Ivica Zubac may be a 7 foot center from Croatia, but his favorite player growing up was still Kobe Bryant.
For many European big men, they look to players like Dirk Nowitzki for inspiration, but Zubac idolized everything about Kobe Bryant.
Zubac is a notable card collector in the NBA, whether it's Pokemon cards or NBA Topshot moments. He had that same passion as a child and loved collecting Kobe Bryant cards.
"I watched all of his highlights and even collected his cards," Zubac said. "That was my first real idol."
Unfortunately, Zubac was drafted to the Lakers two months after Kobe Bryant's last game. Zubac stayed up until 4 am in Croatia to watch Bryant's last game, even though he had practice at 10 am that same day. He missed the opportunity to play for his idol, but he still had the chance to play for the same city as him.
The legacy an NBA player leaves behind has far more impact than one could imagine. A 6'6" guard inspired a boy 5,312 miles away to pick up a basketball. That boy grew up to follow his dreams, beat the odds, and be one of the 450 players to play in the NBA. Kobe Bryant's impact inspired the entire world.