What to Know
- The Mavericks moved up two spots in the NBA draft to get Slovenian guard Luka Doncic.
- Doncic signed with Spain's Real Madrid at age 13 and made his Euroleague debut as a 16-year-old.
- Doncic's nicknames include Matador, Cool Hand, The Don, Wonder Boy, Swaggy L
At the Dallas Mavericks "Hangar" team store in the American Airlines Center, evidence of "Luka-mania" is everywhere.
"We're ordering Doncic items by the thousands," said Mavericks vice president of merchandise and brand identity Alison Panasik. "He is truly an international sensation."
The 19-year old rookie is playing like an All-Star and selling merchandise like a superstar.
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"For NBAStore.com he's the second-highest selling player behind only LeBron (James)," said Panasik. "For us in the arena, he makes up 25 percent of our overall Dallas Mavericks business, and he's 50 percent of our player business."
Since Doncic's arrival last spring, the Llubljana, Slovenia, native has also dramatically increased DallasMavs.shop's international sales to the point the organization is renegotiating its overseas shipment strategy. Simply put, the Mavericks are ready to capitalize on just about anything Luka.
"We have a 'Luka-mania' t-shirt coming, a 'Luka magic' shirt too," said Panasik. "We also have rookie of the year gear coming, because we're pretty sure he's going to win rookie of the year."
Rookie of the year gear that can serve as a reminder that while "Luka-mania" is in full swing in Dallas, it is still just getting started.