Celtics Parish tried to stop Drazen at the McDonald's Tournament

 

REAL MADRID Story

Four years in Cibona were behind him and it was time for the new challenges. Three years have passed by since Portland drafted him in the 3rd round and they were still waiting for Basketball Mozart.

I don’t know, I am not sure. NBA is a big challenge…but dangerous too. Here in Europe I am a star… over there- who knows. No, it is not a lack of confidence, I always had enough confidence…but, will I get a right chance? In fact, I still have time. For now, I’ll stay in Europe, Drazen talked about his big decision.

The only club that deserved to have a player as Drazen Petrovic was Real Madrid. The most celebrated club in European history. The club, that used to dislike Drazen for winning over them too many times, has finally capture the brightness Croatian star.

A four multimillion dollars contract would give Drazen what he always wanted - to be the best player in the most glorified team in the Europe. Maybe even then he subconsciously knew that that was just a part of his challenges as NBA secretly awaited.

Drazen took his professional habits and enthusiasm to Madrid and overnight become the biggest star of Madrid. Just as in Cibona, Drazen brought to Real Madrid a spectacle and two trophies, Aleksandar recalls, and unforgettable European Cup Finals versus Caserte when Drazen scored 62 points!

After scoring 62 points in the European Cup Finals.
Still more the anything Aleksandar recall the game against Real Madrid: Unquestionably, the most interesting detail of the semifinals between Real and Cibona was in the game one, in Zagreb. The ovation that he received is another story about Drazen Petrovic, the way he was and always will be part of Zagreb. At the end of the game Drazen had two free throws to win the game for Real. The victory that did not mean much to them. As a Cibona player and his brother I begged him to miss the free throws: Drazen, please, miss both of them. Drazen, it is the same to you...you’ll win at Madrid. We’ll get special bonuses if we win this game….please! He just smiled and made both free throws. He did not know how to lose, simply did not know how.

It was obvious that Drazen has become far too big for Europe, for any club on the European continent. European Michael Jordan, as some referred of him, was scoring 30 points per game, being at his best when his team need it the most.

His 42 points in the Spanish National Finals (Game 4.) and 8 three pointers in the Game 2. is the highest by a single player in the Spanish finals history. Winning the European Cup and scoring 62 points in the final game versus Caserte was ‘an icing on top of the cake.’

Back then nobody knew that his first year at Madrid would be and his last one. The pressure from Portland was greater then ever and Drazen felt that it was time to take his final step: The NBA challenge.

Drazen vs. Aleksandar. Drazen's 27 points in the first half was too much for Cibona.
No, it was never the money, Aleksandar said, Drazen had enough money. It was the challenge…NBA was supposedly profiled for American players only. None of the European players ever made in the NBA unless they attended US Universities basketball programs previously.

With one million or five, ten or hundred, still you can only eat once - lunch and dinner.
- Drazen Petrovic

He packed his bags, and left in no time. For the first time in his career he left without saying goodbye.


Drazen Petrovic jersey