Luka Doncic to meet Giannis Antetokounmpo in friendly game in August

luka-doncic-to-meet-giannis-antetokounmpo-in-friendly-game-in-august

Giannis Antetokounmpo-led Greece will host Luka Doncic’s Slovenia in a FIBA World Cup 2023 preparation game on August 4 at OAKA Arena.

Greek Basketball Federation officially announced that the Greek national team will face Slovenia in a friendly game that will be held on August 4 at OAKA Arena in Athens.

This match will mark the first time Giannis Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic might be facing each other on the international front with their respective national teams.

The game in early August is intended for the preparation for the FIBA World Cup 2023. The major basketball event is scheduled from 25 August to 10 September in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia.

Greece and Slovenia have already qualified for the upcoming tournament.

Meanwhile, the Slovenian Basketball Federation’s president confirmed Luka’s participation in World Cup. Antetokounmpo is also expected to play for Greece.

Both Doncic and Giannis were part of FIBA EuroBasket 2022 last September. Despite an early elimination in the quarterfinals stage, Mavericks and Bucks superstars had a stellar tournament.

Doncic averaged 26.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, 6.6 assists, and 2.0 steals per game.

For his part, Giannis made the EuroBasket First Team after posting 29.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 4.7 assists.

 

Luka Doncic drops 51 vs. Spurs, averages 45.6 points over last five games

Luka Doncic is the first player in NBA history with 250 points, 50 rebounds, and 50 assists over a five-game span.

Luka Doncic scored 51 points, including two free throws with 4.5 seconds remaining, and the visiting Dallas Mavericks edged out the San Antonio Spurs 126-125 on Saturday to win their season-best sixth straight game.

It was the third 50-point game in the past five matches for Doncic, including 60 points, 21 rebounds, and 10 assists Tuesday night in an overtime victory over New York.

He’s the first player in NBA history with 250 points, 50 rebounds, and 50 assists over a five-game span.

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”It’s incredible,” Mavericks center Christian Wood said. ”In my seven years in the league, I’ve never seen anybody do what he’s able to do. He’s on an incredible run. He’s playing like an MVP. Clearly one of the best players in the league.”

”Not easy to win here,” Mavs coach Jason Kidd said. ”But, again, Luka was incredible. He bails us out again by missing the free throws as much as he wanted to make those free throws down the stretch, so that they didn’t have time to set up a play.”

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich jokingly vowed that Doncic would be held under 50 points. The Mavericks star almost played along.

”No, I just wanted to get a win,” Doncic said of his 51-point outing.

But 51 points was nice, right?

”Of course,” Doncic said amusingly.

He averaged 35.1 points in December, the highest scoring in any month in franchise history.

Doncic dominated San Antonio with his usual display of step-back, mid-range jumpers, 3-pointers, and free throws. He was 18 for 28 from the field, including 6 for 10 from downtown.

”Yeah, we had a good team effort and individual effort on him, but he’s an amazing player,” Popovich said. ”His IQ is off the charts. So, we would rather win than lose like everybody else in the world, but [I’m] really proud of their effort and the way they just kept going even after we got down whatever it was, 13, 14, I can’t remember.”

Goran Dragic is in his 15th NBA season since leaving Union Olimpija in 2008.

Apart from his time with the Slovenian national team, he last returned to Europe during the 2011 NBA lockout and played for Baskonia in Spain, but his stint there was short-lived.

Dragic then came back to the Houston Rockets and was a backup point guard for Kyle Lowry.

“I kind of miss the atmosphere of the European arenas,” he pointed out in an interview with Christos Tsaltas of SDNA.gr. “I’ve been playing for 15 years in the NBA and I’m used to it here. Every time I go back to Europe to play things are a bit different because the fans are more… crazy, in a good way. They always support you and bring positive energy.”

Playing for 15 years in the strongest basketball league, Dragic is more than capable of comparing the European basketball and NBA level.

“The distance is closing, but looking back, European players didn’t get a chance to play. Maybe there was no progress before. But now, we see that in positions 1, 4, and 5 European players dominate as never before. It’s really impressive,” he rejoiced.

In May, Dragic will turn 37 and will have 19 professional seasons under his belt.

As the Chicago Bulls guard says, he is open to any challenge. However, the NBA remains his priority.

