Mark Cuban had plenty to cheer for on the first day of EuroBasket, as Luka Doncic's led Slovenia beat Lithuania, and Dirk Nowitzki was honored by the German basketball federation.

Credit: AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez
Credit AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez

Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks representatives flew to Germany to support Dirk Nowitzki at his national team jersey retirement ceremony. But they also managed to make the game of the Mavs superstar Luka Doncic in the EuroBasket 2022 opener vs. Lithuania.

"I love just watching Luka play, because he loves to play so much. It's always a joy because you see joy in his game," Mark Cuban told BasketNews at halftime of Slovenia's game.

Visits to Europe are nothing new for the Mavericks' owner. Last summer he came to Slovenia to pen a new supermax deal with Doncic.

"But coming out here is great because it's one thing when he plays for Mavs, and the whole another thing when he represents his country. I'm happy to see everybody from Lithuania, people from Slovenia and just all the excitement it brings," Cuban said.

Cuban enjoyed watching Luka dominate the NBA for the last four years. But following him on the FIBA court, he sees some differences in his game.

"Of course, there's more space in the NBA. There's a lot more contact here and everybody is just more physical. So he has to be more physical," Cuban noticed.

"Lithuania has big guys. You got Sabonis, Valanciunas. It's a battle out there in the paint. And that's a big difference from the NBA. There are no defensive three seconds," Cuban pointed out.

Slovenia beat Lithuania 92-85 in the EuroBasket opener, as Doncic had 14 points and 10 assists.

Cuban revealed that he had mixed feelings watching Doncic fighting against Lithuania in the EuroBasket 2022 opener.

"What you don't know is that I'm 25% Lithuanian. My grandma is from Darbenai. I got to root for Luka, but there's a part of me that if it's not Luka, I'm cheering for Lithuania," Cuban smiled.

What Cuban is also cheering for, is Dirk Nowitzki. The opening day of EuroBasket in Cologne, Germany, is dedicated for the German basketball legend.

His German national team jersey will be retired before Germany vs. France game on the opening night of EuroBasket 2022.

When asked about his favorite Dirk Nowitzki FIBA moment, Cuban remembered the most significant victories with the national team.

"I think when they got the bronze was the No. 1. How close they came the year before against Turkey was No. 2. But it's just the joy Dirk got playing for his country," Cuban revealed.

"I always appreciated that and just loved how hard he played. There's a lot of memories, but I think just watching him getting a medal because I know how important it was for him," Cuban pointed out.

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Luka Doncic

Luka  Doncic
Position: SG
Age: 23
Height: 201 cm
Weight: 99 kg
Birth place: Ljubljana, Slovenia