Thursday, 30 June 2022

Bojan Bogdanović and Ivica Zubac Discuss Croatia's Chances Against Slovenia Tonight

June 30, 2022 - The Croatia basketball team's last training before leaving for Slovenia was held on Wednesday night. The upcoming matches decide whether Croatia will qualify for the second round of FIBA World Cup qualifications. Croatia's NBA stars Bojan Bogdanović and Ivica Zubac spoke about their chances against Luka Dončić and Slovenia. 

Croatia captain Bojan 'Babo' Bogdanović emphasized: “Both victories are very important to us because the points are transferred to the second round. I hope we will play well, first in Stožice and then in Rijeka, and try to achieve both victories. I'm looking forward to the atmosphere in Stožice; I think it will be great basketball. But we are not complete, we lack a lot of good players, especially players on the ball. We miss Simon, Krušlin; Šarić has not yet recovered… We are quite handicapped by that, but even with those absences, we are strong and quite good, and there are a lot of young players." 

Bogdanović gave his thoughts on Luka Dončić: “He is one of the best players in the world; there is also Goran Dragič, they are very good at pick and roll, and I think we will have a hard time defending one on one, so we have prepared several team defenses that we will try to play against the two of them, and I hope we get results. If we come out with the right energy, I think we have something."

The match in Rijeka is certainly no less important than in Slovenia. Moreover, this match is crucial for entering the second round of qualifications.

"I hope we will come to the match in Rijeka in a good mood and atmosphere. I hope for a great game in Stožice, and then against Finland, it is imperative to win regardless of Thursday's game."

Ivica Zubac, who has not been with the national team for a long time, spoke about what he expects from the upcoming matches: "Victory! We have been preparing for several days. Unfortunately, Bojan and I did not have much time, but we prepared individually and worked well these days. If we stick to what we did in training, both offensively and defensively, we have a chance to win." 

About Luka Dončić: “The plan is to make it as difficult as possible for him, to be as aggressive as possible, to make him work in defense and to attack him in that way. We will not stop him for sure; we can try to slow him down and hope for the best." 

And how does Zubac see himself for Croatia? "I think I've made a lot of progress in the last three or four years, I have more games in my legs and I think I can help a little more than last time."

Coach Damir Mulaomerović, despite his proverbial objectivity, is optimistic: “For me, the most important thing is that we are as ready as we can be. My only regret is that we didn't have Bojan and Zubac for longer. The guys are ready; we know what awaits us - a great game, a strong Slovenia, Luka Dončić… we know what awaits us. I believe in these guys, and what I ask of them is to give their maximum, in the wake of what we did against Sweden for the last twenty minutes and two overtimes, to leave our hearts on the court, and that is what can put us in a positive situation. We were already in a tough situation; we got out, and now we have Bojan, Zubac, and Žiža. We can hope for a good game, and what is important to me as a coach is that we are compact on the court and react well defensively. It is certain that Slovenia also has the pressure to win because each of these matches can decide who goes next."

How to stop Dončić?

"He is a great player, so everyone is asking that question. With individual and team defense, we will try to stop him or force him to shoot as many bad shots as possible. Because of his talent and all that he gives in the NBA and his national team, he is getting better and better. It won't be easy, but we are very motivated. Maybe it is more important that we do not let the rest of their players develop. There are a lot of strong individuals, so I would not say that only Dončić should be stopped."

All 16 players from the preparations went to Slovenia, but only 12 will play at Stožice.

Croatia player list:

  • 1 Toni Perković
  • 2 Goran Filipović
  • 4 Roko Prkačin
  • 8 Mario Hezonja
  • 10 Lovro Gnjidić
  • 11 Tomislav Zubčić
  • 17 Dragan Bender
  • 23 Mateo Drežnjak
  • 32 Roko Rogić
  • 40 Ivica Zubac
  • 41 Ante Toni Žižić
  • 44 Bojan Bogdanović

Both matches are broadcast live by Sport Klub televizija. Tickets for Croatia - Finland can be found at

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated sports section

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

Ivica Zubac Clippers Contract Extended for Another 3 Years

June 29, 2022 - The latest news about Croats in the NBA - Ivica Zubac Clippers contract has been extended until the end of the 2024/25 season. 

