CHARLOTTE, NC – Luka Doncic was the last rising star to score, and by the end of the second quarter, his team and his American team had accumulated 126 points.
Not that Doncic cared a little.
That night at the Spectrum Center was meant to feast on the All-Star NBA weekend, the premiere of Doncic – and to make Friday night even more enjoyable, it's that he was able to share it with his Mavericks teammate, Dirk Nowitzki, who was the honorary coach of the world team.
Soic, 19, spent most of his time on the football field, both on the field and on the bench, alongside Nowitzki, 40.
"For me, it was not about winning," said Doncic. "I think this stuff is for fans, show them a little bit, I think it was great, I had a lot of fun."
For the record, Doncic finished with 13 points, nine assists and five rebounds in Team World's 161-144 victory at the MTN DEW ICE Rising Stars Challenge.
Doncic sparked the loudest cheers during the pre-game introductions, which was not surprising since he received the third highest number of votes from All-Star fans (4.24 million). He was not selected for Sunday's big game because he did not vote in favor of the votes of the players and the media – and the West Conference coaches did not choose him as a substitute.
"Of course, I've been a little disappointed," said Doncic. "But it's only my first year, there are some amazing players in this league, so we will have to work harder and succeed next year."
Or maybe this year. As of Friday, it was not known whether Anthony Davis, of New Orleans, a member of the Western Conference, could play Sunday, after being injured in the left shoulder on Thursday night and having left the # 39, arena before the end of the match.
If Davis is unable to play, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will have the discretion to choose a replacement and who.
The total number of fan votes in Doncic and the sensational number of rookies of the season make it a worthy candidate. Another potential factor is that the other most likely substitute, central Utah, Rudy Gobert, is not in Charlotte.
So, on the contrary, Doncic must participate in Saturday night's Taco Bell Skills Challenge, in which he claims that his goal is to beat his former Yugoslavian competitors, Nikola Jokic and Nikola Vucevic.
When asked if he had heard that he could replace Davis Sunday, Doncic replied, "Yes, I did it."
Doncic said that after the West Conference coaches did not choose him as a reservist, he decided: "I'll be hanging out on the beach". In fact, his girlfriend, Anamaria Goltes, is going Sunday between Charlotte and Cancun, but Doncic would gladly delay the trip if he is added to the team, making him the first rookie player since Blake Griffin in 2011.
"Of course," he says. "That's why I could not sleep last night."
Doncic's lack of assertive assertiveness on Friday – he only took four hits in the first period – caused a whisper telling him that he was perhaps reserving for Sunday's All-Star game. Or perhaps he took seriously the pre-game instructions of Nowitzki's coach at Team World, captured by television cameras.
"I want us to share the ball a bit and not a guy who dribbles the ball 20 times and mounts something like Luka with the Mavs," Nowitzki stands motionless, gesturing to Doncic, who takes a sip of Gatorade.
So after the match, Doncic joked about Nowitzki's coaching speech: "It may be for this reason that we lost the game."
It was so far the only highlight of Doncic in Charlotte. Thursday evening, he learned the comments of Charles Barkley, TNT analyst and Naismith Hall of Famer, The news on the acquisition of Kristaps Porzingis by Doncic and Dallas.
"I love what Dallas did," Barkley said. "I mean, they had two young stallions, they had limited space, they probably have the best friendly owner for the league players, and I told you that they could get one from These free agents, they could change the balance of power very fast, especially if Porzingis returns in good health.
"Because let me tell you something, this boy Doncic, that's the real deal.As we said nowadays, it's a bad white boy.I mean, [expletive]he's not here yet, but we're getting a lot closer to the little black kids under the hood who are wearing his jersey. Very close. That was Larry Bird, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, [Manu] Ginobili, that was it. Soic, if he continues to play like this, we'll see his number under the hood. "
When for a private moment on Friday The news began to ask questions about Barkley's comments, so Doncic laughed.
"It was funny and nice," said Doncic. "I know what he meant, it was really nice."
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