Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka have made one thing clear since the very start of their time running the Los Angeles Lakers: It’s time to get into shape. The results are obvious across the roster as the team gets back to business, but perhaps no player has improved their fitness more than Ivica Zubac.
Zubac admitted during Las Vegas Summer League that he was having a harder time than he’d like trying to keep up with the tempo of the team. Ivica’s poor showing throughout the desert tourney was disappointing, and he’s spent the offseason improving his fitness in response.
Magic went as far as saying anyone showing up in double-digit body fat and out of shape was going to have a hard time seeing the court. As this chart showed back in April, Zubac was at the bottom of the barrel at 18.4 percent body fat:
Head coach Luke Walton is already noticing a dramatic difference in his physicality, which was easy to see once Zubac’s new measurements came in. The results of the turnaround were so impressive it earned Zublocka a new nickname by the end of Day 1 of training camp.
“Zubac looked great. I took his body fat today and it's down to eight percent, so that's his new nickname on the team. ‘Eight Percent’ is Zu's new name. He asked me, he said ‘Coach you remember I was at 19.’ I said ‘I know, I was making fun of you for that.’ But it's good to see, he looked good he looked like he was moving well,” Walton said
Zubac has a lot to prove during training camp, especially with the addition of Andrew Bogut. That he’s in tremendous physical conditioning could go a long way in him earning his place in the rotation.
*All quotes transcribed via Lakers.com