Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic loves playing for his country, and he always makes it a point to be available whenever he is healthy. Luka helped them win EuroBasket 2017 and finish fourth in the 2020 Olympics, which took place in 2021 because of the pandemic. Doncic led the team in EuroBasket 2022 where they were shockingly upset by Poland in the quarterfinals.
It was a busy summer of basketball for number 77 as they played World Cup qualifiers to go along with EuroBasket. Doncic spent nearly the entire offseason playing for his national team or working on his game, but it has allowed him to hit the ground running to open the NBA regular season. Luka leads the league in scoring and is in the running for MVP after 12 games.
While Luka was leading the Mavericks, Slovenia won two World Cup qualifiers to secure their place in next summer’s tournament. Here is a look back at the two wins before diving into what it means for Luka Doncic and Slovenia in the 2023 NBA offseason.
Slovenia clinches place in 2023 FIBA World Cup without Luka Doncic
Slovenia used a balanced attack to defeat Israel 75-62 to open this qualifying window led by Edo Muric and Miha Lapornik with 16 points apiece. They had far from their top team available, but Slovenia defeated Germany 81-75 using their balance attack again to secure their spot in the World Cup.
This is just the fourth time ever that Slovenia has qualified for the World Cup, and they have never finished higher than seventh in the competition. Their last appearance was in 2014 when Slovenia was knocked out by Team USA in the quarterfinals.
Next summer will be Luka Doncic’s first time playing in the World Cup. The 2023 event takes place from Aug. 25 to Sept. 10 in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Japan. Slovenia will be among the frontrunners as long as number 77 is in the lineup. Expect Team USA to be the top dog, but Luka Doncic and company figure to be one of their biggest challengers.
Luka Doncic will join Slovenia for the 2023 FIBA World Cup if he is healthy. First, he wants to lead the Dallas Mavericks on another deep playoff run and take home NBA MVP. So far, so good, and the best is still yet to come, so please stay tuned to see what he can do next.