“I still feel great. Basically, I feel much better this year than I have in the past two years. I have no injuries, I’m happy, I feel good and I want to play for a few more years. As long as I feel good, I will continue to play,” the Slovenian said, before expanding on whether the prospect of returning to Europe is in his mind.

“At the moment, I do not have the possibility of returning to Europe in mind. I want to compete with the best players in the world and I feel that the NBA is the best league,” he stressed.

“I will never say no, though. I’m leaving every door open, and I’ll see what the future holds for me,” Dragic concluded.

 

Luka Doncic scores 51 in Mavericks’ win to cap off historic five-game run

SAN ANTONIO — Dallas superstar Luka Doncic capped off a historic five-game run with 51 points and the Mavericks needed all of it to beat the San Antonio Spurs.

Doncic had two rebounds and two free throws in the final 4.5 seconds, helping Dallas escape with a 126-125 victory over San Antonio on Saturday night for their sixth straight victory.

It was the third 50-point outing in the past five games for Doncic, including 60 points, 21 rebounds and 10 assists Tuesday night in an overtime victory over the Knicks. He’s the first player in NBA history with 250 points, 50 rebounds, and 50 assists over a five-game span.

“It’s incredible,” Mavericks center Christian Wood said. “In my seven years in the league, I’ve never seen anybody do what he’s able to do. He’s on an incredible run. He’s playing like an MVP. Clearly one of the best players in the league.”

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Wood added 25 points in Dallas’ fifth straight victory over San Antonio.

Keldon Johnson had 30 points for Sam Antonio, Jeremy Sochan added 20 and Jakob Poeltl had 19 points and 15 rebounds.

After leading by 17 points, the Mavericks had to scramble in the final minute.

San Antonio guard Tre Jones was fouled by Dallas forward Davis Bertans after Jones intentionally missed the second of two free throws with the Spurs trailing 126-124. Jones then made the first free throw, but missed the second.

Doncic missed two free throws with 1.5 seconds to keep San Antonio from attempting a game-winning shot.

“Not easy to win here,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said. “But, again, Luka was incredible. He bails us out again by missing the free throws as much as he wanted to make those free throws down the stretch, so that they didn’t have time to set up a play.”

Jones finished with 18 points.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich jokingly vowed that Doncic would be held under 50 points. The Mavericks star almost played along.

“No, I just wanted to get a win,” Doncic said of his 51-point outing.

But 51 points was nice, right?

“Of course,” Doncic said with a huge smile.

The 6-foot-7 forward was stuck on 49 points for half the fourth quarter but made two free throws with 4.5 seconds to reach 50 points for the fourth time in his career

Doncic dominated San Antonio with his usual array of step-back, mid-range jumpers, 3-pointers and free throws. He was 18 for 28 from the field.

“Yeah, we had a good team effort and individual effort on him, but he’s an amazing player,” Popovich said. “His IQ is off the charts. So, we would rather win than lose like everybody else in the world, but (I’m) really proud of their effort and the way they just kept going even after we got down whatever it was, 13, 14, I can’t remember.”

Doncic had 22 points in the first quarter along with an assist, accounting for all but eight of the Mavericks’ points in the opening period.

 

Luka Doncic ends 2022 with 51 points for a historic December

Luka Doncic capped off a historic five-game run with 51 points. The Slovenian sensation had two rebounds and two free throws in the final 4.5 seconds, helping Dallas escape with a 126-125 victory over San Antonio for their sixth straight victory.

It was the third 50-point outing in the past five games for Doncic, including 60 points, 21 rebounds and 10 assists Tuesday night in an overtime victory over New York. He’s the first player in NBA history with 250 points, 50 rebounds, and 50 assists over a five-game span.

Plus Doncic scored 526 points across 15 games in the month of December, averaging 35.1 points per game. This was the highest scoring month by any player in franchise history.

French guard Frank Ntilikina added nine points in the win over San Antonio.

Poland’s Jeremy Sochan had 20 points for the Spurs and Austrian Jakob Poeltl had 19 points and 15 rebounds.

Croatian veteran sharp shooter Bojan Bogdanovic scored 28 points, including 17 in the third quarter as Detroit erased a double-digit deficit, and the Pistons got 65 points from their bench in a 116-104 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. French star Rudy Gobert had nine points and 10 rebounds for the losing side.

