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Drazen Petrovic

A late great Croatian NBA Player

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Rest in Peace

  • Jun 8, 2011
  • by
I was young but I remember watching Drazen play. He didn't get much playing time when the Pistons and Blazers were battling each other in the finals but I remember the Nets were finally relevant again once he joined the team. 

And who could forget the battle between the Croatian team and the Dream Team, the greatest team of all time in the 1992 olympics. Everyone knew that he was a special player and he was going to be a star in the NBA.

It was so tragic and unfortunate that he passed in 1993 in a car accident (the anniversary of his death just passed on June 7). He had just come off the best season of his career and was almost guaranteed to be an All-Star the following year after getting the snub in 1993. He was only 28 years old but he helped pave the way for other International basketball players. 

It's also unfortunate that European players have been given the 'soft' label. Petrovic was anything but soft and could talk trash with the best of them and wasn't afraid to back down:

"When you go out onto the floor, its important that you don't back down for anyone. The players do everything they can to distract one another. If you back down and don't retaliate, then they've succeeded. I fight back automatically, and they don't like that."

It was also unfortunate what was happening in his home country and the situation in Yugoslavia and the split of a friendship between him and Vlade Divac. For anyone who hasn't seen the recent ESPN documentary 30 for 30 'Once Brothers', I highly recommend it. RIP Drazen.

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Peter Kim ()
Ranked #92
I love basketball, exercise, reading, business, movies and occasionally some brainless reality TV shows =P I am more than happy to help anyone out with anything here on Lunch and definitely looking forward … more
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About this basketball player


Dražen Petrović (October 22, 1964 – June 7, 1993) was a Croatian professional basketball player. A shooting guard, he initially achieved success playing professional basketball in Europe in the 1980s before joining the American NBA in 1989. Petrović's life and career were cut short by a car accident in Germany when he was 28.

A star on multiple stages, Petrović earned two silver medals and one bronze in Olympic basketball, a gold and a bronze in the FIBA World Championship, a gold and a bronze in the FIBA European Championship, earned six European Player of the Year awards (fourEuroscar Awards, and was named Mr. Europa in basketball twice). In 1985 he received the golden badge award for best athlete ofYugoslavia.

Seeking a bigger arena after his career start in Europe, Petrović joined the National Basketball Association in 1989 as a member of the Portland Trail Blazers. After playing mostly off the bench that year, Petrović experienced a break-out following a trade to the New Jersey Nets. While starting for the Nets, he became one of the league's best shooting guards.

Petrović is considered the crucial part of the vanguard to the present-day mass influx of European players into the NBA.[1] Petrović's #3 was retired by the Nets in 1993 and in 2002, he was posthumously enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

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Position: Guard
Birth Date: October 22, 1964 – June 7, 1993
Birth Place: Croatia
Gender: Male
Height: 6'5
Weight: 200 lbs
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"Rest in Peace"
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