We have spent a lot of time on the road lately. Luckily for us, when you play for Real Madrid, it is totally different. They make sure everything is super-comfortable. We fly on a charter to every EuroLeague city and then in the Spanish League, we are in the biggest city, right in the center of the country, so we can take a train to almost anywhere in Spain. They make things easy for us. On some other teams, it is a lot harder, with airports in different cities. In Madrid, our facility is 10 minutes from the airport; we go straight to check-in and then to the charter flight. It is kind of easy and we have a great group of guys, so the time away from home goes faster. As for the charter, people usually sit in the same spots all the time, more or less like in the bus. People may change to play cards, but everybody has their iPads and computers to watch TV shows. Lately, in the last two months, we have started to play cards and play more games together. It’s been really fun and time flies.
We have been playing Uno a lot. We’re playing Uno because Luka Doncic said they had a better version of that in Slovenia. It is called "Ups!" It is similar to Uno, but instead of taking four cards, everyone takes five. It is even sneakier than the real Uno and we have a lot of fun. We play on all the trips. I would say Luka is the best player in the team, but maybe he is just the luckiest! It depends a lot on the cards you get, but Luka is really good. We are playing with two kids, Luka and Dino Radoncic, so there is a bit of bullying and trash talking; all in good fun, of course. Felipe Reyes never plays cards with us. He is addicted to TV shows and always on his iPad. It is crazy! He can finish a season of a TV show in just one trip!
We recommend TV shows to each other, too. We always talk about it. Nowadays you can download Netflix stuff to your computer or iPad and everybody watches the same TV shows. Santi Yusta and I like anime, too; we are more a bit of a geek, like everybody says. For instance, we all watched Stranger Things and Dark, which are similar. I really liked Dark very much. Felipe was watching La Casa de Papel, a Spanish series, on Netflix. We have been also talking about movies. Not everybody has seen it, but Get Out is very good. It is a horror movie and I really liked it. And Vikings! A lot of people are also watching the last series of Vikings. The next series I may be watching on Netflix is called The End of the F***ing World. Jaycee Carroll is watching it and he says it is great! Our Coach is watching a mafia series called Suburra. It is about Italian mafia, really entertaining. An Italian friend recommended it to me, too.
We were in San Sebastian, Spain, the other weekend, so some of us – Santi Yusta, Radoncic and myself – went to the movies, to watch this Spanish comedy called Perfectos Desconocidos. It was really good, with good Spanish actors. We liked it a lot. Santi recommended it. We get along very well and he is always in my room. Luka is my roommate, but Santi always comes to our room. I always bring some video games and the other day, I brought my computer and he came to our room. He stayed there for eight hours playing video games! Sometimes I have to kick him out because I have to be by myself! Santi is a really nice kid, always smiling and joking. Our young players always give us a lot of fresh air. In the morning, sometimes you see them doing some dance stuff, and it is fun. We need this on the team.
I have to say Luka is handling fame really well. It is insane sometimes. Just the other day, someone called our hotel and said he wanted to talk to Luka Doncic. The girl at the reception thought it was a friend of Luka, but it was a journalist looking for an interview. He called our hotel, to our room number, just to talk to him. A lot of people want pictures with him and I understand it because he may be the biggest star in the EuroLeague right now. Everybody has been talking about him since he was a very young age, but it is crazy. It is too much, but at the same time, Luka is doing a great job. He always takes time to sign jerseys, take pictures with fans... but at some point, sometimes he has to go, you know? He is humble and mature about all this. I believe that being around soccer guys like Cristiano Ronaldo helps. They know him and like him - and give him tips. Also, Luka sees them on TV, how they act. This is Real Madrid, so the media around the team is huge, but he is doing great.
We have great team chemistry and this will be a big weapon for us going forward. Some weeks, we spend more time together than with our own families. You have to get used to it, but we had a bad month in November, in which we were losing a lot. We got over it and managed to win 13 consecutive games in both of our competitions. Things are great now, but the team was also okay when it was losing and that shows a lot of character. We managed to stay the same and I am sure this attitude will help us throughout the season. Hala Madrid!