It works: Luka Doncic sets one record after the other.
Marco Pescioreporter sports
Rick Carlisle had foreseen it. In 2018, the Dallas coach at the time received a 19-year-old European for summer training with the Mavericks, only to put it on record after just two days: “If you don’t order a season ticket now, you will regret it in the near future.” A certain Luka Doncic, 2.01 meter giant and 100 kilo chunks, indicated in the NBA ambience in no time at all why he played everything to the ground in Europe as a teenager. In 2017 he became European champion with Slovenia, and a year later he led Real Madrid as MVP to victory in the EuroLeague, the equivalent of the Champions League in football.
Doncic came as a beacon of hope, he should lead Dallas out of no man’s land back to the top – and replace the legend Dirk Nowitzki. Now, four and a half years later? Is «Luka Magic» one of the superstars of the league. The recently inaugurated statue in front of the American Airlines Center and some club records are reminiscent of Nowitzki – but these records are also tumbling.
“I’m tired as hell”
With his size and robustness, his dribbling and distance throws, Doncic has the opportunity to dominate the game almost at will. He is currently the man of the hour in the NBA. Shortly before New Year’s Eve, he set a new career high of 60 points in a duel with the New York Knicks. Besides? 21 rebounds and ten assists. A triple-double unprecedented in league history.
Doncic makes TV commentators and fans freak out that evening. In the Platz interview, he laughs afterwards when he says: “I’m tired as hell. I need a rest beer.”
The 23-year-old free spirit from Ljubljana doesn’t care about an absolutely austere life as a professional athlete. A beer here, a cigarette there – like before a World Cup qualifying game against Germany. His easy-going nature is what makes the Dallas star so popular. He makes up for the fact that he doesn’t look well trained with a lot of spectacle and unbelievable odds.
A horse and a horned lizard
When Nowitzki said at the unveiling of his monument that he hoped Doncic would also play for the Mavericks as long as he did, he replied: “I don’t know if it will be something with the 21 years. That’s a long time for a basketball career. I’d rather go back to my farm in Slovenia.”
Speaking of the farm: After his teammate Dorian Finney-Smith bought a horse named Stevie last summer, Doncic promptly had a present ready for Christmas: he gave Finney-Smith a custom-made pair of his “Luka1” basketball shoes – for the horse, mind you.
In Youtube show: NBA star Luka Doncic amazes with trick throws(01:01)
The Dallas fans were no less happy to hear when he said about the holidays that he was recently keeping a Texan horned lizard at home: “Because I’m a Texan.”
Rick Carlisle had foreseen it. Doncic is an attraction. He recently reached a new milestone: becoming the first NBA player to total at least 250 points, 50 rebounds and 50 assists in five straight games. The season ticket holders? Should never have regretted their investment because of Doncic.