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 for Scaligera Basket Verona 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. Vujacic is also a two-time Turkish Basketball League All-Star and a Turkish Basketball League MVP.
Vujačić playing for the Knicks in 2017
|No. 18 – Scaligera Basket Verona|
|Born||March 8, 1984|
Maribor, SR Slovenia, SFR Yugoslavia
|Listed height||6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)|
|Listed weight||195 lb (88 kg)|
|NBA draft||2004 / Round: 1 / Pick: 27th overall|
|Selected by the Los Angeles Lakers|
|2004–2010||Los Angeles Lakers|
|2010–2011||New Jersey Nets|
|2014||Los Angeles Clippers|
|2014||Reyer Venezia Mestre|
|2015–2017||New York Knicks|
|2019–present||Scaligera Basket Verona|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Vujačić played for the Slovenian junior national team and won a silver medal at the 2002 European Junior Championship.
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. He recorded a then-career high 22 points in a win over the Denver Nuggets on November 29, 2007. 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. 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. 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
On August 6, 2012, it was confirmed that Vujačić would stay with the team for one more season. In a Euroleague game against EA7 Milano on November 16, he scored 29 points, leading his team to a 77–71 victory. He averaged 12.8 points and 2.7 rebounds per game across ten regular season games. 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.
Los Angeles Clippers (2014)Edit
Reyer Venezia Mestre (2014–2015)Edit
Laboral Kutxa (2014–2015)Edit
Istanbul BB (2014–2015)Edit
New York Knicks (2015–2017)Edit
On August 7, 2015, Vujačić signed with the New York Knicks. 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. On March 9, 2016, Vujačić scored a season-high 23 points to help the Knicks defeat the Phoenix Suns 128–97.
Auxilium Torino (2017–2018)Edit
Vujačić signed with Italian club Auxilium Torino for the 2017–18 season on August 29, 2017. 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.
|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|
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|
In addition playing basketball, Vujacic is involved in several entrepreneurial ventures.
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. Some of the early vintages have scored highly in wine reviews, with the 2011 vintage earning a 95/100 rating by Wine Enthusiast. The name ‘Aleksander’ was chosen by the family and inspired by Vujacic's official birth-name.
In 2018, Vujacic became the official Ambassador of the new Japanese basketball team, Saga Ballooners. 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, Aljoša Bjeković, was appointed as Playing Head Coach.
Vujačić was born in Maribor, Slovenia, to a Serbian father and Slovenian mother. His father was a Serbian basketball coach, while his mother was a Slovenian volleyball player. 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. His parents divorced when he was 6, and he lived with his mother and soon afterwards with his stepfather. He has two siblings, a sister named Sara, and a brother named Aljoša. In addition to playing basketball, he enjoys volleyball, tennis, and soccer.
Vujačić's nickname "The Machine" was coined by TV journalists Joel Meyers and Stu Lantz.
- Three Point Field Goal Percentage – Los Angeles Times
- Week 6 MVP: Sasha Vujacic, Anadolu Efes Istanbul – Euroleague
- mš (February 17, 2012). "Deset odvetnikov usklajevalo predporočno pogodbo Šarapove in Vujačića" (in Slovenian). dnevnik.si. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
- "SASHA VUJACIC". interperformances.com. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
- 20 Sasha Vujacic – HoopsHype
- Sasha Vujacic Player Profile – RealGM
- "Kobe watches 4th quarter from bench as Vujacic, Lakers bounce Nuggets". ESPN.com. November 29, 2007. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
- Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers Box Score, June 10, 2008
- "LAKERS RESIGN FREE AGENT SASHA VUJACIC". NBA.com. July 28, 2008. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
- ANADOLU EFES signs Vujacic
- Sasha Vujacic Efes'te Archived July 18, 2011, at the Wayback Machine (in Turkish)
- "Vujacic Sasha 2011/12 Season". Euroleague. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
- "Sasha Vujacic staying with Anadolu Efes Istanbul". Sportando. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
- "Vujacic stars as Anadolu Efes holds off EA7 Milano". Sportando. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
- "Vujacic Sasha Seasonal stats". Euroleague. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
- "Game report". Euroleague.net. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
- "Farmar, Vujacic lead Efes into Top 16". Sportando. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
- "SASHA VUJACIC SIGNED TO 10-DAY CONTRACT". NBA.com. February 3, 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
- Clippers Not To Sign Sasha Vujacic To Second 10-Day Contract
- "Reyer Venezia announced Sasha Vujacic". Sportando.com. March 25, 2014. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
- "Umana Reyer Venezia stats". eurobasket.com.
- "Laboral Kutxa lands Vujacic for remainder of the 2014-15 season". Euroleague.net. October 28, 2014. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
- "Sasha Vujacic se desvincula de Laboral Kutxa Baskonia". ACB.com (in Spanish). December 30, 2014.
- Istanbul BSB announces Vujacic, Jenkins and Markota
- "Knicks Sign Sasha Vujacic". NBA.com. August 7, 2015. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
- "Williams scores 24, Knicks beat Bucks 122-97 in opener". NBA.com. October 28, 2015. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
- "Vujacic, Anthony lead hot-shooting Knicks past Suns". NBA.com. March 9, 2016. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
- "Knicks Re-Sign Sasha Vujacic". NBA.com. July 14, 2016. Retrieved July 14, 2016.
- "Porzingis, subs rally Knicks to 95-90 victory over Nets". ESPN.com. February 1, 2017. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
- "Fiat Torino officially signs Sasha Vujacic". Sportando.com. August 29, 2017. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
- "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). February 18, 2018. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
- Sasha Vujacic unveils “Aleksander” wine label - Fansided
- Aleksander 2011 Red (Paso Robles) 95 Points - Wine Enthusiast
- Our Story - Aleksander Wine
- NBA Stars Taste Test the Wine Business - The Undefeated
- Saga Ballooners - Official Website
- Former Laker Sasha Vujacic helping launch Saga Ballooners
- Prominent Slovenian Athletes in the United States by Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia, January 2007.
- "Rojen na dan žena" (in Slovenian). vujacic.net. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011.
- NBA.com : Sasha Vujacic Bio Page
- Sharapova gets engaged to Lakers' guard Vujacic
- Maria Sharapova and Sasha Vujacic call off engagement
- TJ Simers Weekly Update – Los Angeles Times