Croatia national team player Ivica Zubac has agreed to extend his contract with the Los Angeles Clippers for another three years, for which he will receive $33 million, reports ESPN and basketball agents Jeff Schwartz and Mike Lindeman from Excel Sports.

In order for him to get $33 million in the next three seasons, the Clippers will not activate the club option for the last season of the current contract, which Zubac signed in 2019 and which would bring him $7.5 million, and then sign a new contract that will tie him to the LA team until the end of the 2024/25 season. Zubac already has the longest tenure in the Clippers of all the players from the current roster, and if he stays at the club until the end of the new contract, he will have six and a half seasons as a Clippers player.

With this deal, the Clippers prevented the possibility of Zubac becoming a free agent next summer (after his old contract expires) and signing wherever he wants, and at the same time, they solved the issue of the first center for the near future for a solid price. Zubac, on the other hand, also received security for the next period in his career, and at the same time, he was rewarded with approximately a $4 million increase compared to his previous annual salary.

Zubac joined the team in February 2019, in an exchange with the LA Lakers, where he was drafted in 2016 as the 32nd pick. Zubac, who is only 25, has mostly played in the starting lineup since coming to the Clippers from the LA Lakers in 2019. In four seasons with the Clippers, Zubac played in the first team in 204 of 246 games.

Behind him is the most productive season in the NBA in which he scored 10.3 points per game with an average of 8.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1 block. He also had a shooting percentage above 61 percent for the third year in a row. This season is the seventh in the NBA for Zubac.

Zubac is the second Clippers player to sign an extension thus joining Robert Covington. The LA team hopes to keep veteran Nicolas Batum and reserve center Isaiah Hartenstein, but both are free agents this summer. Clearly, the biggest win for the team will be healthy Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Norman Powell because with them they can attack the title.

Source: Sportske Novosti

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Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Bogdanović and Zubac on Croatia Team for 2023 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

June 14, 2022 - Croatia will kick off the next round of 2023 FIBA World Cup qualifiers against Slovenia away and Finland at home later this month. Croatia will have its NBA starts available for both matches. 

At the end of June, a new qualifying round for the 2023 FIBA World Cup will begin, which will be played in Japan, Indonesia, and the Philippines next year. Croatia will play an away match in Slovenia and a home match against Finland in Rijeka.

June 30, 2022, at 20:15 Slovenia - CROATIA (Arena Stožice, Ljubljana)
July 3, 2022, at 20:00 CROATIA - Finland (Zamet Center, Rijeka)

Coach Damir Mulaomerović led Croatia in the last cycle in February, when the national team recorded a defeat and a victory against Sweden. With that victory, Croatia remains in the race for a spot at the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

Coach Damir Mulaomerović has shortened the previously published list of players for the national team, and 17 players will participate in the preparations that start on June 15 (NBA players will join later due to NBA rules). 

"There were a lot of unknowns about playing NBA players, and in the meantime, we got confirmation that they can train from June 27 onwards, so only three days before the game. So we have a wider list, and all the players deserve to be on it. From that base, we will select those who will come to the preparations on June 15. So we will invite a few more players because we will not be able to use NBA players until the 27th. Of course, we will also watch who finished the competitions and refresh some guys and I hope that as many of us as possible will come to the initial gathering. We have certain problems because, for example, Karlo Matković is in training in the NBA, but we will solve some problems on the fly and soon publish a short list of players for preparations in Opatija," said coach Mulaomerović on June 7. 


