Today, 28 years ago, one of Croatia’s greatest athletes ever, Dražen Petrović (Dražen Petrović) was killed in a car accident on the Nuremberg-Munich highway near Ingolstadt, Germany. Basketball Mozart, as he was once called by an Italian journalist, tragically died when his sporting fame reached its peak, at the age of 29. He is one of the best European basketball players in history and opened the door to the NBA for Europeans. He was born in Sibenik on October 22, 1964, where he started his brilliant basketball career at the age of 13. At the age of 15, he played for Bardkin for Sibenik’s first team.
“The ball, the basket and me. This is a story with no ending. However, I hope they can understand that for what I want from basketball, I have to go further. I have to close one to open the second Round,” Drazen told Sibenik fans. When he left the small hall where he took his first basketball step.
Since 1984, he has played for Cibona and won two European championships with Cibona. Four years later he moved to Real Madrid. After winning a series of trophies “from Madrid” by the Royal Club, he moved to the world’s strongest league NBA, first in Portland and then in New Jersey. On the Nets jersey, he left a deep mark, and describing himself as the league’s top scorer, the No. 3 player under the roof of a hall in New Jersey, can best prove what he means to them. He is a shooter who is still admired and a rare worker.
As the captain, he led the famous Croatian national team to win the silver medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, played the last game with the only true American dream team, and joined some basketball of that team ten years later. Team Springfield’s Hall of Fame. As a member of the original national team, he won another Olympic silver medal-in Seoul in 1988 and bronze in Los Angeles in 1984.
Dratzen Petrovich played the last match for Croatia in the European Championship qualifiers against Slovenia in Wroclaw, Poland, on June 5, 1993. The Croatian national team is returning from Poland by plane, however, its captain, along with his girlfriend Clara Salantz and her friends, left Frankfurt for Munich by car.
With the departure of Dratzen, the best scene of Croatian basketball has also gone, and it has not yet recovered. He is happy for his game, but also happy for his attitude towards sports. He is simple and a little self-deprecating, despite his reputation worldwide. He was born for basketball and sports. He has inspired generations and we see him as a symbol of persistence, dedication and hard work.
“I never miss a morning workout. I don’t care about getting up at 6 or 7 o’clock. Only me and the cleaner are in the gym. I put the chair on the floor and ran the ball between them. So I practice dribbling. “I enjoy it. If sometimes I can’t go to training, I will get sick immediately”, Dražen said.
We still remember his cult statement, which may best describe him:
“Until I was 16, I respected talents, and then I devoted myself to hard work.”
The statements of his teammates, opponents, fans and friends fully illustrate the legacy and importance of Dražen Petrović, who is a role model for basketball and life. These are the most important of them.
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers basketball player, one of the greatest players in history:
“I was a kid when Derazen played, but I really liked watching him. He was an invisible shooter, a player who had never seen a foreigner in the NBA. When he scored 44 points in Houston , I am very excited. I remember that his past assists made me very happy, which proves that he knows the game very well. He is a European genius that has never been seen in the NBA. He is a new thing. It may be normal to see foreign players playing today. “Playing a leading role in their team. But Drazin opened the door for them all. This should be appreciated. After all, the Nets retired his No. 3, which shows how much they appreciate him. “
Michael Jordan, by many of the best basketball players of all time:
“I like to play against Drazen. A great player. He is not afraid, he concentrates. Fighting and confident. Whenever we face each other, he is strong to me, just like I am to him. Otherwise you can’t play with Drazen confrontation. Our game is always “We have a few wonderful games, unfortunately, they are all short-lived games. He left a deep mark in a short period of time. He started the NBA challenge fearlessly and showed other Europeans how they can succeed. “