The LA Clippers’ Ivica Zubac has been making a name for himself in the NBA as a reliable center and an integral part of the team’s roster. While the Clippers’ aspirations for an NBA title largely rely on the health of the team’s star players, Zubac’s improvement and contributions on the court have not gone unnoticed. Recently, Clippers’ head coach Tyronn Lue referred to Zubac as a “baby Nikola Jokic,” drawing comparisons to the Denver Nuggets’ star center. The comment brought laughter from Zubac, who remains focused on the upcoming season and the Clippers’ next matchup against the Nuggets.
How does Zubac feel about being compared to Jokic?
Zubac appreciates the compliment from Coach Lue, who has been with the team for several years and witnessed the young center’s growth and development. In an interview with NBA.com, Zubac laughed off the comparison, crediting Lue for pushing him to improve his game, especially in terms of rim protection and passing. He acknowledges that Lue’s decision to involve him more offensively last season played a significant role in his progression as a player.
He’s been pushing us. Last season, he asked me to do some things on the court that he hadn’t asked me to do in a while. He involved me more offensively. I think that was a big part of my progression. Zubac said in a Q&A session with NBA.com.
With two consecutive seasons marked by injuries to key players, the Clippers’ success in the 2022-23 season largely depends on the team’s health. Zubac emphasizes that the team is stronger with both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in top condition. As the new season unfolds, Zubac and the rest of the team remain optimistic about their chances, with everyone appearing to be in good health.
While it is impossible to predict injuries and other setbacks, the Clippers are determined to do their best to keep the trainer’s room mostly empty this season. Zubac believes that the team’s fortunes will improve if their star players can remain healthy and contribute consistently on the court. With a new season ahead, the Clippers are focused on putting past disappointments behind them and working towards a championship run.
What’s next for the Clippers and Zubac?
As Zubac continues to develop his skills and contribute to the team’s success, the Clippers’ upcoming matchup against the Nuggets will provide an opportunity to see how the team fares against one of their Western Conference rivals. Fans will undoubtedly be excited to watch Zubac face off against the player he’s been compared to, Nikola Jokic.
With a renewed sense of optimism and determination, the LA Clippers are poised to make a statement this season, with Zubac playing a crucial role in the team’s success.