Tyler Herro made a 3-pointer as time expired to give the Miami Heat a 126-123 victory over the Utah Jazz who got 29 points by Finland’s pride Lauri Markkanen.

The rest of the games for the last day of 2022 in the NBA were the following, including European performances:

Indiana – LA Clippers 131-130 (Zubac 6 p. 7 r.)
Charlotte – Brooklyn 106-123 (Maledon 8 p. 3 as.)
Chicago – Cleveland 102-103 (Vucevic 11 p. 14 r. – Osman 12 p.)
Houston – New York 88-108 (Marjanovic 6 p. 3 r. Garuba 5 p. 8 r. – Fournier 8 p. Hartenstein 4 r.)
Memphis – New Orleans 116-101 (Valanciunas 6 p. 6 r. Hernangomez 11 p. 7 r.)
Oklahoma City – Philadelphia 96-115 (Korkmaz 7 p.)

 

NBA roundup: Luka Doncic posts 51 in win over Spurs

Luka Doncic poured in 51 points, including two free throws with 4.5 seconds remaining, and the visiting Dallas Mavericks outlasted the San Antonio Spurs 126-125 on Saturday to win their season-best sixth straight game.

The Mavericks led by 10 points after three quarters but San Antonio fought back, getting to within 112-111 after a pair of free throws by Jakob Poeltl with 5:29 to play. After Dallas rebuilt its lead to six points, the Spurs rallied again, getting a floater by Poeltl to cut their deficit to 121-119 with 2:09 left.

Another pair from the charity stripe by Poeltl closed the gap to one point with 1:34 remaining. Frank Ntilikina’s jumper extended the Mavericks’ lead to three points before Jeremy Sochan responded with two free throws with 20.2 seconds to play. Sochan then missed on a driving shot with 5.7 seconds left before Doncic’s game-sealing free throws.

San Antonio’s Tre Jones had a chance to tie the game but made just one of two free throws with 2.7 seconds to play. Christian Wood added 25 points for Dallas, with Tim Hardaway Jr. hitting for 14. Keldon Johnson led the Spurs with 30 points, while Sochan added 20. Poeltl racked up 19 points and 15 rebounds.

Heat 126, Jazz 123

Tyler Herro hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer off of one foot to lift Miami over Utah in a thriller in Salt Lake City.

Herro drove the length of the court and heaved up the off-balance game-winner after Utah’s Lauri Markkanen tied the game with three free throws with 6.1 seconds remaining. Bam Adebayo led all scorers with 32 points, adding eight rebounds, and Herro finished with 29 points, nine rebounds and six assists to help the Heat finish the calendar year in style.

Markkanen and Jordan Clarkson each hit three free throws in the final 14 seconds to tie the game late. But Miami closed it out despite not having a timeout to set up a final play. Markkanen led the Jazz with 29 points and 14 rebounds, and Clarkson netted 22 points in Utah’s fourth consecutive loss.

Pacers 131, Clippers 130

Myles Turner scored 34 points, Tyrese Haliburton added 24 points and distributed 10 assists and Indiana weathered a season-best 45-point performance from Paul George to down visiting Los Angeles.

Kawhi Leonard complemented George’s season high in scoring, adding 24 points with seven assists.

Indiana took a critical 126-125 lead inside the final minute when Haliburton converted a successful and-one. The Pacers led the remaining 57.4 seconds to preserve the win, their third straight and fifth in the last six games, thanks to 6-for-7 combined free-throwing shooting from Turner and Haliburton.

Cavaliers 103, Bulls 102

Caris LeVert scored 23 points and made a big defensive play to prevent DeMar DeRozan from hitting the game-winning shot as visiting Cleveland survived a rocky finish and held on for a victory over Chicago.

LeVert scored Cleveland’s last basket when his floater in the lane made it 103-96 with 2:03 remaining. DeRozan made a strong move to the hoop to make it 103-102 with 29.8 seconds left. The Cavaliers were called for a shot clock violation with 5.8 seconds remaining. DeRozan made a move to the baseline, but had to try a 15-footer over LeVert at the horn. The shot fell short.

Kevin Love added 20 points and nine rebounds for the Cavaliers, who survived a rough night from star Donovan Mitchell. DeRozan scored 11 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter for the Bulls. Ayo Dosunmu added 19 points and Zach LaVine 15.

Knicks 108, Rockets 88

Julius Randle scored 35 points, Immanuel Quickley and Quentin Grimes combined for 46 and New York snapped a five-game skid by beating host Houston.

