MEMORIES ON DRAZEN PETROVIC


Picture on the screen during 1993. NBA finals.
The 1993 NBA finals between Chicago and Phoenix started with the silence. Drazen’s picture on the big screen... It said Memories on Petro. And then a sound of the game speaker:

He was participating in the tournament in Germany with his Croatian National Team. Drazen was a true international basketball pioneer. The NBA and it's players extend heartfelt condolence to his family and friends. Please join us in observing a moment in silence in Memory of Drazen Petrovic.

Maybe then, in that minute of silence, many players in the arena and big audience across the world felt how insecure our lives are. Maybe, there was an answer and the meaning of Drazen’s life. Why did he work so hard, pushing himself to the unseen limits? As if he had known…

Drazen and I were very good friends. I was one of those people who welcomed him to Portland when he came from Europe. We talked about his family a lot in his restaurant, and he enjoyed his friends and he enjoyed the game of basketball. I really respect him because he worked very, very hard. Each and every day in practice he would be the first guy to come and the last guy to leave the gym. So anybody with that kind of dedication... you have to have a lot of respect for him.- Clyde Drexler

Lauseanna, Switzerland
The loss particularly stunned European fans. It’s hard for you to imagine here in America, because you have so many great players, his brother told the New York Daily News. But we are a country of four million. Without him, basketball takes three steps back.

Drazen Petrovic achievements and contributions were enormous. Putting up a statue in front of Olympic museum in Lauseanna (Switzerland ), European basketball community made sure that generations to come will remember and know what Drazen meant for European as well as American basketball. Late in 1993 the Nets retired Petrovic’s uniform No. 3 in tribute.

I am going to ask from all of you who loved Drazen Petrovic one thing. I wish for Drazen to stay in your memories as a man who raised his hands towards you after every basket he made….because he was looking for you, his fans. I want you to remember Drazen as a man who brought joy to you, his smile…treasure those moments of Drazen, forever. Destiny took him away from us, probably at the peek of his career, to become a legend, to show us the way... (Aleksandar Petrovic)


See the remembrance on Petro during the 1993. NBA finals
on Real Player Slide Show

You know there is a saying that we have about JFK, John F. Kennedy -"You know Johnny we never got to know you." And I kind of feel that way about Drazen. I felt that the whole year that I was with him went by too fast and I really never got to know him the way I would have liked to.
- Chuck Daly