Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic has made it abundantly clear just how important the upcoming Olympics are to him. When asked about what would be the greater achievement, an NBA title or winning an Olympic gold for his country Slovenia, Doncic surprised some with his response. To find the best lines on Olympic Basketball betting, as always make sure to check out BetOnline!
On the subject of NBA titles, it’s worth noting the NBA spreads on finals, with the Suns vs Bucks series seemingly heading towards a late finish, it’s still Milwaukee who are set as slight underdogs against a Phoenix side.
Doncic was top points scorer for the Mavericks in each of the seven matches of their first round playoff defeat to the Clippers, so there’s no denying his commitment to the cause.
It just so happens that a gold medal for Slovenia, who have qualified for their first Olympic basketball tournament this year, means even more to the 22-year-old point guard.
On whether a gold medal would outdo an NBA title, Doncic replied simply;
“I would say gold medal with Slovenia,”
It’s worth noting that Doncic was almost single-handedly responsible for Slovenia making it to Tokyo, playing a key part in their victory over Lithuania, which helped book them a place in the Olympics this summer.
It appears that Doncic’s comments have been echoed by others in the NBA, not least by Washington Wizards’ three-time All-Star Bradley Beal, who responded by saying;
“In his shoes, 100 percent. This is Slovenia’s first time in the Olympics, right? So, that’s huge. He’s representing his whole country. Dallas is a city. People are fans of the city, but he’s repping his whole country. He’s putting them on his back. At the same time, hell, I’m gonna feel the same way because I haven’t won anything. So for me, this is big … This is the big boys. This is the big brother. So I embrace this stage and our goal is to win a gold medal. So, I want to have some hardware to say I’m proud of, too.
Doncic left European giants Real Madrid to join Dallas back in 2018 and was named NBA Rookie of the Year in 2019. He was named in the All-Star teams of 2020 and 2021 and is rightly considered one of the hottest prospects in the game.
If Doncic can help Slovenia through the opening group stages then there is every possibility he could find himself up against his colleagues from Team USA in the knockout stages.
It’s also interesting to note that he isn’t the only Dallas Mavericks star taking part in the Olympics as Italy’s Nicolo Melli is also taking part.
Slovenia takes on Argentina, Spain and Japan in Group C of the Olympic basketball tournament and as well as Doncic they can rely upon fellow NBA talent Vlatka Cancar.
Doncic’s Slovenia are considered by most sportsbooks as fifth favorites behind Team USA, Spain, Australia and France.
Team USA are looking to secure a fourth successive gold medal having won the tournament in Beijing in 2008, London in 2012 and Rio in 2016.