Two days after Goran Dragić made Slovenia's basketball fans happy with his decision to play for the National Team, its team Captain (2010-2013) Jaka Lakovič announced he would not be participating in the 2014 World Cup. He had already alluded that Eurobasket 2013 would be his last national competition, back in September. At almost 36 he figures his body is getting old and needs the summer rest. His professional career is not yet over and by taking some time off, he should be in much better playing condition for next season with his Italian club Scandone.
During his 12 years with the team, he participated in 7 Eurobasket tournaments, 2 World cup series and other qualifying and preparation games. His official number of games played for Slovenia is higher than any other, adding up to 86 (official) games of wearing the green jersey. Through the years he has become a sort of symbol of Slovenian basketball, helping raise the team to an international level of competition and leading the charge to its best 4th place at the Eurobasket 2009 in Poland.
Though saying his resignation from the team felt like getting out of a years long relationship, having his last performances be on home court in front of the best (Slovenian) fans was the greatest ending he could have imagined. Jaka will be missed and remembered as one of the heroes of Slovenian basketball. He has also said he would consider coaching after he retires and wouldn't it be just the perfect fit for him to coach the national team at some point.
Though nothing is official yet, I expect Goran Dragić to be named team captain, since both he and coach Zdovc have said the team will be built around him.
I will leave you with this CLUTCH 3 pointer that won the game against Italy in the 2007 Eurobasket (and as a bonus you can see a brace wearing Gogi - nothing stopped the Dragon even then).
Jaka Lakovic buzzer-beater