Ivica Zubac: “Tyronn Lue believes in me no matter what”

2022-10-17T10:34:09+00:00 2022-10-17T10:35:44+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

17/Oct/22 10:34


Enjoying the support of head coach Tyronn Lue, Croatian center Ivica Zubac anticipates contending for the championship with the Los Angeles Clippers

By Johnny Askounis/ info@eurohoops.net

Kawhi Leonard finally healthy is ramping up the Los Angeles Clippers, including Ivica Zubac.

Zubac, 25, talked with Mark Medina of NBA.com about the positive influence of head coach Tyronn Lue and also detailed his hopes to win the NBA championship. The Croatian center is heading to his seventh campaign in the NBA.

“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,” he mentioned, “I think that was a big part of my progression.”

Defending Luka Doncic is a demanding assignment and among the tasks put forward by Lue.

“The first game, Luka made a lot of tough shots, but Ty didn’t give up on me. He said, ‘You’re going to guard him again and you did a good job. He was making tough shots.’ Ty stuck with me,” said Zubac, “In the second game, it was much better. He’s that kind of a coach. He believes in me no matter what. He sees me every day and he knows what I can do. Even if there’s a one or two-game stretch where I might not perform as well as I can, he’s still going to believe in me.”

Before representing Croatia in the 2022 EuroBasket later in the offseason, Zubac inked a three-year, $33M contract extension with the Clippers.

“We’re one of the best teams in the league. We’re going to have a chance to compete for a title. It’s everything a player is looking for, so I’m happy we were able to get it done,” he replied to a question about the new contract.

The Croatian big man was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 32nd overall pick of the 2016 NBA draft. Over the next six years, he played in 394 games split between the two teams based in Los Angeles, including 10.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.0 blocks, and 0.5 steals per contest over 76 appearances in the 2021-22 season.

After a long stint on the injury list, Kawhi joins forces with Paul George once more and newcomer John Wall makes the early looks of a Big Three. Zubac is likely to retain his spot in the starting five in an improved squad, eager to become even more reliable inside this season.

Photo Credit: Getty Images