Doncic said Kobe—who is already fluent in English, Spanish and Italian—took him by surprise by speaking to him in his native Slovenian:
In the game itself, Kobe's former club won its second game in a row on the heels of a four-game losing streak. Anthony Davis led the way with 23 points and nine rebounds, while LeBron James added 13 points, 13 assists and six rebounds. Doncic, meanwhile, finished with just 19 points on 5-of-14 shooting to go along with seven assists, four rebounds and six turnovers.
That represented one of Doncic's worst outings of the season, including his third-worst scoring output in 28 games. Overall, he is averaging 28.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 9.0 assists for the 21-11 Mavericks.
With Sunday's loss, the Mavs are now fifth in the Western Conference, and they trail the 26-7 Lakers by 4.5 games for the top spot in the West. However, Doncic won't have to wait long to redeem himself, as the Mavericks host the Lakers on Jan. 10.
He will have to be more patient for his next chance to speak with Kobe, though, since the Mavs don't have another road game against the Lakers on their regular-season slate.