COUNTRY COUSINS : Zivojinovic Gets Home-Grown Cheer From Lakers’ Divac at Tennis Match

Nine years ago, Slobodan (Bobo) Zivojinovic was a 6-foot-6, 200-pound center for his high school team in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.

While Zivojinovic was playing tennis Wednesday in the Volvo/Los Angeles tournament, another more current Yugoslav center was watching.

Vlade Divac, 21, the Lakers’ top draft choice from Belgrade, walked down to the front row and talked to Zivojinovic after the match.

They had also had a long conversation the night before. When Zivojinovic telephoned Divac, he interrupted an English lesson.

“I think it’s very hard here,” Zivojinovic said. “It’s much faster, much more pushing.”


But Zivojinovic said that Divac told him he was very happy to be in Los Angeles, living in Marina del Rey and playing for the Lakers, even though there is certainly pressure on him.

“Maybe he has the pressure, sure, but maybe the Lakers understand him a little bit,” Zivojinovic said. “And he knows, the worst thing, he can always come back and be the best player in Europe.”