The Dallas Mavericks had not even drafted Luka Doncic the last time he and Goran Dragic teamed up to play a major tournament for the Slovenian National Team. The 18-year-old Doncic was the sidekick of the then-Miami Heat guard as they won EuroBasket in 2017 and the country’s first senior FIBA medal.
Dragic retired from national team play after the victory, so he did not join Luka in the country’s run to the Olympic semifinals last summer. Fans know he was watching closely as his brother was on the team. Doncic put Slovenia on the doorstep of a medal, but they lost two straight to finish fourth in Tokyo.
Dragic returned for two World Cup qualifiers earlier this summer, and he decided to play in EuroBasket just last week. The entire country as ecstatic as Slovenia looks to defend its title. Here is what Dragic had to say about coming back to the national team for a major tournament.
Goran Dragic excited to play sidekick to Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic at EuroBasket
Slovenia played a friendly game against Montenegro on Saturday, and where Dragic talked about rejoining the squad. See his quote below courtesy of EuroHoops.
"In my opinion, I will play a little fewer minutes, it will not be at that level. I don’t know how much I played, 36 minutes per game? Everything will depend on how I feel. The role will definitely be different. I was Batman, but now I’ll be Robin. The most important thing will be to make sure we have good chemistry and be a leader on the court and lift guys up when it’s most difficult. My role remains the same, Luka’s may have changed a bit more, but I believe that everyone has their own role in the national team and that there will be no problems. We all understand each other, we are one big team, and that’s why we can make a good result. That chemistry is what other teams don’t have."
Dragic made it clear that the team is going to win, and that he is excited to play for his country again. The Bulls did not want him to play in EuroBasket, but the veteran point guard choose to take part.
He also noted how difficult the field will be at the European championships. France finished second in the Olympics, with Spain, Serbia, Greece, and Lithuanian all expecting to bring home medals from the event. Luka Doncic and Goran Dragic will have to be on their games if they plan on making it two straight championships at EuroBasket.
It will be interesting to see how long the 36-year-old keeps playing for his national team. The World Cup is next summer with the Olympics in 2024, so there will be a major tournament for Luka and Slovenia to tackle every summer. Can they keep Dragic on the team sheet? How they perform at EuroBasket could help determine if Goran plays again next summer, so be sure to tune in and enjoy the show.