UPDATE: The Vlade Divac / Drazen Petrovic documentary premiere is scheduled for 12th of October 2010.
Vlade Divac and Drazen Petrovic were two of the greatest European basketball players of all time. Vlade retired recently, and Drazen, sadly, died back in 1993 in an automobile accident. Had he lived, he would probably be a household name by now, just like Divac is. After the war broke out in former Yugoslavia, however, these two teammates stopped talking – Vlade is a Serb, while Drazen was a Croat, and the nationalistic rhetorics in both countries must have influenced them, just like many other friends and colleagues at the time, even family members. Even though Divac managed to set things straight with former teammates, Croatians Toni Kukoc and Dino Radja, he was too late to make peace with Drazen.
Documentary director Michael Tolajian found the story of war, friendship and sportsmanship to be interesting enough to include in ESPN’s 30 for 30 series which features some of the greatest sport stories from the past 30 years. The documentary, called “Once Brothers” (Serbian: Jednom braća) will also include the tale of the best European national team of all time, the Yugoslavian national team from 1988-91, which, beside Divac, Petrovic, Kukoc and Radja had such names as Žarko Paspalj, Predrag Danilović, Stojan Vranković, Jure Zdovc, Zoran Čutura, Zdravko Radulović, Zoran Radović, Zoran Savić and Aleksandar Đorđević.
I’ll let you know when the documentary is finished, in the meantime, here’s a clip of Vlade from Bill Kralovec’s blog: