Los Angeles Lakers rookie Ivica Zubac made quite an impression during Summer League back in July. Zubac was a force to be reckoned with on both ends of the basketball floor for the Lakers and quickly received comparisons to Memphis Grizzlies star Marc Gasol.
After his impressive performance during the Summer League, Zubac had Lakers fans buzzing about his potential. Although there’s no telling when the rookie center may see the floor with such a crowded frontcourt in Los Angeles, the Croatian import is working on all aspects of his game including a shot that no one has been brave enough to attempt in decades.
Unlike centers before him after Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Zubac is trying to bring back the skyhook that the six-time NBA champion made famous and virtually unstoppable during his two decades in the NBA. It’s early in the process of practing and using the skyhook, but Zubac may already be having some success, according to Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Watch out for Ivica Zubac’s skyhooks! Luke Walton said he’s been working on them w/ Bill Bertka & hit a couple during yesterday’s scrimmage
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) August 31, 2016
Zubac’s willingness to learn and use the skyhook is also a testament to his desire to be successful on the NBA level. Whether he can turn it into a reliable weapon in the post remains to be seen.
Reaching out to Kareem to ask for help in developing the once unblockable shot might not be a bad idea either. The skyhook was once the hardest shot to defend in the NBA with Kareem driving defenders trying to figure out ways to stop or contain the Lakers great.
At this point, Zubac may be forced to share time at the center position with Timofey Mozgov and Tarik Black. The recently signed Yi Jianlian may also make things difficult for the rookie to get some playing time if he’s able to make the final roster.
Although it remains uncertain if Zubac will get much time on the floor in his first season with the Lakers, the rookie could make a case for some minutes. The 19-year-old has already shown a polished skill set with solid fundamentals in Summer League which has convinced some that he’s another second-round steal for the Lakers.