Goran Dragic has left the door open for the tale to be continued at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 after coming out of international retirement and rejoining the Slovenian national squad for FIBA EuroBasket 2022.
“Neither “no” nor “yes” came out of my mouth. At this point, I have no idea. How my body reacts is the deciding factor. Right now, I’m in a limbo state. Now, we will see “In an interview with FIBA.basketball, Dragic shared his thoughts. Currently, we are in the midst of World Cup qualifying for the national squad.
Although Slovenia now sits in third place in Group J with a 5-3 record, only two games behind of the group-leading combo of Germany and Finland, the following window of European Qualifiers will not be easy.
Without Dragic and many other leaders, Slovenia will first fly to Israel and then host Germany.
In order to qualify, “the other players are going to have to perform a pretty excellent job,” Dragic added, referring to the next games against Germany and Israel. The next step is to become fit and hungry again.
After guiding Slovenia to a historic victory at FIBA EuroBasket 2017 and earning the MVP award, the 36-year-old originally resigned from the national team.
“Winning this trophy for my nation means the world to me. One of the joys of my career was getting to play in front of our supporters. I’m simply glad we brought home the gold; it was our country’s first medal in basketball. That’s a very large deal, “The thought came back to him.
If the Dragon had been in retirement, what would have prompted him to emerge?
“Medal, very certainly a medal,” said Dragic. “To aid Luka Doncic and the rest of the team, I returned. It didn’t work out, but that’s okay. As an athlete, you need to know that there are moments when you must accept defeat and grow from the experience. If we get to the World Cup again, maybe things will go better.”
According to Dragic, it was a “disaster” that Slovenia was eliminated by Poland in the quarterfinals of the EuroBasket 2022.
“In my opinion, we had a squad worthy of a medal, therefore our loss stings all the more. That, though, is the charm of the competition. Each game requires 100% preparation and 100% performance. One loss and you have to go back to your own country. Just like that, something occurred to us “To quote Dragic:
The veteran added that with Doncic, Slovenia now enters every competition with the expectation of making a deep run.
“With Luka on board, we can (and should) raise the bar a little bit. Now that we’ve broken the ice, we should be competing annually for the top rankings “His words.
However, Dragic said that Doncic needed to increase his leadership presence for Slovenia to continue to have great victories.
“In my opinion, he needs to take the reins and lead. He’s a natural leader on the court, but he has to step up and take charge in the locker room, too “To quote Dragic:
Perhaps in the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup, Dragic will be available to assist Doncic in this regard.
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