Croatia player list:

  • Roko Rogić
  • Goran Filipović
  • Lovro Gnjidić
  • Mate Kalajžić
  • Bojan Bogdanović
  • Mario Hezonja
  • Sven Smajlagić
  • Mateo Drežnjak
  • Toni Perković
  • Ivan Ramljak
  • Roko Prkačin
  • Dario Drežnjak
  • Tomislav Zubčić
  • Dragan Bender
  • Ivica Zubac
  • Ante Toni Žižić
  • Karlo Matković

Source: HKS

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated sports section

Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Toni Kukoč Reveals Biggest Problems in Croatian Basketball Today

January 4, 2022 - Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer and Chicago Bulls legend Toni Kukoč gives his take on the biggest problems in Croatian basketball today. 

Before filming the show 'U svom filmu', which will be shown on Croatian television on Tuesday, January 11, legendary Croatian basketball player Toni Kukoč interviewed with HTV's Dnevnik.

The three-time NBA champion spoke about the current status of the Croatia national basketball team.

"It's not an easy question. I've been saying a lot lately that our biggest problem is our best players can't play for the national team. They are maximally exhausted from numerous obligations in the NBA league even when they come. We need to find some formula for the best players to play for their national teams to qualify for the World and European Championships and the Olympic Games. Until that happens, we will have problems. We have quality players, but our five, six best players play in the NBA league. That is our biggest problem. If we played in a full squad and had some continuity, I don't see that we would have any problems qualifying for the big competitions."

What can be done to change that?

"In my opinion, this is the biggest problem. We have good players who play significant roles in their teams in the NBA year after year, but we can’t put them together and find some continuity of work here. It is known that national teams that have success in championships and the Olympic Games have a certain amount of real preparation. It used to be three or four months, now it's hard to expect, but you have to find a month before the championship to do something significant. People can’t get together three days before a tournament and have some results made. This may have been possible before, when you had three, four, or five players who played for the same team, so they knew each other well and knew how and what to do together, and now there are players who play completely different schemes in different teams, and to expect them to be brought to the national team and to click in three days is hard to expect. It is difficult and ungrateful to expect that basketball players can do something like that."

How do you see the performances of Bojan Bogdanović and Ivica Zubac in the NBA?

"They play great; they have continuity, Utah is third in the West, Zubac also plays great for the Clippers. Bojan is one of the most experienced NBA players, we know what he can give, and he gives it from game to game."

What does he think of the NBA league then and now?

"It's different; there's a lot more shooting now than in our time. However, when you talk to the generations from 50 years ago, they think that they played the best basketball, every generation thinks that they played the best basketball." 

You can see the interview HERE.

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Thursday, 9 December 2021

Bojan Bogdanović Contributes to Utah Jazz NBA 3-Pointer Record, Zubac Secures Clippers Win

December 9, 2021 - Utah Jazz is the first team in NBA history to score 20 or more three-pointers in three consecutive games, and score 72 three-pointers in a three-game span, setting a new NBA 3-pointer record. 

Utah Jazz and LA Clippers registered new victories in the NBA, and Croatian basketball players Bojan Bogdanović and Ivica Zubac registered notable appearances for their teams. And new NBA records were broken, reports T.portal

Utah defeated Minnesota 136:104 away, with only a point advantage at halftime (60:59). But Minnesota was wholly outplayed by Utah as the game went on. In the third quarter, Utah was up by 13 points, and in the last quarter, up by 18, and scored 76 points in the second half.

Bojan Bogdanović was the second top scorer for Utah. Donovan Mitchell was the best (36 points, 14/23 field goals), while the Croatian basketball player scored 21 points in 28 minutes. He also had five rebounds and 8/14 field goals, and 4/9 three-pointers. He also hit one free throw.

Bogdanović praised Mitchell, who scored 30 or more points in four consecutive games.

"He's full of confidence. We all know how good he is and who he is. The game is at a very high level for the whole season," said Bogdanović.

Utah hit 25/54 for three-pointers, which placed them in the NBA history books.

"This was a good win for us. We played away, and we’re all trying to see where we are right now with a desire to keep growing. And tomorrow, we will have another big game," said Mitchell after the game.


