Ivica Zubac
Ivica Zubac is greeted by Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum after being selected by the Lakers on June 23, 2016.
(Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images)

Zubac 'So Happy' to Join Lakers

by Joey Ramirez
Digital Reporter

It’s safe to say that Ivica Zubac is happy to have been picked by the Lakers with the No. 32 selection.

After taking the stage at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, the Croatia native spoke with the Los Angeles media via conference call about his experience on Draft Day and excitement to wear purple and gold.

Below is a full transcription:

Q: On being drafted by the Lakers:
Zubac:
This is my dream come true. I cannot believe this is happening because the Lakers were my No.1 team since I started playing basketball. Kobe (Bryant) was my favorite player, so I’m so happy right now.

Q: On if he plans to play in the NBA next season:
Zubac:
Yeah, that’s my goal and I think that’s gonna happen.

Q: On if he was surprised at being drafted 32nd:
Zubac:
Yeah, because everybody was predicting that I was gonna go around 20 and my agent told me when it was, I think, the 23rd pick that we we’ve got the Lakers if nobody picks me before. I was praying nobody would select me before.

Q: On if he was happy he fell to the Lakers:
Zubac:
I was so happy. I don’t care which number I am. I just care about being on a good fit for me and a great team with an amazing, legendary franchise. I couldn’t be happier right now.

Q: On his strengths:
Zubac:
My strengths are back-to-the-basket, low-post game and protecting the paint and (my) passing ability.

Q: On certain comparisons to Marc Gasol:
Zubac:
I like that comparison because I’m trying to look up to his game and trying to translate his game to mine with my moves. I’m just trying to get the best of his game and trying to do things.

Q: On how he has been able to watch Lakers games despite them being on so early in Croatia:
Zubac:
Before this season, I watched a lot because this season I was on a pro team, so I didn’t really have time much. I was watching Kobe’s last game and that was at 4 a.m. in Croatia.

Q: On if he even considered playing for the Lakers when watching Bryant’s last game:
Zubac:
No, I didn’t. But once the GM of the Lakers, Mitch Kupchak, was at our practice, I was hoping he was looking at me.

Q: On watching Bryant’s last game at 4 a.m.:
Zubac:
Yeah, and my practice was at 10 a.m. … For Kobe’s last game, they were on Croatian national TV streaming that.

Q: On his meniscus injury from last fall:
Zubac:
No, I had surgery on my foot and that was a stress fracture in my bone. At the beginning of this season, I had the sprained MCL on my right knee.

Q: On what made him such a fan of Bryant’s:
Zubac:
My older friends and guys who I looked up to were all loving Kobe, so I started watching him and I really loved his killer instincts and his will to win the games. That’s really the most important thing in basketball. So I loved him from the first game that I watched him.

Q: On if he owns any Lakers clothing:
Zubac:
Yeah, my first jersey was of Kobe Bryant, and I had Pau Gasol from the Lakers and Andrew Bynum.

Q: On when he plans to come to America:
Zubac:
I want to come right away and I hope that’s gonna happen.

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