Before this draft Luka expressed a wish to play as a teammate of his childhood hero LeBron, and now that wish seems to be coming true. It is not yet entirely clear whether Dončić will also actually be able to play due to his injured ankle, which he sprained about a week ago. According to some estimates, however, Dončić will be ready to play for the All-Star game a week from now and LeBron seems to be counting on Luka's recovery.
The game starts on Sunday, February 16, at 8:20 PM UTC+5. That is Monday morning at 2:20am in Slovenia.
STA, 7 February 2020 - The 56th Golden Fox competition as part of the Alpine Ski World Cup, which was supposed to take place on 15-16 February in Maribor, has been moved to the Kranjska Gora resort due to the unfavourable weather forecast.
The World Cup slalom and giant slalom events for women is moving to the north-western resort, which traditionally hosts World Cup technical events for men, nicknamed the Vitranc Cup. It will be held on the same dates.
The decision was made on Friday as a delegation of the International Ski Federation (FIS) is visiting Slovenia's second largest city to check on the snow and weather conditions on the slopes of the Pohorje hills.
Markus Mayr, the race director for women technical World Cup events, who inspected the venue one more time today, said in a press statement that the conditions did not allow the event to be organised successfully in Maribor.
The decision, made together by the FIS and the organisers, was regretted by Srečko Vilar, the secretary general of the event. He said they would do everything in their power to organise a successful event at the alternative location.
"All persons responsible were united in the opinion that we should not take risks by organising the event in Maribor, because a competition weekend for the women's World Cup cold be lost," said Mayr.
He added that "thanks to such a decision, it will be possible to organise the competition in Slovenia."
Despite great efforts by the organisers, who have been struggling to keep the piste running, the unseasonably high temperatures and strong wind made this impossible. Not even cutting-edge snow cannons were up to the task.
Mayr also said in the press release that the FIS had full confidence in the organising committee and that the federation counted on Maribor to organise women World Cup events in the future.
This will be the eight time that the Golden Fox moves to Kranjska Gora in the 56 years of the competition. It was moved there for the first time in 1976, and before today, most recently two years ago.
The NBA All-Star weekend of February 14-16 is approaching, and it is clear now that while the Slovenian player Luka Dončić will play in the February 14 Rising Star game and the All-Star game on February 16, he will not be entering the Three-Point scoring contest on February 15.
Whether Dončić was not invited or perhaps turned down the invitation is not clear as of yet. Trae Young is listed among the eight players in Saturday’s contest, and comparisons between him and Doncić will perhaps follow the two throughout their careers, due to the rookies’ having been traded between Atlanta and Dallas in 2018.
Both young players will also appear at the Rising Star game, in which Trae Young will play for the USA and Luka Dončić for the World team. Whether the two will play with or against each other in the final All-Star game on Sunday will be clear by Friday morning, after both squads are picked in the classic playground manner by James LeBron (Los Angeles Lakers) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee).
STA, 4 February 2020 - Cyclist Primož Roglič, the winner of the Tour of Spain, and world champion kayaker Eva Terčelj are the winners of the Bloudek Prizes for sporting achievements, the highest national awards for current and lifetime success in sports.
Having already been named Athlete of the Year by Slovenian sports journalists, Roglič, 30, was honoured by the state for the first ever victory by a Slovenian in one of the top cycling races in the world, the Vuelta, last year.
The same year he also finished third in the Giro d'Italia, another Grand Tour race, and three more major races. "Roglič proves again and again that he is a cycling champion," the jury said.
Terčelj, 28, secured the accolade among women for winning the K1 event at the Whitewater World Championship in September 2019, a career high that the jury pointed out also earned her a slot at the Tokyo Olympics this year.
Three lifetime achievement awards were also conferred as long-time Faculty of Sport professor Milan Žvan, swimming coach Vladimir Čermak and chess official Boris Kutin were honoured for decades-long careers in sports.
