Just thought Netsdaily should honor the life of Drazen Petrovic... one of the Greatest Nets in history... I have no doubt that our franchise would look completely different if he were still alive .. so here it goes:
Drazen was born on October 22, 1964 in modern-day Croatia, to serbian and Croatian parents. After following the footsteps of his brother, Petrovic started playing organized ball at the age of 13. Leading his team, BC Sibenka, to great heights, Drazen's talent became quite evident. In 1983, Petrovic hit two clutch free-throws in a championship game to help BC Sibenka win the title. (The title was taken away due to questionable refereeing)
Drazen then moved on to play for BC Cibona Zagreb. Winning the Yugoslav championship and National Cup in his first year with the team, Drazen started to peak the interests of European scouts. According to Wiki, "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."
In 1986, The Portland Trailblazers selected Drazen Petrovic with their 60th pick. However Petrovic decided to remain in Europe, signing with Real Madrid.
In 1989, Petrovic joined the Portland Trailblazers, however due to limited minutes, could never showcase his true talents. On January 23, 1991, Petrovic was sent to the New Jersey Nets in a 3 team trade.
Petrovic nearly tripled his amount of minutes in NJ. In the last 43 games of the 1991 season, Petrovic averaged 12.6 ppg. In the 1991-1992 season, Petrovic averaged 20.6 ppg playing 36.9 minutes per game while shooting an impressive 51% from the field. In 1992-1993, Petrovic averaged 22.3 ppg. However, Petrovic was snubbed from the 1993 All-Star Game. Eventually the Nets were eliminated that spring by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Petrovic went back to Europe to the offseason, still undecided whether to continue to play in the NBA or return to European basketball.
However, on June 7th, 1993, Petrovic died in a fatal car accident on the Autobahn 9 in Bavaria, Germany, shocking fans all over the world. Reggie Miller, one of the greatest shooters in history, considers Drazen Petrovic to be one of the "purest" shooters who has ever played the game.
R.I.P Drazen Petrovic
(October 22, 1964 – June 7, 1993