Wednesday, May 28, 2008

REMEMBERING DRAZEN PETROVIC


Drazen Petrovic... Hearing that name really takes me back to the days of when I fell in love with the game of Basketball (The Jordan Years). At that time, Drazen Petrovic had just came into the League, and he was immediately the European Assassin, a cold blooded baller who could literally score on anybody at anytime. Everyone in the League from MJ to Magic to Reggie respected his game. Even kids like me knew who he was, and wanted his Basketball card. I even somehow remember the day I finally got his card. I was at a local baseball card/ comic book store, and when I got the card, me and all my friends went crazy. The League and it's fans were falling in love with Drazen at that time, especially after the show he put against the Dream Team in the Olympics. If it wasn't for his unfortunate death, I really do believe we would be talking about Drazen Petrovic as one of the best NBA players of all time. Man, Drazen Petrovic...

My post here actually stems from what I heard Reggie Miller say recently after a Lakers Spurs game. Miller's comments brought back fond memories of Petrovic, and his smooth j. Reggie said that the only shooter that had a smoother j than himself, was Drazen Petrovic. Right when I heard that name, it sent chills up my spine.

I think people, including myself, sometimes forget just how cold Drazen's game was. I typed in his name on YouTube, and found a great video for everyone to see. It is just seven minutes long, and I guarantee you that after you watch this video, you will see why I posted it, and you will see how good of a ball player Drazen was. The video itself pretty much tells you everything you need to know about Drazen, it's great. If you don't have time to watch the whole thing, but want to hear one insane thing from the video, here it is. Drazen dropped a 112 points in a game. That's right, a 112 pts!!! He went 40 for 60 from the field, 22 for 22 from the FT Line, and 10 for 20 from three pt land. 112 pts, man those are just mind boggling numbers. Anyways, check out the video, it talks about that game, and much more...


I think another thing people forget about is that at that time, Drazen brought an entire war torn country together. With all the problems going on in Croatia back then, Drazen gave all of Croatia the joy of Basketball to alleviate their pains. After winning tons of Medals and Championships, he was like a God like figure there in his homeland. I remember the entire city mourned when he passed, it was really sad. I think when he passed, they knew they had to step away from their Basketball Fantasy World, back to the reality of War. Drazen's Death definitely affected an entire country, that's for sure.

Lastly, people need to remember that Drazen is actually the NBA baller that started the whole European invasion over to the NBA. Because of him, the NBA, GM's and teams started going to Europe to recruit players. Heck if it wasn't for him, the game might not be what it is today, we might never have seen some of the great International ballers that we have had the pleasure of seeing.

The reason I wrote this post is because I just think we need to never forget about figures like Drazen Petrovic, and what they have meant to the game of Basketball. To me, Drazen Petrovic was a great person, baller, and ambassador for the League, and he definitely needs to be remembered. Please chime in with any stories, or comments you have in the comments section. I would love to hear anything you guys have to say on this topic. Take care...


18 comments:

Anonymous said...

When I think of players getting hosed for All-Stars recognition, I think of Drazen. Chuck Daly had a chance to pick him for a team and didn't using the rationale, "He'll make it next time." Drazen was killed that summer after the season. Ever since, I think of him when a player gets snubbed in any All-Star game. Next time is not promised.

Rbastid said...

This was a very nice piece they did for him. Just to think, when a player comes from your city you can cheer him on and maybe follow his career, a team or a player alone though can't even bring a state together most of the time. On the other hand Drazen was able to bring his country together, he gave them something to be proud of.

You always here people in the US complain that the Olympics are boring and pointless, but to some people out there, this is all they have, for some countries this is all they can hope for.

Look at Iraq, they won the Asian cup last year in soccer I believe, these men who had nothing now were champions.

brad said...

gREAT rEAD MAN, dRAZEN WAS ONE OF MY FAVORITE PLAYERS GROWING UP, I AM NOW 29 Y/O......

