Drazen Petrovic Rumors
You donated your Final Four jersey to the Drazen Petrovic museum. Petrovic is a legend for all Madrid fans and passed away 25 years ago. Were you aware of the anniversary? Luka Doncic: “I knew it, yes. Petrovic was a really good player. It is incredible what he did and what he became. If I ever reach his level, it would be awesome. Drazen’s mother asked me for the jersey; she met my Mom, asked for it to put it in Drazen’s museum, and I was more than delighted to give it to her.”
On Tuesday, May 21, according to various media, the 19-year old signed his EuroLeague Final Four jersey and donated it to the Drazen Petrovic Memorial Center. The jersey had a dedication to it: “To Drazen’s mother”
Kerry Eggers: Mike D’Antoni, who played against the late Drazen Petrovic in Europe: “He put 49 in my face. He was one of the best offensive players ever to play the game. He would have had a long, great career in the NBA. And he was a good guy. I have great memories. We had some battles.”
Peter Vecsey: When an obtuse editor in the sports department of USA Today made a command decision not to print a column I’d written about Drazen on the day of his burial in Zagreb, I decided to ask out of my 5-year contract which had two remaining. The editor insisted I write a column about the Bulls-Suns Finals that was getting underway that day. I tried to explain a series preview was insignificant compared to Croatia honoring its greatest athlete. “If Drazen’s death was meaningful enough for our paper to box the breaking news on the front page, his funeral should be meaningful enough for me to write about, ” I emphasized. “Especially since I was the one who broke the fuckin’ story!”
Petrovic hit 43.7 percent of his career 3s, the third-best mark in league history, behind only Steve Kerr and Hubert Davis. Every Croatian with any connection to basketball seems to know that statistic by heart. “He was one of the first guys to shoot from 3 and 4 feet behind the line, and he was doing it running full speed off screens,” Carlisle says. “It was absolutely wild. He would be perfectly suited to play today.”
“Before Drazen, [it was like the league said] you didn’t even want them over here,” says Kenny Anderson, who played with Petrovic in New Jersey. “It was like, ‘Y’all soft.'” Petrovic was hungry to prove everyone wrong. He could have lived a comfortable life as (by far) the best player in Europe. “He told me, ‘If I don’t try the NBA, I will hurt for the rest of my life,'” says Spahija, who was close with Petrovic until his death.