The Los Angeles Lakers surprised some people when they selected Ivica Zubac, the young center out of Croatia, with the 32nd pick in the NBA Draft. However, Zubac silenced doubters during the Las Vegas Summer League, where he averaged 10.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, and a massive 2.6 blocks per game. He has a soft touch around the basket, and his ability to protect the rim appears to be exactly what the Lakers need.
Not only did Zubac’s performance draw rave reviews, but he also drew some stylistic comparisons to two-time NBA All-Star Marc Gasol. At Media Day, Lakers Nation caught up with Zubac and asked him what he thought about being compared to Gasol, and learned that the young center had studied the game the game through unconventional methods:
“Before people were telling me you are like Marc Gasol because you are kinda same style and everything,” Zubac told LakersNation.com. “I said ok, if everyone is comparing me to him then there must be some kind of truth. So I started watching his videos on YouTube and everything and started taking some moves from him…now everybody compares me to him…I was watching what he did, and I was trying to translate it to my game. I was watching a lot of Hakeem [Olajuown], so I was trying to include that in my game…I did the Dream Shake before in Europe, but I didn’t do that in a long time, but I’m gonna try. I have some moves.”
Zubac admitting that he learned moves off of YouTube only adds to his charm. Lakers fans have already embraced Zubac, who has said that he grew up watching the Lakers and is attempting to revive the sky hook. Additionally, he made a fantastic choice by studying Gasol and Olajuwon, two of the most skilled big men of their respective generations.
He still has a lot to work on, and Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak recently stated that he doesn’t anticipate Zubac playing much next season, but it appears that the Lakers may well have landed a solid piece for the future.