Anonymous said...

Nice post about Drazen. He was def the player who blazed the way for other euro players in the league.

Aaron Staenberg said...

The player picked for that All-Star team over Draz was Detlef Schrempf, who I am still bitter at to this day.

Thanks for posting this...

Ric the Ruler said...

This is absolutely the first time I've ever commented on someone's blog before, but I have to say that was a great post and a great video to link to. I grew up in the shadow of the Izod Center (nee Brendan Byrne). For the first 5 years of my basketball fandom (87-91) the Nets made a fine excuse to go see players like Bird or MJ, but little else. The 91-92 and 92-93 seasons were the first time I actually realized that the local boys were actually something you could have a sense of pride about. No disrespect to DC or Kenny, but, to me, watching those teams you couldn't help but aspire to shoot it like Drazen. Money. End of story.

gurinder said...

Hey man nice piece. My brother and I used to pretend we were Drazen when we would play horse or sock basketball into the laundry basket at home. He really had such a sweet jumper and a cool personality that drew you towards him. At a time where there were so many stars in a well played NBA Drazen definitely was the shooter of shooters. He probably didnt make the all star game or all nba teams because he really was a defensive liability. I think it set the tone for European players like Stojakavic and Turkoglu to not only have a shot but work on defense and become all around NBA threats. IN his memory for sure.

Anonymous said...

http://www.drazenpetrovic.net/

Anonymous said...

Amazing post. I'm a 31yr old guy who fell in love with basketball during that time when the Lakers were fading and the Bulls were rising. I remember how Petrovic mesmerized me with his ruthless assassin-like skillz. This guy was an epic baller who absolutely abused the opposition. I've never seen a Euro go nuts like this guy did.
That Dream Team vs. Crotia match was a shining moment when nobody could stop him....not even Jordan, if I recall.

Rahul Phanindra said...

I was lucky enough to see Drazen in person when the Nets lost to my Cavs man Cavs in the playoffs in 92 and 93. He still sticks out as an ice cold killer and one of my all time faves. Too bad he couldn't stick around longer.

Anonymous said...

drazen memoria is available at www.petro3.com

Amar Panchmatia said...

I remember having this guy's basketball card when I was like 9-years old. Hearing about a guy dying when I was that age was shocking because I had no concept of mortality at the time and it was pretty freaky, really, considering I watched the guy play basketball that year in the playoffs against the Cavs.

Good piece, though.

utakmica said...

Hello! I have many Drazen Petrovic games on dvd ( 100 games ), Sibenka, Cibona,Real Madrid, New Yersy, Ex-Yu, Croatia,and more another games ( 1000 games ).If someone interesanting for this games, ,or have some games for exchange,please send me message on my E-mail: utakmica@net.hr

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Will said...

Beautiful post. It's wonderful what Drazen was able to achieve and accomplish in such a short time. He was a special talent indeed and left a powerful legacy.

Brian Kalafatich said...

Coming up on Drazen’s anniversary I just watched a segment on ESPN 30 for 30 “Once Brother’s” It was very touching. It brought tears to my eyes. I remember, but as time goes on… I almost forgot. You posted the nice video from YouTube, which brought me back again. THANKYOU! I hope and pray that his nephew succeeds one day, and that Drazen’s memory will live through him. Thanks for the memories. Drazen was the BEST. B. Kalafatich bjk220@gmail.com

Brian Kalafatich said...

Not sure if my first post went through... so forgive me if it appears twice.

Coming up on Drazen’s anniversary I just watched a segment on ESPN 30 for 30 “Once Brother’s” It was very touching. It brought tears to my eyes. I remember, but as time goes on… I almost forgot. You posted the nice video from YouTube, which brought me back again. THANKYOU! I hope and pray that his nephew succeeds one day, and that Drazen’s memory will live through him. Thanks for the memories. Drazen was the BEST. B. Kalafatich