Los Angeles Lakers rookie Ivica Zubac has been a fan favorite since the day he was drafted to the purple and gold. Although not many (if any) fans knew anything about the seven-foot Croation when the Lakers announced his name with their 32nd pick, he quickly found his way into their hearts.
It started when he gushed about his extreme Laker fandom while on a speaker phone conference call with the L.A. media, where he admitted he was up until the wee hours of the morning watching Kobe Bryant’s final game. It grew when he admitted he had both Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum jerseys, to go along with his Bryant jersey.
From there, Zubac gave fans a glimpse of his potential at NBA Summer League, and his nickname “Zublocka” became an immediate hashtag. Once the regular season hit, Zubac went back and forth between the Lakers and the D-Fenders, while fans wondered when they would see more of Zubac.
On Tuesday night against the Denver Nuggets, fans finally saw it: 13 rebounds, 11 points and three blocked shots, becoming the third-youngest Laker (19 years, 305 days) to record a double-double, behind just Andrew Bynum and D’Angelo Russell. If you were at that Laker game, you heard “ZUUUUUUUUUU” chants from the stands.
Well, “Zu” isn’t his only nickname. Zubac told us his teammates have given him thousands of nicknames. Watch as Larry Nance Jr. tells you his favorites in the video below.