This Utah Jazz team is thus the first in NBA history to score 20 or more three-pointers in three consecutive games, and the best Croatian basketball player, Bojan Bogdanović, significantly contributed to this record, currently averaging 16.8 points from three-pointers or 40.8% (throwing in 2.5 three-pointers on the average per game).

But that isn't the only record they set. 

Utah's 72 three-pointers are the most in a three-game span, breaking the old record of 67 set by Milwaukee and Houston (twice). 

The Clippers defeated Boston 114:111 in a tense game at home. A second and a half before the end, Croatian center Ivica Zubac hit both free throws to confirm the Clippers victory.

The Clippers were up 12 points at halftime, but Boston eventually caught up. Brandon Boston jr. scored 27 points for the Clippers, while Reggie Jackson added 17 with seven assists.

Zubac played 32 minutes and achieved a double-double of 10 points and ten rebounds. He also had four blocks and 3/4 field goals, with 4/4 from the free-throw line. He also had one assist, four turnovers and one steal. 

Jayson Tatum was the Celtics' first name with 29 points and ten rebounds.

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Sunday, 14 November 2021

Bojan Bogdanović Second Croat to Cross NBA 8,000-Point Mark!

November 14, 2021 - While his Utah Jazz couldn't pull out a win against the Miami Heat on Saturday night, Bojan Bogdanović had something to celebrate. He became only the second Croat to reach the NBA 8,000-point mark! 

Bojan Bogdanović played his best game of the season, scoring 26 points (field goals 8-19, three-pointers 6-13) with 6 rebounds and 3 assists, but the Utah Jazz failed to beat Miami (105:111). The Utah Jazz is currently in crisis, as they have only one win in their last five games. This was also their second home defeat in a row. Miami played without Butler but still celebrated on the wings of young defenders Herro (27 points) and Robinson (22), with Kyle Lowry scoring 21 points.

Bogdanović was the top scorer for the Jazz, ahead of Jordan Clarkson (25) and Donovan Mitchell (22). 

This is the fourth defeat in five games for Utah. On the other hand, Heat achieved the first victory from the fourth attempt on the current tour of the West. Both teams are now at 8-5.

But there is some good news to the story. Not only was this Bojan's best game this season, but the Croatian basketballer became only the second Croatian to cross the 8,000-point mark in the NBA.! 

In this game, Bogdanović needed 10 points to break the 8,000 mark in his career, and he crossed it in the last quarter, nailing 19 of his 26 points then. Of Croatian basketball players, only Toni Kukoč scored more (9810), and at this pace, Babo should overtake him next season.

Furthermore, the Los Angeles Clippers and Ivica Zubac continued with great games. On Saturday night, they defeated Minnesota 129:102, and the Croatian center completely outplayed Towns, who remained at only 8 points. Zubac scored 10 points but also 12 rebounds in 22 minutes on the court. Thus, the Clippers are currently experiencing an exciting winning streak.

Paul George with 23 points and Reggie Jackson with 21 led the Clippers to their eighth win in 12 games, and Anthony Edwards with 21 points was the Wolves' top scorer.


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Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Zubac and Bogdanović Named in Sports Illustrated Top 100 NBA Players of 2022

September 21, 2021 - Ivica Zubac and Bojan Bogdanović have been named in the Sports Illustrated Top 100 NBA players of 2022. 

The American magazine ranks the top 100 NBA basketball players every year before the new season. The popular sports magazine started this year's countdown and published the list from 51st to 100th place, where the names of two Croatian basketballers were found. 

For the first time in his career, Ivica Zubac entered Sports Illustrated's Top 100, in 99th place.

"Outside of a three-point shot, Zubac checks every box necessary for a modern big. On offense, he's an expert offensive rebounder and a sturdy screener with soft hands as a roll man. On defense, he's smart as a rotating big and he won’t get bullied by the game’s biggest behemoths. Zubac is perhaps the least flashy player on our Top 100 list, but don’t let that detract from his value in Los Angeles," writes Michael Shapiro of the LA Clippers player. 


