How Luka Doncic changed the press in Slovenia

Let’s not take it back! », requires Ekipa. In the September 1 issue, the main Slovenian sports daily unsurprisingly made its front page Luka Doncic and Goran Dragic. The 36-year-old leader holds in his hands the European trophy he won in 2017, which the Slovenian nation, favorite in the media Euro 2022 tournament, intends to bring back to its homeland.

The small country of two million people is once again preparing to live by the exploits of its national team, which reached the unfortunate semi-finals at the Tokyo Olympics. Five years ago, Luka Doncic was 18 years old and had not played a single NBA game yet. Today, he is one of the main figures in this European competition and the entire basketball planet.

The rise of her sporting power coincided with media coverage that became exceptional year after year. It seems a long time ago when Real Madrid “protected” its small mass of journalists until he came of age. ” As soon as he turned eighteen, they organized an “information day” for the Slovenian media. We’ve seen that the number of clicks matters ”, recalls Aljaz Vrabec, a journalist for the daily newspaper Delo (equivalent to Le Monde in Slovenia), who joined american basketball.

This is still nothing compared to what was to follow. ” Slovenian sports media entered the era of modern sports journalism with Luka, and we probably wouldn’t have entered without him ”, officially confirms Andrei Milikovic. The journalist at Ekipa is still thinking about Tottenham’s 2005 NBA title, with his compatriots Racho Nesterovic and Beno Udre in their ranks. But social networks were rarely present at that time.

A team that follows it 24 hours a day!

In 2018, the Doncic phenomenon left Spain to reach the United States and its big league. Whoever says crossing the Atlantic, says time zone change – Slovenia is in the same region as France – and reorganization within the editorial board.

Its matches in Europe can only be accessed at night. Now we have to feed the audience early in the morning. ” We saw that people weren’t ready to get up at 2:30 or 3 in the morning to watch the live stream, because many people start work at 6:30 or 7 in the morning. But they were for getting up at 5 or 6 in the morning and spending half an hour watching the highlights and reading the latest reactions. Andrei Milikovich reports.

The latter adds: It was absolutely ideal to have such a phenomenon on our site. We were able to generate incredible traffic in tough times. Luca’s first two NBA seasons in particular were exceptional In terms of audience.

So much so that the Specialist still leads a specialized team of several people responsible for scrutinizing player news and Mavs… almost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! The purpose of the process: to produce as much content as possible. ” The summary of the match is not that important. These are the reactions, the little things, very short information. To be very frank, there is a lot of clickbait out there but it works. This is not high quality journalism ”, admits Andrei Milikovich.

Available for Slovenian media

But the audience wants more because it only seems to have eyes for Luca. ” People click when you put Luka in the title “Jazz Frapik simply notes. Cycling stars Tadej Pogacar and Primoz Roglic also have a great online reach, but there is nothing to compare.” When Pogacar wins the Tour de France, he can reach 70 or 80% of Luka’s best in the crowd evaluates Andrej Miljkovic of Ekipa, whose numbers have surged further with the Mavs’ long run in the 2022 qualifiers, buoyed by a ‘trashtalking’ streak between Doncic and Devin Booker.

Same enthusiasm on TV. ” When comparing overnight viewership, Dallas games were watched 70% more than the average game viewer Tilin Lamotte, NBA commentator for the Slovenian channel Arena Sport.

Ekipa does not have anyone on site but regularly sends reporters to Dallas, arranging two to three trips for several weeks each season. Every time Andrej Miljkovic goes there, his compatriot is available even if the Mavs master, more comfortable playing than talking, is not a fan of long interviews.

He was allowed to speak in Slovenian, in the changing room before Covid, it was easy to joke with him, make videos…we can do whatever we want with him, he’s great. Now press conferences are the only way to talk to him, even while he’s on site. He answers two or three questions in Slovenian, the rest in English Journalist details.

criticize him? Forbidden ” !

The latter, like his interviewed counterparts, does not hide the fact that sometimes it is difficult to write negative things about the star of an entire nation. ” It is not easy to be objective with a national hero, but our role is to remain that way and say what we see. If he loses six balls in a game, we can’t ignore it. If he defends poorly, you have to say something. I think this is true, because he knows Judge Tellin Lamott.

But beware of the possible backlash…” We are in a position where criticism is not allowed because the public will kill you as a journalist or as a media person, such as “Leave him alone!” Andrej Miljkovic notes, before taking the eloquent example of recent work in the semi-finals of France and Slovenia during the last Olympics.

We all noticed he should have taken the last shot, and it was Rudy Gobert, and he should have played with him. “Instead, Luka Doncic preferred to serve his teammate Clement Prieblic who left in a breakthrough, and ran to the wall Nicholas Batum for a counter that will be remembered.” People in Slovenia said, “Wow, he gave a great ball.” This was not the case. But after everything he’s done, in competition, in the NBA… You can’t stop there and say it’s Luca’s fault if we don’t beat France to go to the final. »

Aljaz Vrabec has another example in mind: Primoz Roglic’s 2019 move to Monte Carlo, known for being a beneficial tax ground. The case had caused an uproar in the country. ” And the audience was angry with the journalists: “You are so jealous of him, leave him alone. He can do whatever he wants, it’s his money!” Implicitly, the audience reacted the same way in a similar situation with the basketball player. ” With Luka, people would be angry if he said he didn’t want to play for the national team for example. »

This is not the case as he has shown loyalty to the Slovenian shirt for years. And individual and group performances do not stop. ” You also get used to being criticized for criticizing her. Thankfully, it didn’t give us many opportunities to do that and I hope it stays that way! “I wish Tilen Lamut would come to an end.

in Ljubljana.

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