New Lakers teammates Andrew Bogut and Ivica Zubac are speaking the same language
By Bill Oram
EL SEGUNDO – Ivica Zubac was 14 when he was first told he needed to meet Andrew Bogut.
Bogut was the starting center for the Milwaukee Bucks and already one of the best defensive centers in the NBA. A mutual friend believed the veteran center could help Zubac.
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Word of the young Zubac had reached Bogut, who had numerous connections to Croatia through his parents, who emigrated from the Eastern European nation to Australia before Bogut was born.
Bogut spends part of every offseason in Croatia, on an island called Pag – which Zubac described as the distance between L.A. and Las Vegas from his hometown.
But the two players did not connect until the Lakers drafted Zubac in the second round in 2016.
On Sept. 19, the Lakers signed Bogut, a 12-year veteran who won a championship with the Warriors in 2015, to a non-guaranteed contract, bolstering their depth at center and giving Zubac another veteran to emulate.
This one also happens to speak Croatian.
“I have somebody who understands me, finally,” Zubac said, smiling.
And really, isn’t that all anyone really wants?
Now, when the Lakers are on the floor, the two big men can be heard barking back and forth in Croatian, a language Bogut grew up speaking at home.
Zubac said 95 percent of the conversations the […]