Lakovic is a general on the floor, a veteran who has seen it all. This year with Barcelona, he finally won the Euroleague in Paris, a competition he’s been playing for the past nine years - a tremendous accomplishment.
With Barcelona this season, Lakovic was a back-up point guard for young superstar Ricky Rubio.
This was a new role for him. He’s used to be the first option leading the team. But there was so much talent in this Barcelona team that he had to let go some responsibilities. However, this summer in Turkey, he is going to once again be the leader of this Slovenian squad.
Last year at EuroBasket 2009, no player was more important for his team than Lakovic was for Slovenia. He spent more than 37 minutes per game on the floor! By far, this was the most minutes played in the competition.
Last summer in Poland, Jaka played his best tournament ever with the national team harvesting 14.0 points and 3.8 assists. But there is one significant thing the stats can’t tell. When the game is on the line, Slovenia puts the ball in the hands of Lakovic. At EuroBasket 2007, it was mainly because of his three-point shooting in the second half that Slovenia fought back against France to win the game for 7th place.
Last summer, against Serbia in the semi-final, at the end of the overtime, with 12 seconds on the clock and his team trailing by 4, he’s the one, with his only three-pointer of the game that kept the hope of a final alive.
Slovenia eventually lost and they also lost the bronze medal game against Greece but the point guard of Barcelona had given everything he could.
For this competition, Erazem Lorbek, leader scorer in 2009 won’t be here and so more than ever, Lakovic is going to be the main man for the Slovenian team.
And he is going to have to face two challenges.
Firstly, welcoming and making the new head coach, Becirovic, comfortable and secondly, the team is going to need as much talent as it can put on the floor at the same time, so Lakovic and Goran Dragic have to find a way to play together.