If you remember watching Drazen Petrovic play the game of basketball, consider yourself lucky. Unfortunately for me, I don’t have those memories. A native of Croatia, Petrovic played college ball at the University of Zagreb in Yugoslavia. He was drafted in the third round of the 1986 NBA Draft by the Portland Trailblazers. Petro, as he was called my most, became a fan-favorite wherever he played. For the Blazers, and later in New Jersey when he was traded to the
Things have changed in Rip City. For the Portland Trail Blazers, the 2013-14 season not only represented a return to the playoffs, it ended a drought of not making the second round that had lasted longer than a decade.Yes, the Trail Blazers got taken to the woodshed by the San Antonio Spurs in the conference semifinals, doing just enough against the eventual champions to avoid a sweep. But plenty of other teams got whooped by the Spurs, too. Winning against the Houston
In a day where all 24 teams played in the FIBA World Cup leading up to Thursday’s frenetic first round finish, it was The Manimal who again stood out in another Team USA victory. After a closely contested first quarter, Kenneth Faried helped the Americans (4-0), once again propelled by their big men, take the second and third quarters by a combined 26 points and defeat the Dominican Republic (2-2) 106-71 to advance to 4-0 and clinch the best record in
In a highly patriotic coincidence, Team USA was off on this Labor Day Monday as they prepare for Tuesday’s match with New Zealand, the only Group C team without a win here in this FIBA World Cup. Groups A and B played on Monday with the hosts separating themselves from the pack, one big upset, one huge Freakish dunk and an emerging dark horse for the all-tournament team. Group A Serbia (2-1) outscored Iran 25-13 in the decisive third quarter and defeated Iran
The 2014 Basketball World Cup is finally here. And you need to take it seriously, because everyone else does. Thanks to NBC and the other fall-in-line media outlets, most Americans believe the Olympics is the premier international basketball event. Globally, nothing could be further from the truth. With 24 teams and no automatic bid for the host, the World Cup is twice the size of the Olympics. It doesn’t share the spotlight with track or swimming. And most of the players will
In years past, Americans have considered the Olympics to be the only relevant international basketball competition. Stateside, the other quadrennial tournament formerly known as the FIBA World Championship went largely unnoticed until Team USA embarrassed themselves in 2002, losing three times in Indianapolis and finishing sixth after never having lost with NBA players. The rest of the world sees things differently. Other basketball federations have been viewing the World Championship as the more important international competition. Also, because the very best Americans play
In an interview in April 2013, Kevin Durant told Sports Illustrated he was tired of finishing second. Durant was the second player taken in the 2007 draft. He lost in the NBA Finals in 2012. He finished second in MVP voting four times. This past season, Durant took a huge step forward when he won his first MVP award, finally emerging from the shadow cast by LeBron James. But if he doesn’t win an NBA championship in the next two years with
Brazil entered Tuesday’s World Cup semifinal match against Germany facing extreme obstacles. Their captain, Thiago Silva was due to miss the match having accumulated two yellow cards, and star forward Neymar had suffered a fractured vertebra in their quarterfinal match against Colombia. Even with such losses, they were still expected to play well, perhaps carrying out the role of underdog to move on to the finals. The match was highly anticipated and was garnering a lot of media attention and hype.