After his multitude of great performances last year, I was fairly hyped for Ivica “Zu Alcindor” Zubac, and I think it’s fair to say that a ton of other people were as well. He wasn’t amazing or anything, but he was a young big with plenty of offensive potential. I knew the Lakers were going to be bad the following season, so I was eager to see what he would do with a steadier role and more chances to show himself off.
This year, nothing. Zippo. Nada. Zilch. Nihil. He sometimes gets garbage minutes, and that’s it. There must be something seriously wrong with him, a fatal defect that I am simply not seeing, because he’s not playing. At all. Are the rest of the Lakers bigs so good that he has to be the odd man out? I find that hard to believe.
This is what happens when you give him minutes. To the patronizing commentary of Kevin Harlan, witness him score 19 points on a perfect 8-for-8 shooting, making Karl-Anthony Towns into his Karl-Anthony Buttslave, on national TV, with kids watching and everything. He didn’t care. He was so impactful in his early minutes that Luke “I’m In Way Over My Head” Walton was forced to give him even more burn.
There’s only about a fourth of the season left, so even if this game does represent a turning point for his prospects, we only get to see a little bit of him before he goes away again. Maybe he’ll go away for good, then I’d really be mad, but I bet he’d dominate hard in Europe right now.