on craftiness and change of pace than on pure speed and explosive leaping, Doncic’s emphasis on staying fit this summer should only help him.

The 23-year-old MVP candidate made headlines last season by reportedly arriving to training camp badly overweight. But it has become a tale of two summers for Doncic, who looks and sounds to be in great shape right now.

Luka Doncic showing 1 big difference from other superstars

Luka Doncic smiles

May 15, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) reacts against the Phoenix Suns in game seven of the second round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

At 23 years old, Luka Doncic is already his own man.

ESPN’s Tim MacMahon reported this week on “The Hoop Collective” that the Dallas Mavericks star Doncic has shown no interest in recruiting other players to the team. MacMahon adds that Doncic (by choice) does not have significant input in decision-making for the Mavericks either.

“They seek his input, but he’s not heavily involved in personnel decisions,” said MacMahon of the dynamic between Doncic and the team. “He has not shown interest in being heavily involved. He spends much of his offseason in Europe. He’s not a guy who has shown the desire to be a recruiter.”

Doncic’s stance makes him a bit of an anomaly in the player empowerment era where stars recruit fellow stars like they are in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But roster-building has traditionally been the responsibility of team management alone, so there is nothing wrong with the separation of powers here.

The Mavericks have done just fine without Doncic puppeteering for them. They are fresh off a 52-win 2021-22 season where they made the Western Conference Finals. But on the other hand, maybe Dallas could have used a little bit of help from Doncic with this fish that recently got away from them.

Luka Doncic shares what he would take from Zion Williamson’s game

Luka Doncic smiles

May 15, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) reacts against the Phoenix Suns in game seven of the second round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Luka Doncic is already a three-time All-Star in just four NBA seasons, but that doesn’t mean he’s completely satisfied with his overall game.

Doncic and Zion Williamson attended a Jordan Brand event as ambassadors Saturday in Paris ahead of this weekend’s 2022 Quai 54 World Streetball Championship tournament.

The Dallas Mavericks star was asked what part of Williamson’s game he would want to take for his own, and had a funny response.

“I have the same bounce so I wouldn’t take the bounce,” Doncic said, eliciting laughs from the crowd. “The speed and the bounce is unbelievable.”

Doncic may not have as much bounce as Williamson does, but that didn’t seem to slow him down last season. He averaged 28.4 points (third-most in the NBA), 9.1 rebounds and 8.7 assists (fifth-most in the NBA). The 23-year-old did add a new move to his arsenal while playing for Slovenia during qualifiers for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Williamson has no problem ripping off highlight-reel dunks. He showed off his jumping ability with a vicious dunk on Saturday.

The 22-year-old has averaged 25.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 85 career games. He recently inked a massive five-year contract extension with the New Orleans Pelicans.

The tournament features 16 teams from 10 countries and 160 male and female professional and amateur athletes. It runs from July 9-10.

Luka Doncic appears to have added new move to his arsenal

Luka Doncic smiles

May 15, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) reacts against the Phoenix Suns in game seven of the second round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Luka Doncic apparently has not even reached his final form yet.

The Dallas Mavericks star went viral this week for what looked like a new move in his bag of tricks. Playing for his native Slovenia at qualifiers for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup, Doncic dropped in a masterful sweeping skyhook during a game against Sweden. Take a look.

Still only 23 years old, Doncic averaged 28.4 points per game this past NBA season and helped lead Dallas to the Western Conference Finals. He already has a complete offensive game as a three-level scorer, so adding a skyhook to his arsenal would make Doncic even more of a total hellhound to guard.

The skyhook has largely fallen out of favor with the current NBA generation. Only certain role players sometimes bust it out on occasion these days. But Doncic may be spearheading an unlikely comeback that would make Lew Alcindor smile.

Video: Dirk Nowitzki jokingly partakes in chant aimed at Luka Doncic

Dirk Nowitzki heckling Luka Doncic

Luka Doncic likely has to deal with hecklers on a regular basis during the course of an NBA season, but former Dallas Mavericks forward and current special advisor Dirk Nowitzki may be able to get away with teasing his former Mavericks teammate.

