DALLAS - It would be a grand tribute to Luka Doncic. But Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban surely knows it would also be a grand way to invite even more of an entire continent to embrace the Mavs as "Europe's NBA team.''
Cuban is exploring ways to play preseason games overseas in future seasons, with the most obvious reason being to pay homage to Mavs MVP candidate Doncic, a native of Slovenia.
Cuban tells our pal Marc Stein of the New York Times that he is visiting with league officials on the concept, which could mean Mavs games against Doncic’s former Euroleague club, Real Madrid, as well games staged as in Luka’s home country.
The 21-year-old Doncic was an international superstar, of course, before he ever arrived in Dallas. During his days with Real Madrid, he became the youngest player to ever win Euroleague MVP as an 18-year-old in 2018. Since then, of course, he's spent just over two years in the NBA, and was named Rookie of the Year in his first season, becoming first-team All-NBA in his second season (averaging 28.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists) and this year, leapfrogging over Giannis and LeBron as the league's top MVP candidate.
This year he is averaging 26.1 points, 10.1 rebounds and 9.5 assists in 13 games, and in many ways continuing to pick up the baton passed to him by retired Dallas icon Dirk Nowitzki, a native of Germany, who was an is such an ambassador to the game that his Mavs became a favorite of European fans.
Cuban gets this. The Mavs have a chance to reap the rewards of employing Doncic, who would surely embrace the idea ... and European fans would have a chance to be rewarded by seeing Luka in person.