MIAMI — Goran Dragic will walk away from the international basketball stage with a gold medal.
After posting on social media last month his intention to retire from international play following this year’s EuroBasket, Dragic went out and made sure his last few games with the Slovenian national team were memorable ones. But the one Dragic is probably going to remember the most came Sunday when he led Slovenia to gold in a 93-85 win over Serbia in the EuroBasket championship.
The Heat point guard finished with 35 points on 12-of-22 shooting to go with seven rebounds and three assists. With the offensive outburst, Dragic set a new record for most points scored in a single game in the history of the Slovenian national team, according to Eurohoops.net.
The 31-year-old Dragic, who was named the MVP of this year’s EuroBasket, averaged a team-high 22.6 points to lead Slovenia to a perfect 9-0 record in the tournament.
Slovenia’s championship EuroBasket run means Dragic won’t have much time to rest his body before the start of Heat training camp. Miami will have its media day at AmericanAirlines Arena on Sept. 25 and the first day of training camp is set for Sept. 26, with the regular-season opener set for Oct. 18 against the Magic in Orlando.
This is Dragic’s fifth appearance at EuroBasket. Playing with the Slovenian national team has been a big part of Dragic’s summer routine during his NBA career, as he repeatedly said playing in the EuroBasket qualifiers last summer helped him have a standout 2016-17 season with the Heat.
With just one week separating the EuroBasket final and Heat media day, the hope is that this tournament will help keep Dragic sharp and in shape for the NBA season rather than fatigue Dragic before the NBA season even begins.
And the good news for the Heat is that Dragic stayed healthy and came out of the tournament without a major injury.