STA, 26 January 2020 - Slovenia's Anamarija Lampič finished second in the women's classic sprint event in the Cross-Country World Cup in Germany's Oberstdorf on Sunday for her fifth career podium finish and fourth in the current season.
In the final run, Lampič was beaten by Natalya Nepryayeva of Russia by 0.26 of a second, while the remaining competitors were left far behind.
This is the fourth podium finish for the 24-year-old in the current season, in which she already has two wins - in Switzerland Lenzerheide on 29 December last year and in Italy's Val di Fiemme on 4 January.
Lampič is currently first in the World Cup standings in sprint with 355 points, 70 points ahead of the second-placed Linn Svahn of Sweden, while she is 9th overall.
"I was going at full strength, while [Nepryayeva] had already competed yesterday, and was a bit tired today. But I think that she had a bit better skis, but never mind, I'm still happy with the second place," she said.
Nejc Brodar, the head coach of the Slovenian cross-country skiing team, said that "it was another excellent performance. Routine runs. She has shown that she deserves to wear the jersey of the leader in the overall sprint rankings."
STA, 26 January 2020 - France's Quentin Fillon Maillet is the winner of the men's 15km mass start event of the Biathlon World Cup meet at Slovenia's Pokljuka on Sunday. He finished the race ahead of Benedikt Doll of Germany and Norwegian Johannes Thingnes Boe.
Fillon Maillet missed only one shot and was very quick in the running part, as was Doll (+10.0), who also missed one shot. Boe was even quicker but missed two shots to finish 10.3 second behind the winner.
"I didn't have any particular strategy. I gave my best in the last lap in order to stay in the first place," said Fillon Maillet after the race.
This compatriot Martin Fourcade is still in the overall lead in the World Cup with 601 points, with Fillon Maillet trailing by 69 points and Boe by 119 points.
The best Slovenian competitor was Jakov Fak, who finished 21st, as he missed three shots in the process while battling cold. He crossed the finish line 1 minute and 56 seconds after Fillon Maillet.
"It was very difficult ... but it nevertheless paid to appear in front of this audience," Fak said, adding that the "current situation and form are not such that I could be a match to the competitors at the top."
* Results of the men's 15km mass start:
1 Quentin Fillon Maillet (FRA) 36:21.5 (1)
2 Benedikt Doll (GER) +10.0 (1)
3 Johannes Thingnes Boe (NOR) 10.3 (2)
4 Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen (NOR) 10.6 (1)
5 Martin Fourcade (FRA) 10.8 (1)
6 Erlend Bjoentegaard (NOR) 21.4 (2)
7 Johannes Dale (NOR) 39.8 (2)
8 Simon Eder (AUT) 42.8 (0)
9 Tarjei Boe (NOR) 43.5 (2)
10 Lukas Hofer (ITA) 1:05.4 (2)
21 Jakov Fak (SLO) 1:56.1 (3)
- Overall standings (13 out of 24 events):
1 Martin Fourcade (FRA) 601 pts
2 Quentin Fillon Maillet (FRA) 532
3 Johannes Thingnes Boe (NOR) 482
4 Simon Desthieux (FRA) 479
5 Tarjei Boe (NOR) 461
6 Alexander Loginov (RUS) 436
7 Benedikt Doll (GER) 415
8 Emilien Jacquelin (FRA) 401
9 Johannes Dale (NOR) 398
10 Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen (NOR) 372
15 Jakov Fak (SLO) 286
Women's mass start at Pokljuka won by Sweden's Oeberg
STA, 26 January 2020 - Hanna Oeberg of Sweden won the women's 12.5km mass start event at Slovenia's Pokljuka on Sunday, finishing ahead of Italian Lisa Vittozzi and France's Anais Bescond in what was the last Biathlon World Cup meet ahead of the world championships in Italy.