Randle added 12 rebounds and six assists for the Knicks, who were without starters Jalen Brunson and RJ Barrett. Randle shot 9 of 20 overall and made five 3-pointers to pace what was a three-pronged offensive attack. Quickley finished with 27 points, five rebounds, seven assists and three steals.

The Rockets, who have dropped eight of nine, shot 37.7 percent for the game and committed 25 turnovers that the Knicks flipped into 37 points. Kevin Porter Jr. posted 23 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for the Rockets, while Jalen Green added 16 points but missed 8 of 12 shots.

Nets 123, Hornets 106

Kyrie Irving poured in 28 points and Kevin Durant had 23 as Brooklyn won its 11th game in a row by routing host Charlotte.

Brooklyn broke out to a double-digit lead in the first quarter and rode 60 percent shooting from the field for the game to cruise to the win. The Nets’ high-scoring duo had plenty of help as Nic Claxton and Royce O’Neale both racked up 14 points, Yuta Watanabe had 11 and T.J. Warren added 10.

LaMelo Ball’s 23 points and 11 assists and Mason Plumlee’s 22 points and 10 rebounds led the Hornets. They also received 16 points from Terry Rozier, 12 from P.J. Washington and 10 from Jalen McDaniels. Brooklyn outscored the Hornets 13-5 across the last 3 1/2 minutes of the third quarter to build a 97-79 advantage that it would never relinquish in the final frame.

Pistons 116, Timberwolves 104

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 28 points to lead seven players in double figures as Detroit rallied from an 18-point first-quarter deficit to beat Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Marvin Bagley III had 18 points and 10 rebounds. Saddiq Bey and Alec Burks scored 13 points apiece, and Hamidou Diallo added 12 for Detroit, which trailed by 14 at the half before Bogdanovic scored 17 points in the third quarter to help tie the game at 88-88.

Anthony Edwards scored 30 points to lead Minnesota, while D’Angelo Russell added 25 and Kyle Anderson had 12. The Wolves shot 10 of 34 (29.4 percent) from 3-point range and lost their season-high sixth straight game.

76ers 115, Thunder 96

Joel Embiid had 16 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for his first triple-double of the season and fifth of his career as Philadelphia beat host Oklahoma City.

Embiid added four blocks and a steal. Tobias Harris led the 76ers with 23 points on 10-of-17 shooting. Philadelphia snapped a two-game losing streak but has won nine of its last 11. Playing on the second night of a back-to-back, Philadelphia was without James Harden, Tyrese Maxey and P.J. Tucker.

Josh Giddey led the Thunder with 20 points on 9-of-15 shooting. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was just 4 of 15 from the field, finishing with a season-low 14 points. Luguentz Dort added 13 points, five rebounds and three steals. The Thunder have lost back-to-back games and three of their last four.

Grizzlies 116, Pelicans 101

Ja Morant scored 32 points, and Steven Adams had 21 rebounds and 10 points as host Memphis ended New Orleans’ five-game winning streak.

Desmond Bane added 18 points and Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 17 for Memphis.

Zion Williamson scored 20 points and Trey Murphy III added 15 for the Pelicans. CJ McCollum scored 10 on just 4-of-16 shooting, including 1 of 7 on 3-pointers, one night after setting a franchise record by making 11 treys.

 

“We’re asking too much of Luka Doncic”: Jason Kidd Concerned Over 6ft 7″ Point Guard Carrying The Weight of an Unhealthy Team ‘Alone’

The Dallas Mavericks made the best decision of the last decade by acquiring Luka Doncic from the Atlanta Hawks. The 23-year-old Slovenian has become the face of their franchise and he has just playing just his 5th season in the league. With his recent match winning performances, the whole world is finally acknowledging the menace he is on the court. However, one man is concerned by the exceptional offense of his superstar.

Apparently. Jason Kidd, who is the head coach of Dallas Mavericks, is concerned for Luka Doncic. The Mavericks have been unlucky this season. The team has not been the healthiest and it is showing. Kidd feels that the impact of this unhealthy squad is weighing heavy on Luka Doncic.

Jason Kidd worried about Luka Doncic

There is no denying the weight Luka is carrying at the moment. Without him, the Mavericks would have been a lot lower in the rankings they are now. But then, Luka is a certified fighter who wants to win more than anyone else, even if that means taking on the entire team’s scoring load.

