Sasha Vujačić

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Sasha Vujačić
Sasha Vujacic 2017.jpg
Vujačić playing for the Knicks in 2017
Personal information
Born (1984-03-08) March 8, 1984 (age 34)
Maribor, SR Slovenia, SFR Yugoslavia
NationalitySlovenian
Listed height6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight195 lb (88 kg)
Career information
NBA draft2004 / Round: 1 / Pick: 27th overall
Selected by the Los Angeles Lakers
Playing career2001–present
PositionShooting guard
Career history
2001–2004Snaidero Udine
20042010Los Angeles Lakers
2010–2011New Jersey Nets
20112013Anadolu Efes
2014Los Angeles Clippers
2014Reyer Venezia Mestre
2014Laboral Kutxa
2015İstanbul BB
20152017New York Knicks
2017–2018Auxilium Torino
Career highlights and awards
Stats at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Aleksander "Sasha" Vujačić (Serbian Cyrillic: Александр Саша Вујачић, pronounced [aleksǎːndr sâʃa ʋǔjatʃitɕ], Slovene: Aleksander Saša Vujačič, rendered in English as Sasha Vujacic; born March 8, 1984) is a Slovenian professional basketball player and two-time NBA Champion with the Los Angeles Lakers. Vujacic was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the 2004 NBA draft with the 27th overall pick. In the 2007–08 season, Vujacic set the Los Angeles Lakers single-season record for the best three-point field goal percentage (.437) in a single season.[1] Vujacic is also a two-time Turkish Basketball League All-Star and a Turkish Basketball League MVP.[2]

Early career[edit]

From 1998 to 2000, Vujačić played for Branik and Polzela.[3] The following year, he played for the Snaidero Udine junior team, before joining the senior team in 2001.[4]

Vujačić played for the Slovenian junior national team and won a silver medal at the 2002 European Junior Championship.[5]

Professional career[edit]

Italy (2001–2004)[edit]

From 2001 to 2004, Vujačić played for Snaidero Udine of the Italian Lega Basket Serie A. [6]

Los Angeles Lakers (2004–2010)[edit]

Vujačić was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 27th overall pick in the 2004 NBA draft.He signed a multi-year deal with the Lakers on July 20, 2004.[7] He recorded a then-career high 22 points in a win over the Denver Nuggets on November 29, 2007.[8] In the 2007–08 season, Vujačić made 118 of his 270 three-point field goal attempts, setting the Los Angeles Lakers single-season record for the best three-point field goal percentage (.437). During Game 3 of the 2008 NBA Finals, Vujačić scored a career playoff-high 20 points off the bench and was the only Laker, with the exception of Kobe Bryant, to score in double figures.[9] The Lakers went on to lose the series in 6 games to the Boston Celtics.

On July 28, 2008, Vujačić re-signed with the Lakers to a multi-year deal.[10] Los Angeles made it back to the NBA Finals to face the Orlando Magic. The Lakers defeated the Orlando Magic in the 2009 NBA Finals in a 4-1 series, earning Vujacic his first NBA championship.

In Game 6 of the 2010 NBA Finals, Vujačić led the Lakers' bench with 9 points, including two three-pointers. With 11 seconds left in Game 7 and the Lakers leading by only two points, Vujačić helped made two crucial free throws that sealed the Lakers' victory over the Celtics in a Game 7 for the first time in the longstanding Lakers-Celtics rivalry.

New Jersey Nets (2010–2011)[edit]

On December 15, 2010, Vujačić was traded to the New Jersey Nets in a three-team trade involving the Lakers and Houston Rockets. Vujačić tied his career high of 22 points on January 1, 2011. On February 9, 2011, Vujačić set a new career high with 25 points in a win over the then New Orleans Hornets.

Anadolu Efes (2011–2013)[edit]

Vujačić with Anadolu Efes

In July 2011, he signed a two-year contract with Anadolu Efes.[11][12] In his first Euroleague season he averaged 13.9 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.[13]

On August 6, 2012, it was confirmed that Vujačić would stay with the team for one more season.[14] In a Euroleague game against EA7 Milano on November 16, he scored 29 points, leading his team to a 77–71 victory.[15] He averaged 12.8 points and 2.7 rebounds per game across ten regular season games.[16] Vujačić helped Efes advance to the Top 16 round, edging Cedevita on the road by 81–73 in one of the most crucial games in group C.[17][18]

Los Angeles Clippers (2014)[edit]

On February 3, 2014, Vujačić signed a 10-day contract with the Los Angeles Clippers.[19] He did not re-sign with the Clippers the first 10-day contract expired.[20]

Reyer Venezia Mestre (2014–2015)[edit]

On March 25, 2014, Vujačić signed with Italian team Reyer Venezia Mestre for the rest of the 2013–14 season.[21] He played 5 matches with the team, scoring 11 points per game.[22]

Laboral Kutxa (2014–2015)[edit]

On October 28, 2014, Vujačić signed with the Spanish team Laboral Kutxa for the rest of 2014–15 season.[23] He left the team on December 30, 2014.[24]

Istanbul BB (2014–2015)[edit]

