|Dražen Petrović, a famous Croatian basketball player, died on June 1993, ie 15 years ago. With all the problems going on in Croatia back then, Dražen gave all of Croatia the joy of Basketball to alleviate their pains. His very nice monument can be seen in front of the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland.|
A SHINING STAR
There was a star that shone real bright,
A star that shone all throught the night.
He was a star that played his best,
And put his talents to the test.
He was a leader for the Nets,
As determined as a person gets.
He played basketball with a great passion,
Shooting threes in his own famous fashion.
He always got the crow on their feet,
To cheer him on for a spectacular defeat.
He was a great player, there is no doubt,
He made us cheer, he made us shout.
He was filled with fierce enthusiasm and spirit,
Boy, he really let those refs hear it!
He had an unforgettable personality,
Paired with a sparkling vitality.
He entertained us until the end,
And to his teammates he was a friend.
We will always remember the man with the easy smile
And stylish play.
This man we called "Petro".
by Lauren Tarino
USPOMENI NA DRAŽENA PETROVIĆA
Prije 15 godina, 7. lipnja 1993. godine, poginuo je hrvatski košarkaški reprezentativac i jedan od najvećih košarkaša kojeg su Hrvatska i Europa ikada imale - Dražen Petrović. Poginuo je sa 29 godina u prometnoj nesreći na autocesti kod njemačkog grada Ingolstadta, samo dan nakon posljednjeg nastupa u dresu hrvatske košarkaške reprezentacije na kvalifikacijskom turniru za europsko prvenstvo u Wroclawu.
Od ranih dana Dražen je bio vođa, uzor i legenda. Rođen je u Šibeniku 22. listopada 1964. godine gdje je i zaigrao košarku. Igrajući sa svega 17 godina za prvoligaša "KK Šibenka" svoju ekipu doveo je do titule prvaka ex-Jugoslavije, ali im je taj trofej naknadno oduzet u nikada razjašnjenim okolnostima. Iz "Šibenke" odlazi u Cibonu s kojom osvaja dva naslova prvaka Europe (1985. i 1986.). Godine 1988. odlazi u španjolski Real Madrid, a 1990. počinje igrati u NBA ligi za Portland Trail Blazerse.
Godine 1991. prelazi u New Jersey Netse u kojima doživljava igrački preporod nakon krize izazvane prelaskom iz Europe u Ameriku i neigranjem. Godine 1993. godine Dražen je bio najbolji europljanin u NBA ligi. Sezonu je završio u trećoj NBA petorci. U prosjeku je zabijao 22,1 poena i imao je najbolji postotak šuta među bekovima. Član je košarkaške "Kuće slavnih" u američkom gradu Springfieldu.
U košarkaškom dresu Dražen je osvojio sve što se moglo osvojiti. Od prvenstva bivše države, kupa, naslova prvaka Europe, kupa Europe, europskih i svjetskih prvenstava do olimpijskog srebra i bronce i NBA finala. Upravo je Dražen predvodio kao kapetan hrvatsku košarkašku reprezentaciju na Olimpijskim igrama u Barceloni 1992. godine kada je Hrvatska osvojila srebrnu medalju izgubivši u finalu od američkog Dream teama, momčadi kakva se vjerojatno više nikada neće skupiti niti u jednom sportu. U tom trenutku u Dream teamu je igralo 10 najboljih košarkaša na svijetu. Bio je to prvi veliki sportski uspjeh samostalne Hrvatske i to u trenutcima kada je naša domovina krvarila. Bili su to trenutci ponosa i slave. Trenutci koji će u nama trajati zauvijek.
Godinu dana poslije naš Dražen je otišao tamo gdje idu najveći. Danas, 15 godina poslije, opet si s nama, uvijek si s nama, živiš u našim srcima i mislima, na klupama i pod koševima. Hvala ti Dražene na svemu! Nedostaješ više nego što se to riječima može opisati…
Ivan Pušćenik, Lipik, Croatia
REMEMBERING DRAŽEN PETROVIĆ
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Dražen Petrović ... 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...
Dražen Petrović about his hometown Šibenik
If it's true that first love is never forgotten, then Šibenik has been my first love from the beginning. Everything started there. Though I pushed my emotions to the side, I never had enough time, it's hard , impossible to forget those first days. Aco's trainings, the day I first entered the hall, all those hours I spent on the court.
The ball, the basket and me. Šibenik determined my career and it showed me the path. And that's a story that doesn't end. I hope, on the other hand that they will understand, because of basketball I must move on. I must close one circle in order to open another.
Formated for CROWN by prof.dr. Darko Žubrinić
Distributed by www.Croatia.org . This message is intended for Croatian Associations/Institutions and their Friends in Croatia and in the World. The opinions/articles expressed on this list do not reflect personal opinions of the moderator. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, please delete or destroy all copies of this communication and please, let us know!