In his last 5 games, the former Real Madrid prodigy is averaging 45.6 points per game. In just these 5 appearances, he has recorded three games with at least 50 points scored.

For Jason Kidd, though this is cause for celebration, it is also a cause for distress. The former Mavs player turned coach understands that no matter how good you are, scoring 50+ points so frequently will definitely take a toll on your body.

After defeating Gregg Popovich’s spurs, Jason Kidd noted that Luka desperately needs help.

Kidd: “We’ve got to get healthy here soon. We’re asking too much of Luka.”

The last thing the Mavs will want right now is Luka Doncic picking up an injury. Kidd’s concern is justified. Although it’s beyond exciting watching him register these mind blowing stats, it will also lead to exhaustion and injury if not eased soon enough.

Dallas Mavericks climb up to 4th spot in the Western Conference

By defeating the Spurs, the Mavericks have climbed up to the 4th spot. They are now one of the top 4 teams in the conference with 21 wins and 16 losses.

The sensational offensive output from Luka has kept this team in contention. But, as the trade deadline approaches, Mavs will need to find supporting players that can ease the pressure on their franchise’s later superstar.

 

Giannis’ Greece to play against Doncic’s Slovenia in the 4th of August 2023

Just before the start of the upcoming FIBA World Cup, the Greek national team featuring Giannis Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic’s Slovenia will meet for a prep game at the OAKA “Nikos Galis Hall” in Athens, Greece.

The announcement was officially made by the Greek national federation and everyone is already expecting a sold out. There’s no information yet about the date in which the tickets will go on sale.

This will be the first time that Giannis and Luka will be facing each other in the international game and it’s expected to be a game to remember, like the recent duel for the FIBA qualifiers in Belgrade between Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic when Serbia faced Greece.

Both Greece and Slovenia have already qualified for the upcoming FIBA World Cup 2023, despite two games left in the qualifiers.

 

Jasikevicius reflects on Barca’s highs and lows, names Mirotic’s biggest improvement

In an interview with SPORT, Sarunas Jasikevicius made the overall appraisal of the year 2022 for Barcelona. The Lithuanian coach expressed his wishes ahead of 2023 and referred to Nikola Mirotic’s impact on the team.

Sarunas Jasikevicius is celebrating his third Christmas holiday as coach of FC Barcelona. The Lithuanian coach lives with the rest of his players a saturated calendar in a period where most people take time off.

As both the ACB and the EuroLeague include non-stop games, Barca are trying to reach the decisive stretch of the season in the best possible way.

The numbers indicate that in 2022, the Catalan side fought until the very end in all the competitions played. They won the Copa del Rey in Granada, lifting their fourth cup title in five years, before coming up short in both the EuroLeague Final Four in Belgrade and in the ACB League Finals. On both occasions, it was Real Madrid who did not allow Barcelona and Jasikevicius to amplify their trophy case.

“In general terms, I am satisfied,” the Kaunas-born coach told Catalan outlet SPORT in a recent interview.

“What happens is that results and titles rule at Barca, and the two that hurt me a lot were the Final Four and then the ACB. We didn’t finish last season in the best way, and despite the fact that we spent more than eight months at a high level, we couldn’t finish it off. Looking at the entire season we have to be satisfied, but the club needs results, and we didn’t get them,” Jasikevicius pointed out.

The 46-year-old tactician reflected on the year’s best and worst moments. In terms of the latter, he mentioned the Final Four in Belgrade.

“We arrived at a good timing, we had the semifinal game against Real Madrid on track, but we lost control.”

By comparison, Saras’ happiest moment was in Granada, where Barca won the second consecutive Copa del Rey. “It was the importance of winning a title, and the way it was achieved, with us being almost 20 points behind on the scoreboard.”

Despite not being able to start the season, Nikola Mirotic has already joined the rest of the team. The Montenegrin forward, EuroLeague’s MVP in 2022, has already made his presence felt.

Jasikevicius thinks Mirotic needs to get well physically, first and foremost.

“For him, these first games and moments are like a preseason,” the Lithuanian expert commented. Saras expects his star player to “repeat what he achieved last year in which he had a phenomenal season- and not only because of his individual performance, but also by making other players better within our system.”

