Saturday Matinee – “Vintage NBA: Drazen Petrovic”

02.09.13 5 years ago 8 Comments

Michael Jordan sang his praises. ESPN’s 30 For 30 “Once Brothers” told the story of his brotherhood and falling out with Vlade Divac. And a barber once told me he probably would’ve gone down as the best pure shooter had he lived. Drazen Petrovic had all the makings of a NBA star. The keyword being “had.”

In 2013, predicting what Draz was supposed to be or what he may have accomplished is irrelevant. Yet, the story behind Petrovic and his journey to NBA respect is a unique one littered with joy, inspiration, pain and the haunting question of “what if?” What’s equal parts awesome and upsetting is, in fact, tailored to that question of the unknown. Check Petro’s last two full seasons in New Jersey.

1991-92: 82 games played (82 started), 20.6 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 3.1 APG, 50.8 FG, 44.4 3PT, 80.8 FT

1992-93: 70 games played (67 started), 22.3 PPG, 2.7 RPB, 3.5 APG, 51.8 FG, 44.9 3PT, 87% FT

See? There isn’t a doubt in my mind Draz would have clipped the same 50-40-90 season Durant is currently chasing either in the 1993-94 season or the ’94-’95 campaign. Given his pure shooting stroke, he probably could have done it multiple times. Anywho, perhaps you’ll learn something from this documentary. Perhaps nothing here is anything new under the sun. Nevertheless, carve out the next 45 minutes or so and educate yourself on a pioneer of European influence in the NBA who helped pave the way for names like Dirk Nowitzki, Manu Ginobli, Danilo Gallinari, the Gasol brothers, Ricky Rubio and more.

Previously: On Michael Jordan, The 1986 NBA Draft & Aborted Rivalries

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