Dončić will never forget his first experience in NBA All-Star weekend
CHARLOTTE – Luka Dončić was the last Rising Star on either team to score, but didn’t mind it. He finished his first performance at the All-Star weekend one assist shy of a double-double. “I had nine assists?” Dončić asked with a big smile. “I didn’t know that.” Luka and World Team lost to the U.S. Team 161-144. 19-year-old from Slovenia was smiling most of the game and had 13 points, nine assists and five rebounds. “I wasn’t trying to shoot. I was trying to pass and just have fun,” Dončić said. “For me it was not about winning. I think these kind of things are about the fans. I was just having fun out there.”
Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki was an honorary coach for the World Ream and gave a pre-game speech that involved reminding the players not to over-dribble. “I want us to share the ball a bit and not some guy dribbling the ball 20 times and hoist something up like Luka does with the Mavs,” Nowitzki joked. “Maybe that’s why we lost. But he was just joking,” said Dončić.
Kyle Kuzma of the Los Angeles Lakers won the Most Valuable Player award after scoring 35 points.
Dončić received the loudest cheers during pregame introductions. Although he received the third-most All-Star fan votes, he wasn’t selected for Sunday’s big game. “For sure I was a little bit disappointed,” Dončić said. “But it’s only my first year. There’s some amazing players in this league, so we’ll just have to work harder and make it next year.”
He still could make it to the big game this year. There is a possibility Anthony Davis of New Orleans will not be able to play, after he injured his left shoulder at the last game. If Davis is unable to play, the NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will choose his replacement. Dončić admitted a possibility of making it to the Sunday’s game is on his mind. “For sure. That’s why I couldn’t sleep last night.”
Dončić said that after being left out of the game, he decided to hang out on the beach. Luka and his girlfriend Anamaria are scheduled to go to Cancun on Sunday, but we would gladly delay the trip if he is added to the team.