Tuesday, 9 November 2021

Brooklyn Nets in Croatia? Biserka Petrović on Dražen's 30th Anniversary Plans

November 9, 2021 - Basketball superstar Dražen Petrović was tragically killed in a car accident in Germany 28 years ago. His mother, Biserka, spoke of having the Brooklyn Nets in Croatia to honor Dražen on the 30th anniversary of his passing in 2023. 

On the HRT Sport and Music show, Biserka Petrović exclusively announced the arrival of the 'New Jersey Nets' in Croatia while presenting the recently published book The Greatest Successes of Croatian Sports by Davor Lulić and Dražen Beraković. In addition, the mother of deceased basketballer Dražen Petrović spoke to Lovorko Magdić about what they have in mind to honor one of Croatia's greatest. 

"If we don't write it down, it didn't happen. We have so many athletes in all sports that we need to have two or three more of these books," Petrović said to HRT.

"In front of the Dražen Museum is the Light of Croatian Sport; it is not just for him; it is for all athletes. Isn't it nice to preserve everything and to take care of our heritage and the athletes who left their legacy? So we have to work on that," she added and then revealed her plans.

"The foundation has made its expansion of the Museum, and we are working on the project. For the 30th anniversary, we are negotiating with the New Jersey Nets (Dražen played for the New Jersey Nets from 1991 to 1993, though the club is now called the Brooklyn Nets) about playing a game in Croatia. There is no specific date yet; we will leave it to them when the date suits them, we will not tie it to a birthday or anniversary, but something big has to be done for the 30th anniversary."

Could this mean the Brooklyn Nets will face the Croatia national team?

"We will see, it is difficult to put together the best players from Europe, but we will work on that. I can't say more now, but we are working on it," concluded Biserka Petrović.

On June 7, 1993, Dražen Petrović, a member of the Croatia basketball team and one of the best Croatian athletes of all time, was killed in a car accident on the motorway near the German city of Ingolstadt.

He was a basketball player and a role model, the Mozart of sports, but tragically died at the age of 29 during the peak of his playing career.

Dražen played his last match against Slovenia in the qualifications for the European Championship in Wroclaw. It was June 5, 1993. The Croatia national team returned from Poland by plane, but Dražen set off in a car with his girlfriend behind the wheel, with no idea it would be his last drive.


Dražen was born on October 22, 1964, in Šibenik. His love for basketball has been with him since he was a small child. His exceptional perseverance and dedication to daily training with undeniable talent quickly made him one of the best in all age groups.

At the age of sixteen, he joined the Šibenik first team. He brought his hometown to the title of Yugoslav champion in 1983.

Cibona and Real Madrid were unreachable to all European clubs when Dražen played in their ranks. Then, having achieved everything in Europe, he went to the strongest league globally - the NBA.

Although he was on the bench more than he played for the first season due to politics inside Portland, he showed his phenomenal talent with the New Jersey Nets two years later. He was the team’s top shooter in 1992 (primarily at three-pointers) and the best European to have played in the NBA league so far. 


That year, Dražen led the Croatia national team to its greatest success, silver at the Olympic Games in Barcelona, ​​in the final clash with the only real Dream Team played by the best representatives of the NBA and some of the best basketball players in history - Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen, and others.

As a player, he received the Franjo Bučar State Award for Sports in 1992, and posthumously, this time for his life's work, he received the same award in 2002.


He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 8 July 2019

NBA Summer League: Croatia Hold their Own in Loss Against Brooklyn Nets

Croatia's second NBA Summer League game against the Brooklyn Nets ended 58:74, though the result isn't entirely reflective of Croatia, who, similarly to the first match against Detroit, managed to hold their own, reports Sportske Novosti on July 8, 2019. 

Croatia even seemed better at times than two days ago, like at the start of the second half after Antonio Vranković scored for 39:37. Although the Nets had good rhythm, Croatia figured out their flow by halftime and found a solution for the aggressive Gray and Kurucs.

The entire third quarter, unlike against Detroit, was equal, though the problems began at the beginning of the last quarter. The Nets used their speed, which Croatia was unable to follow. But even with their high intensity, Croatia looked better on the court than they did on Friday. The Nets are also competing with two players who had serious playing time in the NBA last season -  Jarrett Allen and the Latvian Rodions Kurucs. The team also features Džanan Musa, who scored 15 points.

Željko Šakić achieved a double-double with 11 points, 11 rebounds, and one assist.

“It was the same as in the first game, we did well, but we had a black hole at the beginning of the last quarter. I think we are presenting ourselves in a good light here and playing well. This is a challenge, we have young players, but in these two games, a lot was good. As far as I'm concerned, I do not feel too much of a difference except in physical strength, because I have never played a physically demanding game, but I am grateful to the coach that I'm here, I’m living the dream,” said Željko Šakić, the oldest in the team and the captain of Croatia in Las Vegas. 

Croatia's top scorer on Sunday was Antonio Vranković, who scored 12 points, and collected eight rebounds, assist and two blocks.

“We went into the game worse, but we woke and were better. The coach set up a zone, and we did our job. We were much better than in the first game; we looked better as a team, we were able to handle the game more energetically. I hope we get at least one victory here,” said Antonio Vranković.

“The attack was better on Friday, but we showed a lot of good things now. In the last 35 minutes, they only scored 56 points. We are showing from game to game that we can match up with these guys and that deserves a positive rating,” said coach Veljko Mršić.

Ermal Kuqo, a scout for the Clippers, concluded.

“The arrival of Croatia in Las Vegas is the best thing that could happen for Croatian basketball. Just look at how the players are cheering for each other, jumping from the bench. This did not happen in your team before.”

Ivica Zubac and his girlfriend Kristina could also be seen in the crowd against the Nets. Recall, Zubac just signed a $28 million contract with the LA Clippers.

“I am surprised, I watched the first game on TV, and after watching it live the guys are really holding their own.”

Croatia will play their third match of the NBA Summer League on Tuesday at 9:30 pm against Oklahoma City. According to what both teams have shown so far, this could be the first real opportunity for Croatia to get an NBA win. 

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Brooklyn Nets Remember the Legend Dražen Petrović (Video)

Ahead of their game against the Chicago Bulls, the Brooklyn Nets honored the legacy of Croatian basketball legend Dražen Petrović.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

What an Evening for Croats in the NBA: Bogdanović a Hero, Bender with First Double-Double

Last night the NBA played 11 matches and the Croats were in full operation. The title role was the best for Bojan Bogdanović, reports Index.hr on 27 December 2016.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

NBA Recap: Bogdanović, Šarić, and Hezonja Fail to Win

Bojan Bogdanović scored 26 points and was the best scorer for the Nets who lost to the Bucks. Dario Šarić’s Sixers were defeated by Atlanta with a 32 point difference, reports tportal.hr.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Bogdanović Passes a Petrović Milestone

On Wednesday night, Bojan Bogdanović passed Petrovic on the Nets’ all-time three-pointers list.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Croatia Will be Represented by 7 Players in the NBA this Season

After Damjan Rudež signed a contract with Orlando Magic, Croatia will now be represented by 7 basketball players in the NBA this season.