A year ago, after the best season of his career, Bojan Bogdanović was close to the top 50, in 56th place, but now he is ranked as 74th this season. 

In May of 2020, season-ending surgery on Bogdanovic’s right wrist knocked the veteran forward out for Utah’s bubble run, proving a major loss for the Jazz. Last season, Bogdanovic returned and further proved his worth, serving as both a reliable shooter and more-than-capable on-ball creator. Toward the end of the regular season when Donovan Mitchell went down with an ankle injury, Bogdanovic thrived, averaging 22.8 points over the regular season’s final 16 games," writes BP. 


The remaining two Croats in the NBA were not on the list. Dario Šarić will miss most, if not the entire Phoenix Suns season due to an operation, and Luka Šamanić has yet to confirm his place in the rotation of the San Antonio Spurs.

Among the players from the Sports Illustrated region, Serbian defender Bogdan Bogdanović was ranked 64th and Jusuf Nurkić, the center from BiH who plays for Portland 65th.

Luka Dončić and MVP Nikola Jokić will certainly be among the top 10, and whether SI placed them in the Top 5 and in which exact positions they see them, we will find out in a few days, reports

You can see the list so far HERE.

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Saturday, 20 February 2021

Croats in NBA: Bogdanović Scores 23 Points in Loss to Zubac

February 20, 2021 - Bojan Bogdanović scores 23 points in the loss to Ivica Zubac's Los Angeles Clippers and more news about Croats in the NBA. 

T.portal reports that Los Angeles Clippers retaliated against the Utah Jazz after losing two days ago, defeating them at home on Friday 116:112, thus breaking a series of nine consecutive victories for the currently leading team in the NBA. It was only the second defeat for Utah in the last 22 games.

The Clippers took the lead with a three-pointer by Beverley for 107: 94 two and a half minutes before the end, and it seemed that the game was over, but Jazz responded with a 13:3 series and reduced it to just 110:107 18 seconds before the time expired. Utah was precise from the free-throw line at the end of the game, but the great Mitchell failed to nail a three-pointer.

Kawhi Leonard led the home team to victory with 29 points, Lou Williams added 19 from the bench, while Donovan Mitchell scored 35 points for the guests, where Croatian Bojan Bogdanović scored 23 points in 33:32 minutes spent on the court (4/6 field goals, 4/5 three-pointers, 3/4 free throws) with two rebounds and assists.

Croatian center Ivica Zubac played a good role for the Clippers, especially when rebounding, and scored three baskets in 17:00 minutes spent in the game (0/2 field goals, 3/4 free throws) with eight rebounds, two assists, and one steal. 

Despite the defeat, Utah still leads in the Western Conference and the entire league with a 24-6 win-loss ratio, while the Clippers are third in the West and the entire league with 22-9, one loss behind the second-placed Los Angeles Lakers.

The Phoenix Suns won 132:114 away to the New Orleans Pelicans with a great game in the fourth quarter, and Croatian Dario Šarić played a modest game, scoring five points in 10:27 minutes spent on the court (1/2 field goals, 1/3 three-pointers) with three rebounds.

Šarić did not play in the last quarter in which the Suns turned the 91:102 deficit into a 130:109 advantage ahead of the last minute with a phenomenal 39:7 series.

Chris Paul was key for the Suns, who led his team both offensively with shots and assists and defensively with steals. Along with Paul, Jae Crowder and DeAndre Ayton were brilliant in those last 12 minutes.

Paul finished with 15 points and as many as 19 assists, Crowder scored 20 points, and Ayton recorded 16 points and rebounds. The most efficient among the winners was Devin Booker with 23 points.

Brandon Ingram scored 25 points for the Pelicans, Zion Williamson added 23, and Lonzo Ball added 21.

The Suns are now 18-10 and the Pelicans 12-17.

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Saturday, 30 January 2021

Croats in NBA: Bogdanovic Scores Season-High 32 Points in Jazz Victory

January 30, 2021 - Croatian basketball player Bojan Bogdanovic scores season-high 32 points in the Utah Jazz's 120-101 victory against the Dallas Mavericks, which was Utah's 11th consecutive victory.

