The Sacramento Kings’ Bogdan Bogdanovic and Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic were nominated for the All-Decade Euroleague team yesterday. Two of the European stars who are currently making their way in the NBA left a massive trace in the top continental competition.
Both of them won the Euroleague title, and both were the leading players in their respective teams.
Bogdanovic played for two clubs during his five-year tenure in the league. He became widely known while appearing for the Serbian powerhouse, and one of the biggest overseas teams, Partizan Belgrade. Along with other players who later entered NBA such as Davis Bertans, Joffrey Lauvergne, Jan Vesely, Bogi was exciting the crowds all over Europe under the leadership od a legendary head coach Dusko Vujosevic. That earned him the Euroleague Rising Star award at the end of that campaign.
He would leave Partizan to join Fenerbache, where he won another Rising Star award, establishing the Turkish side as one of the most dominant on the continent. In three years there, he reached Final Four tournament each time and eventually won the title in 2017, earning the spot in the All-Euroleague team and finishing as the Finals Top Scorer.
“During his five seasons in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague, it was abundantly clear that Bogdan Bogdanovic was born to be on a basketball court. His combination of shooting purity and competitive fire was not only rare and entertaining, but also earned his place in Euroleague history,” stated on the competition’s website while explaining Bogi’s nominee.
Bogdanovic is arguably the best European shooter at the moment, and according to inside sources from the league, he is the No.1 candidate for winning the Sixth Man of the Year award up until now. So far, he is averaging 14.8 points per game with 4.7 assists, 1.3 steals in 27.5 minutes. His numbers were especially high since De’Aaron Fox picked up an injury and during Sacramento’s streak of good performances.
As for Luka Doncic, he played three seasons for Real Madrid and succeeded Bogdanovic as the guy who won two consecutive Rising Star awards in 2016 and 2017. Luka led Real to the title in 2018, becoming the youngest ever MVP of the season, with just 19 years of age. He was also the Final Four MVP and a member of the All-Euroleague First Team. The Slovenian single-handedly led his side to the trophy, despite all odds, as nobody saw Real winning the title besides Fenerbahce and CSKA Moscow.
“No player this century had such an impact on the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague at so young an age as Luka Doncic did over three seasons this decade,” the league described him and his influence. “Doncic became a supernova who achieved as much as any player – let alone a teenager – possibly can in so short a time.”
After he arrived in the NBA, Luka immediately established himself as one of the biggest sensations ever. He won Rookie of the Year award pretty easily and is now probably among the top three candidates for taking the MVP award at the end of the season. His Dallas Mavs are among the top teams in the Western Conference, and Luka’s incredible performances are the key reasons for that. He already showcased why many believe that he might overshadow all other players who came fro Europe and become one of the best ever individuals in the NBA.