DALLAS - From exercise to practice to diet - “He practically does not eat anything except what we cook for him,” Slovenian trainer Jure Drasklar says - Luka Doncic is readying for a return to the Stares and a post COVID-19 hiatus return to the NBA.
But that doesn’t mean the Dallas Mavericks star is fully ready - yet.
“We have been working together for the last three weeks. Luka was previously in quarantine and trained individually at home,” says Drasklar, who works with fellow Slovenian Doncic and is Khimki Moscow Region’s strength and conditioning coach. “The last three weeks we have been working hard to prepare him for the resumption of the NBA season.”
Via a visit with EuroHoops.net, Drasklar mentions that Doncic is not yet in NBA-playing shape - and much will be made of that, we know. But the trainer expounds on that, citing the fact that 2019-20 NBA season having been suspended in response to the Coronavirus pandemic will leave every player in a similar circumstances as they convene for a mini-training camp and then re-start the season in Orlando at the end of July.
"Most players struggle to stay in shape (in this circumstance),'' he says. "Doncic is no exception. ... He is not in the best shape, which is normal. NBA games will not be played before the end of July, so there is enough time to help him recover and get ready,”
But, Drakslar adds, "Luka is improving every day. He puts in a lot of effort. He has completely dedicated himself to be ready. ... However, he undoubtedly would be ready to play right now.''
Translation? The reigning Rookie of the Year and 2020 All-Star, who is having an MVP-level second season with averages of 28.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 8.7 assists per game, is fine - and preparing to be even more fine.
“The next step is returning to the States and "begin practicing with his teammates,'' the trainer says. “Training alone is not enough ... He can play with his group of countrymen in Slovenia, but it is not like training alongside his teammates in Dallas.''
Oh, and about that diet ...
“We have taken full control of Luka’s food,” Drasklar says. “We have a whole plan, our own cook who prepares meals based on my instructions. Doncic practically does not eat anything except what we cook for him.”