On January 2, 2015, he signed with İstanbul BB of Turkey for the rest of the 2014–15 Turkish Basketball League season.[25]

New York Knicks (2015–2017)[edit]

Vujačić (left) playing for Knicks in 2015

On August 7, 2015, Vujačić signed with the New York Knicks.[26] He made his debut for the Knicks in the team's season opener against the Milwaukee Bucks on October 28, recording 11 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals in a 122–97 win.[27] On March 9, 2016, Vujačić scored a season-high 23 points to help the Knicks defeat the Phoenix Suns 128–97.[28]

Vujačić re-signed with the Knicks on July 14, 2016.[29] On February 1, 2017, he made Knicks history by converting two four-point plays during the Knicks 95–90 win over the Brooklyn Nets.[30]

Auxilium Torino (2017–2018)[edit]

Vujačić signed with Italian club Auxilium Torino for the 2017–18 season on August 29, 2017.[31] On February 18, 2018, Vujačić scored the game-winning layup to win the 2018 edition of the Italian Basketball Cup with Fiat Torino, beating Germani Basket Brescia 69–67 in the Finals.[32]

Career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  PIR  Performance Index Rating
 Bold  Career high

Note: The EuroLeague is not the only competition in which the player participated for the team during the season. He also played in domestic competition, and regional competition if applicable.

Denotes season in which Vujačić won the NBA championship

NBA[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2004–05 L.A. Lakers 35 3 11.5 .282 .270 .947 1.8 1.5 .3 .1 2.9
2005–06 L.A. Lakers 82 4 17.7 .346 .343 .885 1.9 1.7 .6 .0 3.9
2006–07 L.A. Lakers 73 4 12.8 .392 .373 .878 1.5 .9 .6 .0 4.3
2007–08 L.A. Lakers 72 0 17.8 .454 .437 .835 2.1 1.0 .5 .1 8.8
2008–09 L.A. Lakers 80 0 16.2 .387 .363 .921 1.7 1.4 1.0 .1 5.8
2009–10 L.A. Lakers 67 1 8.6 .402 .309 .848 1.2 .6 .3 .1 2.8
2010–11 L.A. Lakers 11 0 4.9 .348 .429 .500 .4 .5 .1 .0 1.8
2010–11 New Jersey 56 17 28.5 .404 .369 .851 3.3 2.3 .9 .1 11.4
2013–14 L.A. Clippers 2 0 5.0 .400 .500 .000 1.5 .0 .5 .0 2.5
2015–16 New York 61 25 14.9 .383 .364 .821 2.4 1.4 .6 .1 4.9
2016–17 New York 42 4 9.7 .309 .311 .708 1.4 1.2 .3 .0 3.0
Career 581 58 15.3 .390 .367 .858 1.9 1.3 .6 .1 5.3

Playoffs[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2006 L.A. Lakers 7 0 18.4 .423 .600 1.000 2.4 .9 .6 .0 6.0
2007 L.A. Lakers 4 0 10.8 .556 .250 .000 1.0 .8 .3 .0 2.8
2008 L.A. Lakers 21 0 21.7 .399 .392 .857 2.2 .8 .6 .2 8.1
2009 L.A. Lakers 23 0 10.9 .264 .314 .833 1.4 .5 .4 .2 3.0
2010 L.A. Lakers 10 0 7.6 .435 .400 .833 .8 .5 .2 .0 3.1
Career 65 0 14.7 .366 .384 .879 1.6 .6 .4 .1 5.0

Euroleague[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG PIR
2011–12 Anadolu Efes 16 16 29.0 .407 .338 .864 3.3 1.7 1.1 .2 13.9 12.2
2012–13 Anadolu Efes 24 7 21.7 .376 .376 .758 3.0 1.0 .8 .1 9.1 8.3
2014–15 Laboral Kutxa 8 2 21.7 .318 .292 .667 1.9 .8 .3 .1 4.9 1.8
Career 48 25 24.1 .409 .349 .803 2.9 1.2 .8 .1 10.0 7.4

Business Interests[edit]

In addition playing basketball, Vujacic is involved in several entrepreneurial ventures.

Aleksander Wine[edit]

In 2010, Vujacic and his family harvested the first grapes at their boutique winery, S&G Estate, located in Paso Robles, California. The winery specializes in Bordeaux-style blends that are marketed under the label Aleksander Wine, which was officially launched in 2017.[33] Some of the early vintages have scored highly in wine reviews, with the 2011 vintage earning a 95/100 rating by Wine Enthusiast.[34] The name ‘Aleksander’ was chosen by the family and inspired by Vujacic’s official birth-name.[35]

Vujacic is not the only NBA athlete to own a wine label. Dwyane Wade and Yao Ming also produce wines under their own labels. [36]

Saga Ballooners[edit]

In 2018, Vujacic became the official Ambassador of the new Japanese basketball team, Saga Ballooners.[37] In his capacity as Ambassador, Vujacic oversees the Ballooners basketball operations and helps to promote the sport of basketball in Japanese culture. In the same year, Vujacic’s brother, Aljosa Bjekovic, was appointed as Head Coach.[38]