Saras emphasized that Mirotic’s impact is manifest not in his great numbers and scoring/PIR averages, but in how he helped Barcelona obtain results.

“That’s what’s truly important to me as a coach, and he also achieved it by doing his numbers and being important. I think a few years ago he didn’t do that,” he underlined.

The next EuroLeague Final Four will be played in Kaunas, Jasikevicius’ hometown. Saras guided his beloved Zalgiris to EuroLeague’s flagship event in 2018 and also won the title in 2003 with Barcelona.

Asked about what he would say to all the Barca fans who dream of winning a third EuroLeague trophy, Jasikevicius replied:

“That we also have the same dream. It’s the biggest goal that everyone has, but at the moment it’s quite far away. The teams that improve during the season are the ones that manage to get there in the best form. That progression should be our top objective right now, especially on a physical level due to the large number of injuries we’ve had and also in terms of pace.”

Sarunas Jasikevicius has several wishes ahead of 2023, which aren’t exclusively basketball or sport-related.

“At the family level, I always want my people to be healthy.

On a global level, we have to think about the Ukrainian War and be aware that it’s happening quite close to here and that it must stop now because people are dying.

And in terms of sports, people normally value titles, and I hope we can reach important events in the best possible way, and finish them off,” he concluded.

 

Punter opens up on relationship with Obradovic, highlights Italian culture

“Can we sometimes annoy each other? Definitely. … But we have a really great relationship. Whether it’s day or night, I can always call him and talk to him about whatever I want,” Punter said of Zeljko Obradovic.

Partizan Mozzart Bet Belgrade captain Kevin Punter arrived to the black-and-white team in the summer of 2021.

The main reason behind the transfer from Milan to Belgrade was an opportunity to work with nine-time EuroLeague champion Zeljko Obradovic.

The EuroLeague coaching legend invited Punter to Serbia and now serves as a full-time mentor for the American guard. Punter admits he can always rely on Zeljko’s bits of advice.

“We have a great relationship. Obradovic is an outstanding expert and person,” Punter said of his coach in an interview with Bojan Brezovac of Mozzart Sport.

“Can we sometimes annoy each other? Definitely. I’m sure he’s furious with some of my decisions on the court, and so am I. He sees some things from the side that I don’t see on the floor and vice versa.

“We have an honest relationship. A really great relationship. Whether it’s day or night, I can always call him and talk to him about whatever I want, about basketball, life, whatever. Obradovic is there and that’s something I greatly appreciate,” the 29-year-old added.

Captain’s and head coach’s great relationship transferred to the entire Partizan team.

“I haven’t been in too many teams like this. We are close. We joke, laugh, and sometimes even go out together. Good group of guys, really good,” Punter pointed out.

“We go through good and bad moments together. Zach [LeDay] is our most consistent player. Of course, I have known him for a long time. We also have Mathias [Lessort] who plays exceptionally well. I think it’s because of his work ethic and confidence. That’s basketball… confidence.

“Look at Anadolu Efes, they are back-to-back EuroLeague champions. Do you think they play something special and have tactics that have never been seen before? They play pick and roll and isolation, that’s it. What sets them apart is their great confidence,” Punter distinguished the particular aspect.

Like most growing kids who play basketball, Kevin Punter had one dream to fulfill – to play in the NBA.

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve only thought about the NBA. When I played at Tennessee, all I could think about was the NBA. However, a sobering moment came when I broke my foot. Then I had to think seriously and the next stop was Europe.

“I knew nothing about basketball in Europe and life in general. The first year was difficult, but then each next year became easier,” he recalled and then continued to highlight differences between the basketball in Old Continent and the United States.

“A game in the NBA regular season it’s more of an event to be seen. People put on the most beautiful suits, sunglasses, and jewelry. You have restaurants in the arenas, and the game itself is not in the foreground, but the whole event and the prestige of being a part of it. In Europe, it’s completely different, the fans are only interested in the game here, they react to every basket and every contact. Everyone knows that.”

Punter then specified two countries in Europe that are particularly crazy about basketball in a good way.

“Serbia and Greece are special countries in terms of fans and expectations. Let me tell you, I played in Italy, with all due respect to Italy, it’s a predictable country, great for a career, but everything is about a relaxing time there. No drama, no pressure, and no journalists waiting for you every game (laughs). I also played in Poland and Belgium, but Serbia and Greece definitely stand out,” he concluded.

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