Ivica Zubac has made little secret of his desire to model his own game after the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and Los Angeles Lakers’ great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Zubac’s first NBA basket was a hook shot, his teammates have compared him to Abdul-Jabbar and he’s even said he wants to be the Lakers’ next Kareem.
About a month ago, Abdul-Jabbar said he hoped to work with Zubac in some capacity, and it seems like that desire is very much mutual.
“I hope after summer league I get the chance to work out with Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar],” Zubac told Mark Medina of the Orange County Register, and after working on his hook shots with Lakers assistant Mark Madsen, he’s excited to learn from the master.
“It’s different with someone who did it his whole career that can show you how to do it,” Zubac told Medina. “I’m definitely looking forward to it. I’m going to use it a lot.”
Zubac already did use it a fair amount last season. The precocious rookie second-rounder took 238 shots last season, and 48 of them were hook shots, according to NBA.com. The hook shot was Zubac’s third-most utilized shot behind jump shots and layups, and perhaps most encouragingly, he shot 50 percent on those 48 attempts.
That’s a nice start for Zubac, but also too small of a sample size to determine whether he’s really mastered the hook shot or if this was just a random blip. It would appear that by campaigning to work with Abdul-Jabbar, Zubac isn’t taking any chances on his hook shot success being a fluke.
Zubac will next suit up for the Lakers when summer league tips off July 7, but it sounds like the real work won’t begin until he goes to work with Abdul-Jabbar after that exhibition tournament.