Young Ivica Zubac Becomes Los Angeles Lakers Sensation

Daniela Rogulj

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The Los Angeles Lakers are no less glamorous than Hollywood, and the current star of this basketball blockbuster is the young Croatian center Ivica Zubac. 

Los Angeles Lakers’ 21-year-old Croatian center Ivica Zubac is the talk of Los Angeles after a series of impressive performances for the popular NBA club, reports on December 26, 2018.

Zubac found a place among the Lakers starting five in the last three games and averaged 17.6 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.6 blocks in 31.3 minutes on the court. In the Lakers’ most recent match on Christmas, which is traditionally a hit day of the NBA season, Zubac and his team defeated the NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors – but that’s not all. Zubac was among the most deserving of the convincing Lakers victory.

In addition to the stats he’s achieved, Zubac has won over Lakers fans with his style of play. A good part of Zubac’s baskets are scored by powerful dunks that have earned him comparisons with the legendary Shaquille O’Neal – and the way he blocks is another story. 

Opponents must think twice when they see Zubac under the basket – and his barriers are big stars such as Anthony Davis, the best center of the whole league, and Draymond Green, a starting member of the champion Warriors team. 

In addition to his performance on the court, there is always the story of ‘the underdog’, an outsider who, with hard work and patience, waits for their five minutes of glory. Zubac, until now, was the third center who rarely saw any playing time, but he used the injuries and illnesses of the team’s standard high-ranking players, grabbed the opportunity and took significant advantage of their absence on the court. 

Lakers fans have been sympathetic to Zubac ever since he first put on the gold jersey two years ago. This is evidenced by the many nicknames the Croatian Center has received in Los Angeles: Zublock, Zupac (a play on Tupac), Zu Alcindor (Lew Alcindor – the first name of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar).

Now, Zubac has the right opportunity to show what he knows on the court to become an even bigger hit. The Lakers have a long tradition of great centers – and some of the best players in basketball history played for the Lakers in that position. Recall, it goes all the way back to Mr. Basketball, the first NBA superstar and player of Croatian descent, George Mikan, to Will Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Shaquille O’Neal, all the way to Spaniard Pau Gasol.

After Zubac’s great performances recently, many Lakers fans have pushed their praise even further and are comparing the Croat to Shaq. You can see their accolades below. 

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