In Croatia, a country not much known for its basketball prowess, Drazen Petrovic developed into the best player in the world. His legacy is still going strong today and his name has been immortalized in multiple ways that date back to when he was alive.
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The “drazen petrovic” is the legacy of a player that went before becoming a superstar. Drazen Petrovic was one of the greatest players to ever play basketball, but he died at only 28 years old.
Drazen Petrovic, a 6’5″ Croatian who was a great scorer and shooter in his heyday, is a name that many die-hard NBA fans are familiar with. After playing internationally from 1987 to 1989, Petrovic was drafted into the NBA in 1990, launching his career on the world’s largest stage. We all know Petrovic died in a tragic vehicle accident, but he was eventually recognized when his name was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
But what was it about Petrovic that made him so special? Why is he known as a basketball icon in the United States and Europe? The reason for this was that his talents were genuinely unique, and few in history could match what Petrovic brought to the game as a speedy shooting guard with a relentless drive and passion for the game in terms of highlight-reel performances.
His NBA Career Is Off To A Slow Start
Petrovic started his NBA career with the Portland Trail Blazers, where he appeared in 77 games and averaged 7.6 points per game. While his stats didn’t seem to be quite up to pace for a future icon, he was just 25 years old at the time and was making his first foray into the American market after playing professionally in Yugoslavia and Spain. Petrovic improved somewhat in his second season, appearing in 18 games for the Trail Blazers before joining the New Jersey Nets in 1991. Petrovic only averaged 4.4 points per game with Portland and 12.6 points per game with the Nets, indicating that his all-around offensive game has improved.
“Drazen and I were really close friends,” Clyde Drexler confessed of his time with the Trail Blazers. When he arrived in Portland from Europe, I was one of the persons who greeted him. In his restaurant, we spoke a lot about his family, and he liked his friends and the game of basketball. I have a lot of respect for him since he worked so hard. Every day during practice, he was the first to arrive and the last to go. So, anybody with that kind of commitment… you have to admire him.”
Stardom was at his doorstep, and he was a box-office draw.
Petrovic started demonstrating his box-office skills after two tumultuous seasons in the NBA, playing all 82 games and bringing prominence to the league. However, as Drazen became a celebrity, he was able to bridge the divide between the United States and “the rest of the globe.” Petrovic was regarded as a pioneer in the sport because he raised notice of Yugoslavia’s vast skill pool outside of North America.
Petrovic began producing spectacular plays in his third NBA season with the Nets, averaging 20.6 points per game. Even though he was 6’5″ and weighed 195 pounds, the Hall of Famer was lightning fast with superb handling and scoring ability. In addition, the Croatian hit 50.8 percent of his shots from the field, 44.4 percent from three, and 80.8 percent of his free throws. He was clearly on his way to becoming a superstar. Petrovic, on the other hand, would soar to new heights the next season.
Petrovic averaged 22.3 points per game in 1993, shooting 51.8 percent from the field, 44.9 percent from three, and 87.0 percent from the line. For a player in the early 1990s, his shooting stats were incredible, and the Hall of Famer was a natural marksman. We may be talking about a top-3 shooter in the league if he played today’s game. The point guard was a phenomenal talent and one of New Jersey’s best players. Petrovic earned the All-NBA Team and finished his career in a city renowned for its love of celebrities.
A Regrettable Ending
Drazen Petrovic, without a doubt, would have been hailed as the best European player if he had continued to play. However, a vehicle tragedy claimed the life of one of his generation’s greatest players, bringing an end to a legacy that was brief but sweet while it lasted. Petrovic’s jersey number was retired by the Nets, and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a result of his worldwide influence and skill set as a scoring guard.
It’s difficult to compare any European player to him only on the basis of skill set and impact. That is why, in 2013, EuroBasket players selected Petrovic as the best European player of all time. Petrovic was also named one of the top 50 EuroLeague Contributors. Back in the 1990s, the number of great European players in the NBA was exceptionally unusual, and Petrovic is one of the pioneers in raising awareness of the global sport.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What happened to Drazen Petrovic in Part 2 of the documentary?
A: In Part 2 of the documentary, Drazen Petrovic ultimately died from a cardiac arrest.
Is Drazen Petrovic dead?
A: Drazen Petrovic is alive and well.
Where is Drazen Petrovic from?
A: Drazen Petrovic is a famous basketball player from Croatia. He was born in 1977 on February 12th and died of heart attack at age 33 on February 16, 2017.
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