Personal life[edit]

Vujačić was born in Maribor, Slovenia, to a Serbian father and Slovenian mother. His father was a Serbian basketball coach,[39] while his mother was a Slovenian volleyball player.[40] His mother was playing volleyball for a top Yugoslav women's club, Branik Maribor, but quit her career at the age of 19 when she got pregnant with Sasha.[40] His parents divorced when he was 6, and he lived with his mother and soon afterwards with his stepfather.[40] He has two siblings, a sister named Nina, and a brother named Aljoša. In addition to playing basketball, he enjoys volleyball, tennis, and soccer.[41]

He was once engaged to professional tennis player Maria Sharapova,[42] but the two separated in 2012.[43]

Trivia[edit]

Vujačić's nickname "The Machine" was coined by TV journalists Joel Meyers and Stu Lantz.[44]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Three Point Field Goal Percentage – Los Angeles Times
  2. ^ Week 6 MVP: Sasha Vujacic, Anadolu Efes Istanbul – Euroleague
  3. ^ mš (February 17, 2012). "Deset odvetnikov usklajevalo predporočno pogodbo Šarapove in Vujačića" (in Slovenian). dnevnik.si. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
  4. ^ "SASHA VUJACIC". interperformances.com. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  5. ^ 20 Sasha Vujacic – HoopsHype
  6. ^ "SASHA VUJACIC". interperformances.com. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  7. ^ Sasha Vujacic Player Profile – RealGM
  8. ^ "Kobe watches 4th quarter from bench as Vujacic, Lakers bounce Nuggets". ESPN.com. November 29, 2007. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  9. ^ Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers Box Score, June 10, 2008
  10. ^ "LAKERS RESIGN FREE AGENT SASHA VUJACIC". NBA.com. July 28, 2008. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  11. ^ ANADOLU EFES signs Vujacic
  12. ^ Sasha Vujacic Efes'te Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine. (in Turkish)
  13. ^ "Vujacic Sasha 2011/12 Season". Euroleague. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  14. ^ "Sasha Vujacic staying with Anadolu Efes Istanbul". Sportando. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  15. ^ "Vujacic stars as Anadolu Efes holds off EA7 Milano". Sportando. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  16. ^ "Vujacic Sasha Seasonal stats". Euroleague. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  17. ^ "Game report". Euroleague.net. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  18. ^ "Farmar, Vujacic lead Efes into Top 16". Sportando. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  19. ^ "SASHA VUJACIC SIGNED TO 10-DAY CONTRACT". NBA.com. February 3, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  20. ^ Clippers Not To Sign Sasha Vujacic To Second 10-Day Contract
  21. ^ "Reyer Venezia announced Sasha Vujacic". Sportando.com. March 25, 2014. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
  22. ^ "Umana Reyer Venezia stats". eurobasket.com.
  23. ^ "Laboral Kutxa lands Vujacic for remainder of the 2014-15 season". Euroleague.net. October 28, 2014. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
  24. ^ "Sasha Vujacic se desvincula de Laboral Kutxa Baskonia". ACB.com (in Spanish). December 30, 2014.
  25. ^ Istanbul BSB announces Vujacic, Jenkins and Markota
  26. ^ "Knicks Sign Sasha Vujacic". NBA.com. August 7, 2015. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
  27. ^ "Williams scores 24, Knicks beat Bucks 122-97 in opener". NBA.com. October 28, 2015. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  28. ^ "Vujacic, Anthony lead hot-shooting Knicks past Suns". NBA.com. March 9, 2016. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
  29. ^ "Knicks Re-Sign Sasha Vujacic". NBA.com. July 14, 2016. Retrieved July 14, 2016.
  30. ^ "Porzingis, subs rally Knicks to 95-90 victory over Nets". ESPN.com. February 1, 2017. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
  31. ^ "Fiat Torino officially signs Sasha Vujacic". Sportando.com. August 29, 2017. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  32. ^ "Basket, Final Eight: Torino-Brescia 69-67. Storica prima dell'Auxilium" [Basketball, Final Eight: Torino-Brescia 69-67. Historical first time for Auxilium]. gazzetta.it (in Italian). 18 February 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  33. ^ Sasha Vujacic unveils “Aleksander” wine label - Fansided
  34. ^ Aleksander 2011 Red (Paso Robles) 95 Points - Wine Enthusiast
  35. ^ Our Story - Aleksander Wine
  36. ^ NBA Stars Taste Test the Wine Business - The Undefeated
  37. ^ Saga Ballooners - Official Website
  38. ^ Former Laker Sasha Vujacic helping launch Saga Ballooners
  39. ^ Prominent Slovenian Athletes in the United States by Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia, January 2007.
  40. ^ a b c "Rojen na dan žena" (in Slovenian). vujacic.net. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011.
  41. ^ NBA.com : Sasha Vujacic Bio Page
  42. ^ Sharapova gets engaged to Lakers' guard Vujacic
  43. ^ Maria Sharapova and Sasha Vujacic call off engagement
  44. ^ TJ Simers Weekly Update – Los Angeles Times

External links[edit]