STA, 3 July - Slovenian NBA star Luka Dončić recently held his first news conference after the Covid-19 pandemic. He said in a videoconference that he was in good shape and could not wait to return to the court. He highlighted the role US Ambassador to Slovenia Lynda C. Blanchard played in helping him return to his homeland during the outbreak.
The 21-year-old returned to Dallas, Texas almost two weeks ago to start preparing for a tentative comeback of the 2019-2020 NBA season after spending lockdown in Slovenia. The NBA is expected to resume on 30 July.
"The league is doing all it can to make sure that all the participants would not feel any consequences. Every two days we are tested and everyone is taking care of our health," Dončić said.
He has never considered sitting out the season; he missed basketball a lot and just wants to play, he told the reporters, adding that he had full trust in the NBA system but was of course concerned about the situation as much as the next person.
Recently there was a misunderstanding regarding his shape which raised some dust in the US sports world - Dončić's personal trainer was mistranslated as saying the NBA star had gained some weight during his two months in Slovenia.
Dončić dismissed any such rumours, highlighting he was in good shape and would only get better when the season restarted.
The 2018-2019 NBA Rookie of the Year told the press that he maintained his shape during lockdown by playing tennis and football. He was glad he could spend some time with his friends and family in Slovenia and again thanked the US ambassador for helping him make that happen as well as for assisting him in returning back to the US.
The Dallas Mavericks small forward will be soon experiencing another lockdown, an NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida where NBA players are to be isolated from the rest of the world. The Dallas Mavericks are eyeing the playoffs, with Dončić saying that their chemistry would only grow.
The NBA star used the time in Slovenia to heal the minor injuries he was struggling with prior to the season suspension. "I think the break helped. I think a lot of people had some small injuries, they weren't 100%."
"Obviously the [hardest] thing for me was not being able to play basketball," he replied about being asked about the biggest quarantine challenges.
Before the corona suspension, Dončić had an average of 28.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 8.7 assists per game.