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Ivica Zubac says Lakers not happy he’s playing in World Cup qualifiers

Ivica Zubac, Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers are not happy that young center Ivica Zubac opted to play for the Croatian national team during World Cup qualifiers, according to Lithuanian reporter Donatas Urbonas of 15min.

The 7-footer isn’t fond of the international system, which often cuts off NBA players from making appearances in the qualifying process, saying so after choosing to join teammates Bojan Bogdanovic, Dario Saric, and Ante Zizic in the process.

“I think nobody is a fan of this FIBA system,” said Zubac. “It’s hard and not fair to some teams, especially Croatia. But we got to do our best to get out of this situation”

Zubac has gotten very limited play time during his short NBA career, but was at one point seen as a potential center of the future for the purple and gold.

Other international NBA stars like Luka Doncic, Boban Marjanovic, and Milos Teodosic have been kept from making appearances for their own national teams, given the conflicting schedule of FIBA qualifiers and the start of training camp/preseason.

Zubac’s impact on the Croatian run for the World Cup will be felt much more than his impact on the Lakers, who already boast a starting-caliber center in JaVale McGee. Though there is always the underlying concern of an injury, which would leave the Lakers with only two centers in the rotation with McGee and rookie Mo Wagner.

Utah Jazz point guard Dante Exum infamously tore his ACL during international competition, and while it was a blow for his native Australia, it was the Jazz footing the bill and dealing with the long-term consequences.