EXCLUSIVE: NBA superstar Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks speaks exclusively to Mirror Sport about the Olympics, his hopes for the season and his projects in Slovenia
Luka Doncic has declared he believes he’s achieved “nothing” in his career, despite inking the largest rookie extension contract in NBA history.
The Dallas Mavericks superstar guard is considered one of the best young players in the world, but is refusing to let himself get carried away.
Doncic, 22, has been compared to the likes of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, while NBA personality Bill Simmons previously declared him “the best 21-year-old ever”.
Last season he surpassed the 5,000 career points landmark, becoming just the fourth-youngest player to do so.
But despite all the plaudits, Doncic is determined to keep his feet on the ground and insists he believes he’s achieved nothing yet.
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When asked by Mirror Sport if he feels any pressure being compared to some of the greatest players of all time, he swiftly responded: “No, not really. It’s great, it’s amazing, I really appreciate it.”
He continued: “I still feel like I’ve achieved nothing, so I’ve got a lot more to do.”
Doncic is currently focused on the upcoming NBA season, when the Mavericks will look to go one better than their Western Conference semi-finals defeat from last year.
After watching the Milwaukee Bucks win the NBA title last season ahead of the star-studded ‘super teams’ of the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets, Doncic insists he has confidence he can help the Mavs win their first title since 2012.
He said: “Of course [super teams can be beaten]. I think injuries played a big part last year, too.
“But I think they deserved it last year. He [Giannis Antetokounmpo] played amazing and they deserved it.
“But there’s a new chance every season. Our goal is always… my goal is always the same as the Mavs’. Winning a championship.”
The Slovenian forward led his country out at the Tokyo Olympics this summer, carrying his nation to an unlikely Bronze Medal game appearance against all the odds.
Slovenia would come up short against Australia, but the experience is one the 22-year-old insists he’ll learn from.
He said: “It’s unbelievable to play for your country. Every player from Slovenia played, we were great together.
“Obviously we didn’t achieve what we wanted, but it was a great experience.
“I am proud, especially when we had to get through the qualifying tournament to get there.
“It was difficult, they had an amazing team. Obviously I’m happy, but we can do better.”
Doncic also affirmed his desire to play in the 2024 Paris Olympics, stating: “Yeah of course I want to play again.
“First we have to qualify which will again be very, very difficult. I will always play again if I’m available.”
Since returning to his home town of Ljubljana, Slovenia, following the Olympics, Doncic has worked with NBA2KFoundations to revamp the courts he played on as a child, and he expressed he wants to continue to give back to the community.
He said: “It’s amazing, especially in my home country. Here I want to do a lot of things in Slovenia because Slovenia has given me so much.
“It’s amazing, I started designing these comments with 2K Foundations, they helped me out a lot. I want to do more after that.”