Utah continued a great series against Dallas, and Croatian basketball player Bojan Bogdanovic was brilliant, scoring 32 points in 32 minutes, which is his highest this season.

As many as 17 were scored in the third quarter which the hosts won 33-23. Bogdanovic scored 10/16 from shots in play, 7/11 from three-pointers, while he was 5/5 from the free-throw line. He also recorded two assists.

"The coaches told me that they want me to shoot more, to be aggressive," said the Croatian basketball player.

"I try to be my own and I try to be aggressive regardless of the shot percentage," Bogdanovic added.

"We are much better off when he is so aggressive," said Mike Conley who scored 22 points and nine assists.

Along with Bogdanovic and Conley, the best in the ranks of Utah were Jordan Clarkson with 18 points and six rebounds, and Rudy Gobert with 17 points and 12 rebounds, which is his eighth double-double in a row.

Slovenian Luka Doncic was the most efficient for the Mavericks with 25 points, six rebounds, and seven assists. Jalen Brunson added 13 points.

"Terrible, I'd say it looked like we didn’t care if we won. We just have to invest more energy and more effort," Doncic said after the match.

Utah leads the West 15-4, while Dallas has eight wins and 11 losses and holds 13th place in the same conference.

The LA Clippers also won, beating the Orlando Magic 116-90 on the road.

The Clippers were led by Paul George with 26 points, nine rebounds, and five assists, and Kawhi Leonard with 24 points.

"We were both great," George said when asked who was better.

"I was extremely relieved that we were both healthy, first of all. We played so well that it was unfortunate that we had to take a break, but safety comes first," he added.

The two stars had been quarantined according to the protocol since Monday. They were quarantined on Monday as the team headed from Los Angeles to Atlanta, and re-joined the team in Orlando after missing two games.

Ivica Zubac scored four points for the Clippers in 21 minutes, with 2/5 shots in play, and recorded seven rebounds and an assist. The most efficient for Orlanda was Terrence Ross with 24 points and Nikola Vucevic with 10 points and six rebounds.

The San Antonio Spurs beat the Denver Nuggets 119-109, and Luka Samanic did not play for the Spurs.

The Spurs were led by DeMar DeRozan with 30 points and 10 assists and Dejounte Murray with 26 points and seven rebounds, while the most efficient for Denver was Nikola Jokic with 35 points and 10 rebounds.

Source: HRT

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Thursday, 21 January 2021

Croats in NBA: Ivica Zubac Records His First Double-Double of Season

January 21, 2021 - 23-year-old Ivica Zubac records his first double-double of the season in the Los Angeles Clippers' win against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night. 

Ivica Zubac played the best game of the season in the LA Clippers' 115:96 victory against Sacramento on Wednesday. 

The Croatian basketballer played 22 and a half minutes and achieved his first double-double of the season with 11 points and 12 rebounds. He hit four of five shots in play and all three free throws and even recorded one assist and one block.

“My teammates needed me, I jumped as I know how and tried to contribute in both directions,” Zubac said after the game.

He is no longer a starter this season and comes off the bench.  Thus, even though his minutes are almost the same, it can be seen in his numbers because he is scoring 1.8 points and 2.6 rebounds less than last season.


"I accepted it as a challenge. I have to be ready from the first minute when I enter the game. It's different than when you're a starter, but we all have to adjust. I'm doing what I can to help the team," Zubac said modestly explaining the difference in approach between the two roles. 

Teammate Paul George also praised the Croatian Clippers' player. 

"Zu doesn't know how dominant he can be. You forget how young he is, he's still a baby... it is very rare you find bigs his size in the league today. That is one of the advantages he has. He has to own being the biggest guy on the floor."

Kawhi Leonard was the Clippers' top scorer on Wednesday with 32 points, George scored 19 with 12 assists and seven rebounds, and De’Aaron Fox led the Kings with 25 points.


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