Oeberg missed one shot but was better in the running part than Vittozzi (+6.5) and Bescond (27.6), who were perfect in shooting.
This is the fourth individual career victory for the 24-year-old Swede, who won the world champion title in the individual race in Östersund in 2019.
* Results of the women's 12.5km mass start:
1 Hanna Oeberg (SWE) 34:14.4 (1)
2 Lisa Vittozzi (ITA) +6.5 (0)
3 Anais Bescond (FRA) 27.6 (0)
4 Monika Hojnisz-Starega (POL) 37.5 (1)
5 Justine Braisaz (FRA) 44.1 (3)
6 Marte Olsbu Roeiseland (NOR) 48.4 (3)
7 Lisa Theresa Hauser (AUT) 59.9 (1)
8 Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold (NOR) 1:09.0 (3)
9 Dorothea Wierer (ITA) 1:09.6 (2)
10 Marketa Davidova (CZE) 1:22.5 (2)
- Overall standings (13 out of 24 events):
1 Tiril Eckhoff (NOR) 524 pts
2 Dorothea Wierer (ITA) 509
3 Hanna Oeberg (SWE) 456
4 Denise Herrmann (GER) 419
5 Julia Simon (FRA) 385
6 Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold (NOR) 384
7 Marte Olsbu Roeiseland (NOR) 381
8 Justine Braisaz (FRA) 380
9 Paulina Fialkova (SVK) 353
10 Lisa Vittozzi (ITA) 325
STA, 25 January - Slovenia's team placed third with 1,125.0 points at Saturday's World Cup event, finishing after the winners Germany and second-placed Norway. The team featured Anže Lanišek, Domen Prevc, Timi Zajc and Peter Prevc.
Slovenia was also third after the first series, entering a fierce battle for third place with Austria and Poland, while Germany and Norway proved much too good to be caught up.
1. Germany 1,182.2
(Constantin Schmid 123.0/136.5 m, Markus Eisenbichler 133.0/
132.5 m, Stephan Leyhe 139.0/136.5 m, Karl Geiger 133.0/142.0 m)
2. Norway 1,142.2
(Marius Lindvik 131.5/140.0 m, Robert Johansson 134.0/133.5 m,
Daniel Andre Tande 131.0/129.5 m, Johann Andre
Forfang 122.5/132.0 m)
3. Slovenia 1,125.0
(Anže Lanišek 128.0/140.5 m, Domen Prevc 122.0/135.0 m, Timi Zajc
137.0/129.5 m, Peter Prevc 127.0/1320 m)
4. Japan 1,122.5
5. Poland 1,118.6
6. Austria 1,114.9
7. Czech Republic 974.6
8. Switzerland 965.1
STA, 25 January 2020 - The Slovenian men's handball team finished fourth at the European Championship after losing to Norway 20:28 in the third-place match in Stockholm on Saturday, in what is the second-best result for Slovenia ever at such tournaments.
Slovenia did not manage to bounce back from yesterday's semi-final match against Spain (32:34), while the Norwegians celebrated after a painful loss to Croatia in the last seconds of the other semi-final.
It was a sloppy and slow affair in the first half, with Norway making a run by the 20th minute to secure a four-goal lead, and never looked back thereafter. They did not let Slovenia to come close, also with help from some stellar goalkeeping.
Slovenian head coach Ljubomir Vranješ, who took over the team only a month ago, said that the player had done a tremendous job at the tournament but "it is not enough", adding that the whole tournament had been difficult.
Captain Vid Kavtičnik, who did not play in the match due to injury, said that "of course we are sad, but still, the fourth place is amazing," noting that the team did not have much time to prepare for the tournament.
Borut Mačkovšek said that the team would continue to work hard, and Jure Dolenec said that "we should be proud of what we have done at this major competition," adding that Slovenia had been in a very bad place only six months ago.
The fourth place is actually the second-best results for Slovenia at the European championships, coming after the national won silver medal at home in 2004.
