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Luka Doncic says leg injury is 'not okay,' but he played through it


Luka Doncic has been the best player during the 2023 FIBABasketball World Cup, and he's been doing it on one leg.

Doncic has been battling a leg injury since the second half ofthe 2022-23 NBA season and when asked about the injury, Doncic saidit's "not okay," per Sports Illustrated.

"I do not know what to say," Doncic said. "It's not okay. At thesame time, I have to prepare for one more game, and then for awhole season in the NBA."

Doncic has been incredible throughout the World Cup, becomingthe first player with 200+ points, 50+ rebounds and 40+ assists ina single World Cup over the last 30 years. Through eight games, heaveraged 27 points, 7.1 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 2.5 steals pergame.

Even though Slovenia had no chance of winning a medal, hedecided to continue playing and led the team to a seventh-placefinish.

"There was no question at all [I would continue playing],"Doncic said. "As I have said manytimes, whenever I can, I will play for the national team. There isno question for me. The crowd here is cheering for us, so theatmosphere is really great."

Luka Doncic came two dimes short of theWorld Cup's first-ever triple double to power Slovenia's win overItaly and earn TCL Player of the Game honors 👏📊 29 PTS | 10 REB | 8 AST | 3 STL | 32 EFF#FIBAWCx #WinForSlovenia 🇸🇮 | #InspireGreatness

— FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 🏆 (@FIBAWC) September 9, 2023

When asked about staying motivated even though Slovenia couldn'twin a medal, Doncic replied: "It shouldn't be difficult. It's theWorld Cup after all. We made it to the top-eight. I don't see whythat would be difficult. Playing basketball is already a greatmotivation for me, especially for the national team."

Doncic could have pulled out of the World Cup to recover, butrepresenting his country on a big stage is clearly important tohim.

It remains to be seen if Doncic's leg will continue to botherhim as he suits up with the Dallas Mavericks throughout the 2023-24NBA season.

Doncic is coming off a monster season with Dallas in which heaveraged 32.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, 8.0 assists, 2.8 threes and 1.4steals, while shooting 49.6% from the field, 34.2% from three-pointrange and 74.2% from the free-throw line.

However, the Mavericks struggled as a team, finishing the yearwith a 38-44 record (11th-best in the Western Conference), causingDallas to miss the play-in tournament. Now, with a full season ofthe Doncic and Kyrie Irving one-two punch, a return to thepostseason is expected.

Doncic will have about three weeks to rest before the Mavs'training camp gets underway.

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