Luka Doncic, Slovenia Eliminated from Olympic Qualifiers by Another International All-Star

Slovenia superstar and Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Dončić will not participate in this year’s Paris 2024 Olympic games. On Saturday, Dončić and Slovenia were eliminated from Olympic contention by Greece and Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, 96-68.

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Dončić will get his first taste of rest after playing a lot between the regular season and playoffs. The 25-year-old scored a game-high 21 points, grabbed seven rebounds and five assists. However, it wasn’t enough to put his home country over the top as Antetokounmpo dropped 13 points and four rebounds. Thomas Walkup scored a team-high for Greece with 19 points. The elimination came after Slovenia suffered its second Group Phase loss.

Dončić didn’t sugarcoat his and his team’s performance after the blowout loss.

“They played way better than us. They were way more aggressive,” Doncic said. “I think they have an amazing team. Obviously, they have Giannis. But other pieces are very important for them too. And they’re very well-coached. … They outplayed us today.”

Luka Dončić
Slovenia’s Luka Doncic reacts during the 2024 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament semifinal basketball match between Greece and Slovenia at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Athens, on July 6, 2024. Dončić and Slovenia have been…

ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images

In three games in the group stage, Dončić scored a total of 83 points, 29 rebounds, 25 assists, and three steals while shooting 38.7 percent from the field and shooting 8-for-30 from three (26 percent).

Slovenia will miss this year’s games after finishing fourth in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. This is a significant setback for the team after making their first-ever Olympic berth in 2020, and Dončić was selected to the tournament All-Star team.

Greece has advanced to the semifinal round, where they will face Croatia. The winner of that game will clinch a berth to the Paris Olympics.

It’s been a tough go for Dončić, individually speaking, in the last handful of weeks. After leading the Dallas Mavericks to their first NBA Finals in 13 years, he and his team fell short against the eventual champions, the Boston Celtics. The Mavericks lost in the NBA finals in five games. In five games against the Celtics, Dončić averaged 29.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 5.6 assists while shooting 47.2 percent from the field and 24.4 percent from three.

Although Dončić fell short, his sixth season in the NBA may have been his best. He made his fifth consecutive All-NBA First Team and All-Star team and was the NBA scoring champion for the first time in his career, averaging a career-high 33.9 points. Dončić also finished in the top three of the NBA MVP voting.

In such a short amount of time, Dončić has established a Hall of Fame-type career already.