While Slovenia have failed to win a medal, they have secured a berth in an Olympic qualifying tournament hosted by Berlin, Germany between 17 and 19 April.
At the tournament Slovenia will play against Germany, Sweden and an African national team, with the top two teams making it to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
As for the qualifications, Vranješ said that the team would be prepared tactically by March and then a training camp would be scheduled.
STA, 24 January 2020 - The Slovenian men's handball team lost to Spain 32:34 in the semi-finals of the European Championship in Stockholm on Friday, and will play Norway in the third-place match tomorrow.
The reigning European champions Spain were too much for Slovenia who were looking to make it to what would be their second European champions finals ever, taking advantage of many fast-breaks to build a 20:15 lead in the half-time.
The five-goal lead proved to be too much to recover from for Slovenia, who nevertheless fought to the final whistle and were only one goal behind in the last minute.
After what was the third loss for Slovenia in the four semi-finals at major competitions so far, Slovenia's Jure Dolenec said the team played a very bad defence in the first half and that he was "honestly really disappointed."
Slovenian head coach Ljubomir Vranješ said that the Spaniards were much better in the first half as his players had made very bad mistakes on defence, but what was important that they had fought until the last minute.
"They did not give up at all, but they fought the entire time, and this is good," he said, admitting that it would be hard to motivate players and find energy for the third-place match.
Slovenia will try to bounce back from the loss on Saturday as they try to win the bronze medal against Norway, who lost to Croatia 28:29 in a double overtime thriller in the other semi-final earlier today.
Slovenia already played Norway in the last match of the second round of the ongoing European championship on Wednesday, losing 30:33.
STA, 24 January 2020 - The second day of the Biathlon World Cup meet in Slovenia's Pokljuka on Friday saw Denise Herrmann of Germany win the women's 15km individual event, ahead of Hanna Oeberg of Sweden and France's Anais Bescond.
Herrmann was perfect in the shooting, while Oeberg missed one target to finish 59.2 seconds behind the winner. Bescond also hit all targets but was slower in the running part (+1:15.7).
The race featured two Slovenian athletes, with Lea Einfalt finishing 76th (+9:20.9) and Polona Klemenčič finishing 87th (+10:49.8).
The meet at the plateau within the Triglav National Park continues on Saturday with the single mixed relay and the 4x7.5km mixed relay.
The event will wrap up on Sunday with the men's 15km mass start and a women's 12.5km mass start competitions.
STA, 23 January 2020- The four-day Biathlon World Cup meet in Slovenia's Pokljuka started on Thursday with the men's 20km individual event, with Johannes Thingnes Boe of Norway emerging as the winner, while Jakov Fak was the best Slovenian competitor in 12th place.
The Norwegian was perfect in shooting, finishing 11.4 seconds ahead of Martin Fourcade of France, who kept his overall lead in the World Cup. Third place went to another Frenchman, Fabien Claude (+25.6).
Slovenia's best biathlete Jakov Fak finished 2 minutes and 20.2 seconds behind the winner for the 12th place, as he missed one target in the process. The second best Slovenia was Rok Tršan (+4:26.1) in 31st place.
Boe, who was absent from the World Cup for four weeks after becoming a father, said he "started slower than usual today" and "spent some more time on the shooting range, but everything went well and I'm happy."
He added that Fourcade had rang up four wins in the meantime, which made it difficult for him to grab the overall win. "This is why the world championship is the primary goal."
Fak, who kept his 15th overall place in the World Cup, said that "missing the last shot was very painful" as he had some technical problems. "It will be hard to climb higher this season, and today I tried to make a better result, but I couldn't."
The races at the plateau within the Triglav National Park continue on Friday with the women's 15km individual event.
Saturday is reserved for the single mixed relay and the 4x7.5km mixed relay, with the meet wrapping up on Sunday with the men's 15km mass start and a women's 12.5km mass start competitions.