All-Star break is over and the final stretch of the season is finally underway. The Mavericks held their first practice after the break Wednesday and Luka Doncic spoke at length to the media about his first time at All-Star weekend.
“It was great. It was my first one of hopefully many to come. It was hard. I was more tired in Charlotte than I was any game this season so it’s tough but I liked it.”
Before Doncic spoke, Carlisle noted how the fans and media often don’t realize how busy the weekend is for the players involved. The amount of events players are required to attend, media availability sessions, and of course after parties can leave players needing an All-Star break from their All-Star break.
This first weekend for Doncic only saw him compete in the Rising Stars game Friday night and the Skills Competition on Saturday night. Even though he was tired, Luka still had more fun than anybody on the court, as evidence by him in this video.
Luka had all jokes while mic'd up during the Rising Stars Challenge— Yahoo Sports NBA (@YahooSportsNBA) February 16, 2019
Doncic even had fun with the Skills Competition. While trailing his opponent in both the first and second rounds, he elected to take half court shots, of which he nearly made both. He said that wasn’t his premeditated strategy.
“No I didn’t have [any] strategy going in. I know if I was in front I was going to shoot the half court shot so I didn’t have [any] strategy.”
Many Mavericks fans voiced their frustrations that Doncic wasn’t allowed to replace Anthony Davis as an injury substitute but those frustrations weren’t shared by Luka.
A reporter asked if he wanted to participate in any of the other competitions during the weekend.
“Nah, I was ready to go to Cancun,” Doncic responded.
Luka said he enjoyed his time in Mexico, possibly more than the exciting yet tiresome activities of the weekend.
His other starring role of the weekend was a pair of videos with Dirk Nowitzki shown in the arena during the All-Star game.
Dirk Nowitzki and Luka Doncic are precious pic.twitter.com/wJHzrMcftk— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) February 18, 2019
When asked why he didn’t get any of the answers right Doncic said “Oh they put all 90s songs on there, I wasn’t born yet [laughter].”
Watching Dirk was a big part of the weekend for Doncic. He had high praise for his veteran teammate and joked that if he played more Team Giannis would have won.
His praise wasn’t as extreme as coach Carlisle, who described Dirk’s 9 points in three minutes as “the best 90 seconds of basketball I’ve ever seen.”
This was likely the first of many All-Star weekends for Luka Doncic, and probably the last time he’s left out of the feature presentation for a long time.