Bulls Insider

Vučević's Lego fandom built slowly but surely

/ by K.C. Johnson
Presented By Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich
Bulls Insider

All Nikola Vučević wants for retirement is his own room to build Lego sets.

Yes, the Chicago Bulls’ All-Star center is quite the fan.

“Not a lot of people know that about me,” Vučević said in an interview.

The attachment began, as it will for many kids around the world this Christmas morning, when Vučević was little.

“My parents bought me some Legos and I fell in love with it then,” Vučević said.

The hobby cooled a bit as Vučević came to the United States for college at USC and to begin his NBA career. That’s when he learned that the potentially itinerant nature to an NBA career — the 76ers traded him to the Magic after his rookie season — isn’t ideal for building and growing a collection.

“I didn’t want to build them and then have to take them apart if I move. If the movers don’t do a good job with them, I’d be pissed,” Vučević said, smiling.  “One day, I hope to build a nice room where I can just keep them all. I think I have 10 big projects to do sitting in storage, waiting for my retirement.”

Don’t worry, Bulls fans. Those days are a ways away. And even this goal hasn’t stopped Vučević recently from building the Batmobile, several other Star Wars sets, the Eiffel Tower and London Bridge. He wisely used his quarantine time as he waited out his COVID-19 experience.

 

“I love Legos,” Vučević said. “It totally relaxes me. It’s great for your brain for your development. I hope to get my kids into it as well.”

The ages of those children — 3 and 1 — make it difficult for Vučević to display the finished products in his home.

“I have to hang them high so my kids don’t destroy them,” he said, laughing.

And one recent project included a brief moment of non-relaxation.

“I put a piece in wrong when I was trying to assemble it. It wasn’t fitting together,” he said. “Luckily, I just had to make do a minimal adjustment and it worked. I got scared that I would have to re-do everything. And this was a multi-thousand piece set.”

Vučević said he has a 8,000-piece Star Wars set that he is waiting to build. He also recently has begun seeking out sets that no longer are produced on eBay and other websites. A friend recently gave him the “Central Perk” set — Vučević is a big “Friends” fan — but Vučević already had it.

“I have to exchange it for another Lego set,” he said. “I’m starting to like those architecture ones.”

Told there are sets of Chicago architectural landmarks, Vučević raised an eyebrow. He's hooked.

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