Doncic and the Slovenian men’s national basketball team beat Sweden 84-81 Sunday during a FIBA World Cup qualifier game. With Doncic shooting a pair of free throws during the first quarter, the crowd broke out into chants of “overrated!” that were geared towards Doncic. After Doncic made the second shot, cameras showed Nowitzki sitting court-side and jokingly joining in on the chant.

Doncic didn’t seem to take the chants too seriously, as he had a warm greeting for the future Hall of Famer after the game.

Nowitzki and Doncic were teammates during Doncic’s rookie season in 2018, and the 14-time All-Star was impressed with Doncic’s game. Doncic even broke out Nowitzki’s signature move during the 2021 playoffs.

Doncic’s play last season wouldn’t likely be categorized as overrated. He averaged 28.4 points (third-most in the NBA), 9.1 rebounds, 8.7 assists (fifth-most in the NBA), and shot 45.7 percent from the field. Doncic led the Mavericks to the Western Conference Finals, where they were eliminated in five games by the Golden State Warriors.

Mavericks could acquire Luka Doncic favorite this offseason?

Luka Doncic smiles

May 15, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) reacts against the Phoenix Suns in game seven of the second round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks just traded away Luka Doncic’s soul brother Boban Marjanovic, but they could be doing something else to make it up to Doncic.

Veteran basketball writer Marc Stein reported on Friday that the Mavs will explore the possibility of signing veteran guard Goran Dragic this summer. Dragic is set to be an unrestricted free agent.

The 36-year-old Dragic averaged 7.5 points and 4.1 rebounds per game this past season between the Toronto Raptors and the Brooklyn Nets. Just like Doncic, Dragic hails from Slovenia. While the two players have never played together in the NBA, they have developed a close relationship as teammates on the Slovenian national team. Dragic and Doncic were the leading men when Slovenia won the EuroBasket title in 2017 and will be teammates again in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 European Qualifiers.

Other than Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie (both of whom often play more like 2-guards than true playmakers), Dallas was slightly thin at point guard this year. They have been linked to Dragic in the past, and reuniting him with Doncic would also reunite one of basketball’s great bromances.

Andrew Wiggins’ daughter goes viral for funny shirt trolling father’s NBA rival

Andrew Wiggins shooting the ball

February 23, 2020; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Andrew Wiggins (22) warms up before the game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Wiggins is teaching his daughter the way at a young age.

After Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday, Wiggins’ 3-year-old daughter Amyah went viral for the funny shirt that she was wearing. As her father carried her in his arms, Amyah could be seen wearing a shirt of Wiggins’ huge poster dunk on Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic in the Western Conference Finals. Check it out.

The dunk, which you can see video of here, was one of the most memorable moments of the postseason thus far. Wiggins did not do too bad for himself on Friday against the Boston Celtics either. He was Golden State’s best non-Steph Curry player, finishing with 17 points and a career-high 16 rebounds to help lead the Warriors to the series-tying 107-97 victory.

As for Doncic, he probably won’t mind the shirt too much. After all, he did have a pretty funny reaction at the time to getting yammed on by Wiggins.

Luka Doncic makes admission after Mavs’ season ends

Luka Doncic smiles

May 15, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) reacts against the Phoenix Suns in game seven of the second round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks were eliminated from the postseason with a loss to the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals on Thursday night. Luka Doncic led his team in most major statistical categories, as usual, but he was not at all pleased with his performance.

Doncic had 28 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists in the Mavs’ 120-110 loss. He told reporters after the game that he was “terrible.”

While his point totals looked impressive, Doncic went cold in Game 4 and Game 5. He got away with shooting just 38 percent and hitting 3-of-11 three-pointers in Game 4, as Dallas avoided the sweep with a 119-109 home win. Doncic was even less efficient from the field on Thursday night. He made only 36 percent of his shots, including 3-of-13 from long range. Had he made more shots, the Mavericks probably would have forced Game 6.

Doncic was a bit streaky during the playoffs. He helped lead the Mavs to an upset win over the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference semifinals, but you can understand why he felt he could have been much better.

Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd sent a message to his players after Game 5, and some felt it was directed at Doncic. Maybe Doncic will use that and his streaky shooting as motivation this summer.