On this day 48 years ago in Sibenik, the legendary Drazen "The basketball Mozart" Petrovic was born.... In just 29 years he spent on this earth, he managed to leave a mark in letters to the European and international basketball....
Drazen Petrovic was by far the most talented/skilled european player ever, had he managed to stay in the NBA (or preferably came earlier to the NBA) you would see why this guy was great... you saw only half of it his last year in the NBA, he finally got his starting job & minutes and was ready to nail the gaspedal next year... but then came the accident... Many people remember him as simply a dead on shooter pure SG, but he was actually a combo-guard SG/PG that could dishout up to ~30 assists (his career high in Cibona was 27 assists), his court vision and passing ability was remarkable, as you can see in 1992 Olympic team for example, he played Point-Guard.... think of a Manu Ginobili with greater scoring & shooting ability........ or think of Pete Maravich with greater efficiency/accuracy... or think of Jerry West.......... or think of a smaller version of Larry Bird... he was more like that rather than Chris Mullin, Reggie Miller, Ray Allen and such, but he did have their type of role in the NBA...
Here i will be paying some homage with some facts, videos etc. feel free to add in if you so wish...
Some random facts / videos:
- 6× European Player of the Year: 4× Euroscar Award (1986, 1989, 1992–1993)
- 2× Mr. Europa Award (1986, 1993)
- All-NBA Third Team (1993)
- FIBA World Championship MVP (1986)
- FIBA's 50 Greatest Players (1991)
- 50 Greatest Euroleague Contributors
- FIBA Hall of Fame induction (2007)
- #3 Retired by the New Jersey Nets
Petrović's scoring average during the four years with Cibona stood at 37.7 points in the Yugoslavian first division and 33.8 in European competitions, with personal one-time bests of 112 (40/60 FG, 10/20 3Pts, 22/22 FT)
and 62 points, respectively.... His scoring sheet was often known to show 40, 50, even 60 in a single game; in an 1986 European League game against Limoges, Petrović scored ten 3-pointers, including seven in a row during a first half stretch, for a final tally of 51 points and 10 assists; the same season he scored 45 points and dished out 25 assists against the reigning Italian champions Simac. Self-admittedly, Petrović needed new challenges, which Cibona and the Yugoslavian league could not offer. Across the Atlantic, the Portland Trail Blazers of the NBA had already used their third round pick on young Petrović in 1986. However, he decided to postpone his departure to the United States and in 1988 signed with Real Madrid instead, for at that time a hefty sum of around US$ 4 million......
47 points vs Simac:
The "greatest shooter of all time" (Reggie) says only Drazen Petrovic was better, better than him, Larry Bird, Ray Allen, you name it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EUo5...layer_embedded
Two great documentaries with Drazen Petrovic documentary:
NBA Vintage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjHr3...eature=related
Once Brothers 30 on 30: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXQCI...eature=related
The great battles between him and Jordan:
Nets vs Bulls: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g14xk...eature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lqi4rd6y38