MEXICO CITY – Sometimes, you have to come to places like this to be reminded of exactly what Dallas and the Mavericks have in Luka Doncic.

The superstar guard had been in Mexico barely a few hours and already he was the rock star of the NBA’s visit south of the border. Media members, probably more than 50 strong, gathered around him, hanging on his every Spanish syllable.

Security hovered on all sides.

The message Rick Carlisle has for everybody is: get used to it.

“He’s a lightning bolt everywhere,” Carlisle said. “This is not new territory for him or for us. He’s one of the most popular players in the world, one of the best players in the world, a blast to watch. He creates a lot of excitement wherever he goes. He’s a competitor and he’s a winner. That’s all the components of a guy that anybody would like to watch.”

Doncic and the Mavericks play the Detroit Pistons Thursday night at Mexico City Arena, also known as Arena Ciudad de Mexico. The Mavericks, and their 20-year-old Slovenian in particular, are in high demand.

They had a shootaround Thursday morning at the American School Foundation. Again, a small army of reporters were on hand to chronicle everything. Doncic is big in Dallas. He’s big in other NBA cities. He might be even bigger internationally.

Part of the appeal, of course, is his multi-lingual talents. He’s fluent in Spanish and English, as well as Slovenian and he could probably get by in a couple of other languages, too.

But, the bottom line is that it’s all about the basketball. And Mexico City, even though it is a soccer hotbed like most of Latin America, basketball has a strong following, particularly all things NBA.

Carlisle doesn’t get surprised by much of anything that happens in the NBA. He’s been around too long for that. But he knows that fans all over the world are excited about young new players who have elite talent like Doncic.

Part of Doncic’s growth is tied into Kristaps Porzingis, who also has been a huge draw in Mexico City, partly because he too speaks fluent Spanish. When a Mexico City reporter began asking a question in English, Porzingis was quick to inform her that he can do the interview in Spanish.

One of the biggest topics, of course, is how Porzingis and Doncic are meshing. Building chemistry doesn’t happen overnight and it’s a developing connection that the two are building.

“We got a young team getting better all the time, learning how to play with each other, learning the things that are important,” Carlisle said. “It’s obvious, day by day and week by week, that the synergy increases and gets better (between Doncic and Porzingis).

“And they’re two guys that complement each other very well. We’ve got a perimeter guy in Luka that’s a great playmaker and can play inside. And we got a guy in Kristaps who can do both things as well. That’s one of the reasons we were interested in doing the deal (that brought Porzingis to Dallas).”

Briefly: Carlisle said after Thursday’s shootaround that guard Delon Wright (strained right adductor) will not play against the Pistons. “He’s doing things,” Carlisle said. “He will not play tonight, but he’s doing better. He’s making progress.” Wright said he still considers himself day-to-day.

Twitter: @ESefko

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