Luka ‘by no means had a doubt’ he’d re-up with Mavs

NBA

Early Tuesday morning, members of the Dallas Mavericks met with star guard Luka Doncic in a Slovenian resort to formally put pen to paper on a five-year, $207 million contract extension. And hours later they have been on a stage to announce it, with Doncic saying he “by no means had a doubt” about signing it.

“It is a actually particular second right here. Thanks to Dallas for providing me this,” he mentioned. “I nonetheless sort of do not know what to say as a result of I by no means imagined this occurring. I used to be solely dreaming to solely play within the NBA, however now I can signal an extension with the Dallas Mavericks for 5 extra years, which I by no means had a doubt about. I at all times needed to signal this.”

Alongside Doncic on the dais have been his brokers, Invoice Duffy and Quique Villalobos, Mavericks proprietor Mark Cuban, common supervisor Nico Harrison and coach Jason Kidd. Cuban opened his remarks with a press release in Slovenian as Doncic smiled.

“It is a massive day,” Cuban mentioned. “Once we drafted Luka in 2018, we had an inkling he was good. However we by no means imagined he was this good. That is the fruits of loads of onerous work on his half. He did not simply present up, he put within the time his whole life.

“To have the ability to announce he signed an extension with the Dallas Mavericks and we need to have him copy — not copy, however have the identical sort of Corridor of Fame profession if no more than Dirk [Nowitzki], who’s sitting right here within the entrance row.”

The 22-year-old guard has quickly ascended to the highest of the league, erupting as one of many NBA’s brightest stars. His contract is a landmark deal as the most important rookie extension in historical past due to his eligibility to get a chosen max since he is been named All-NBA twice.

In a 30-minute information convention, Doncic answered questions in Slovene, English and Spanish. An interpreter translated Doncic’s solutions. Requested by a Slovenian media member what he’ll start spending his cash on, Doncic laughed.

“Yeah it is an ideal sum, however I am not nonetheless not eager about this,” Doncic mentioned, by way of the interpreter. “I have not purchased myself something worthwhile but from this. However I must course of it extra earlier than I begin spending.”

Ready for the Olympics to conclude, the place Doncic led his nation to the bronze-medal recreation, a Mavs contingent traveled to Ljubljana, Slovenia, to current the contract supply.

“Simply to verify to Luka how essential he’s to us and the way that is just the start,” Cuban mentioned of the Mavs presenting the contract in particular person. “We wish him to know we’re there for him, whether or not that is right here in Slovenia, in Dallas, or anyplace on this planet. A part of this course of will not be solely attending to know him, however attending to know what’s essential to him. How he seems to be at issues. Coming right here, strolling across the metropolis and spending time with him and assembly the folks of Ljubljana, that is enabled us to take that first step.”

In Tokyo, Doncic was arguably probably the most excellent participant of the event, scoring 48 factors in his Olympic debut and setting an Olympic file with 18 assists in a semifinal loss to France.

“It means so much. It is unbelievable,” Doncic mentioned by way of interpreter concerning the Mavs coming to his hometown. “It says so much about you guys coming right here to Ljubljana. You are nice folks and I am very grateful that is occurring.”

Doncic’s profession began with Actual Madrid the place he grew to become the youngest MVP in EuroLeague historical past in 2017-18. He was taken third total within the 2018 draft by the Atlanta Hawks however instantly traded to Dallas for Trae Young and a future first-round decide.

“The primary I heard of [Doncic] was when [Real Madrid] performed the Thunder in a preseason recreation and I watched the sport,” Cuban mentioned. “Clearly there was loads of discuss him and I believe he scored on Russell Westbrook I believe it was, or guarded Russell or one thing like that, and it received folks’s consideration. I adopted him from there and we spoke about him so much.”

Regardless of some inner turmoil with the Mavericks earlier in the summertime, with longtime GM Donnie Nelson resigning and coach Rick Carlisle leaving for the Indiana Pacers, Doncic signing the extension was by no means actually unsure.

“Initially, how I really feel about being in Dallas, it seems like a second dwelling. It seems like dwelling there, I really feel nice,” he mentioned. “The individuals who work for the group are nice folks. I simply really feel good there. I can say nothing else.”

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