Filed under: Beckett Media, Fleer, NBA, Pro Sports, sports movies | Tags: Beckett, Beckett Basketball, croatia, drazen petrovic, Fleer, NBA, New Jersey Nets
By Susan Lulgjuraj | Contributing Editor
On Wednesday night, ESPN premiered its newest 30 for 30 documentary “Once Brothers,” which is a story of NBA stars Drazen Petrovic and Vlade Divac. They grew up together, sharing a dream of playing professional basketball, but were torn apart by political issues from the fall of the Soviet Union.
Petrovic was from Croatia and Divac from Serbia, but before the breakup, they were both just Yugoslavian.
Petrovic was one of my favorite players growing up. I watched him on the New Jersey Nets, but it was more than just seeing a hometown hero. Petrovic was from the same area of the world as my parents and I have always felt a bond to people from the Balkan region.
One of my favorite Petrovic cards was his 1992-93 Fleer #147. It wasn’t a fancy card. No autograph or piece of game-used jersey. This card was just a piece of cardboard with a great action shot.
I kept the card in the bottom of my jewelry box and took it out whenever I would think about him or watch a Nets game – even though I was a New York Knicks fans.
Petrovic died in a car accident in 1993 and I remember feeling the shock of that even though I was just a teenager. My favorite player was gone and he spent just four seasons in the NBA.
I owned a few other of his cards, but he didn’t have many. Petrovic has 88 total cards and just three Rookie Cards.
Petrovic was very popular with fans. He was included in at least six sets after his death, even through last year in 2009-10 Hall of Fame.
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