Wednesday , Aug , 06 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Drazen Petrovic versus Kobe Bryant and Redeem Team USA

Hoop heads from the Adriatic to The Rucker were left with questions about Petrovic. For example, would the Croatian have been the NBA’s first European All-Star? Would his talents have translated to playoff success in Jersey or elsewhere? And would his toughness have killed the soft Euro stereotype before it began? …

Drazen Petrovic versus Kobe Bryant and Redeem Team USAHe was the OG of European players. A foreign trailblazer whose short NBA run allowed future Euros like Dirk to rock MVP and Tony to rock Eva.

Of course, we’re referring to the late Drazen Petrovic. After dominating European basketball and making his mark with the New Jersey Nets, ‘Petro’ died tragically in a car accident at just 28 years old.

Hoop heads from the Adriatic to The Rucker are left with questions about Petrovic. For example, would the Croatian have been the NBA’s first European All-Star? Would his talents have translated to playoff success in Jersey or elsewhere? And would his toughness have killed the soft Euro stereotype before it began?

Unfortunately, we’ll never know. Personally, I believe Petrovic was destined for NBA superstardom, postseason duels in May, and, most importantly, would’ve secured respect for international players.

Well, how about the 2008 ‘Redeem Team’, specifically their all-world guard and certified lockdown defender Kobe Bryant? That’s right. Who wins a ‘Petro’ versus Mamba duel?

Another tough question with no answer. Our best evidence lies in footage from the gold medal game of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics between Croatia and the original Dream Team. Petrovic dropped an impressive 24 points on Michael Jordan, helping the Euros keep things close for a half. Check it out …


(Croatia-USA, 1992 Olympic Final. Sorry for the music.)

And if ‘Petro’ could hang with Mike, he could hang with ‘Kobe’. Maybe more.

Would Petrovic have handled Bryant? Or vice-versa? Get at us in the comment box below and come back to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA stuff. Photo courtesy of Julius – Laid Back.