If Luka Dončić had his way, the Mavericks would play more games like Sunday’s against Sacramento.

Not just because it was a victory, although he’d sign off on that, too.

But mostly, he was thrilled that it was a 2:30 p.m. tipoff, Dallas time. That meant that his countrymen and women back in Slovenia could watch it in prime time, starting at 9:30 in Lujbljana, Slovenia.

“I think this is amazing,” Dončić said. “Every time we play an early game, it’s the best for me. I really appreciate it. I think the NBA can do more of this on game days. It’s amazing for people from my country. They can watch and don’t have to stay up (too) late. It’s really amazing that they can watch it.”

The NBA is well aware that their global presences is important. The league had 107 international players on opening-day rosters from 39 countries, many of them in European time zones.

To that end, the league has scheduled games that will air in prime time in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Sunday’s game against the Kings was shown in 172 countries, according to the NBA.

In Slovenia, the NBA’s Saturday regular-season games that featured the Mavericks last season drew an average audience 216 percent larger than all other 2020-21 NBA weekend telecasts that did not feature the Mavericks.

That did not surprise coach Jason Kidd, who said there is more than one big draw for European fans.

Kidd went to Slovenia this summer to visit Dončić and he had Dirk Nowitzki tag along with him.

“Luka’s a rock star, for sure,” Kidd said. “It’s funny, the older rock star is a rock star, too – Dirk. You can’t go to lunch with him anywhere in public. And that was the first time for me being with him in Europe and understanding the magnitude of who Dirk is in Europe. So that was actually very cool to see that Dirk is a rock star.”

And the German connection has continued for the Mavericks with Maxi Kleber, who like Nowitzki is from Wurzburg.

The Mavericks were featured in the two most-viewed regular season games in Germany in 2020-21.

They also drew an average audience 258 percent larger than all other 2020-21 NBA games on Saturday and Sunday in Latvia, Kristaps Porzingis’ home country.

The Mavericks have three other Sunday afternoon games scheduled this season.

Twitter: @ESefko

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