Luka Doncic has played through a leg injury he sustained after the All-Star break last season and has shared a concerning update on his status.
“I do not know what to say,” Doncic said after Slovenia’s loss to Lithuania at the FIBA World Cup. “It’s not okay. At the same time, I have to prepare for one more game, and then for a whole season in the NBA.”
This probably isn’t what Mavs fans wanted to hear.
Doncic acknowledged the criticisms he has copped at FIBA level since Slovenia finished seventh in the tournament, despite having one of the best players in the world on the their team.
“There is a lot of criticism every day, but I have learned to live with it,” Doncic said. “I don’t think I’m the best in the world, though. I simply love playing for Slovenia and will continue to do so.”
Since Luka said he wasn’t the best player in the world, he was asked to share who he thinks is the best.
“Nikola Jokic, then Giannis Antetokounmpo. So, Europeans,” Doncic said. “Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is also one of the best.”
Slovenia didn’t automatically qualify for next year’s Olympics, so now they will enter the race for further qualifying games in order to get a shot.
The country matched their best-ever FIBA World Cup performance coming in at seventh and Doncic says the effort was there the whole time.
“Although many say that this is is a big disappointment, we still have a chance to achieve Slovenia’s best ranking at the world championships,” Doncic said. “I know it could be much better, which is what we were hoping for. But we all fought for the last breath.”
The superstar averaged 27 points, 7.2 rebounds and 6.1 assists on 42.7 percent shooting from the field and 32.4 percent shooting from three-point range.