Luka Doncic is not kidding.
The 22-year-old superstar shone in his Olympic Games debut on Monday, scoring 48 points to lead Slovenia to a 118-100 victory over Argentina. He added 11 rebounds and 5 assists.
“For me, I said this two years ago: he is the best player in the world, including the NBA,” Argentine coach Sergio Hernández said after the game. “And if there was any doubt in my mind, I no longer have it. He is the best player in the world.
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“We tried everything we would have tried against a normal player, but he is not a normal player.”
With 48 points, Doncic finished just seven points behind the Olympic Games men’s basketball scoring record, set by Oscar Schmidt of Brazil in 1988.
“I don’t care about the records,” Doncic said. “We got a victory and that’s why we came here.”
It is no coincidence that Slovenia’s rise on the international basketball landscape coincides with Doncic’s own emergence. Before qualifying for the Tokyo Games in early July, the Slovenian men’s basketball team had never made it to the Olympics. Now with Doncic at the helm, Slovenia is a true candidate for the medal, especially with Team USA. looking like a shell of his usual dominant self.