Tag:Vlade Divac
Posted on: August 15, 2011 4:53 pm
  •  
 

Bobby Jackson once checked in mostly naked

By Matt Moore

Over at Kings.com, they ran an interview with Vlade Divac, because, well, what else are they going to do for content? Dance team tryout pictures will only take you so far. In the interview, they asked Divac about the best prank he ever pulled, and well...
“I had a lot of them but I’ll pick one you’ll really like – it’s about Bobby Jackson. He lost some card games on a plane and, obviously, we were so close that we didn’t want to take each others’ money. But I told him, ‘You don’t need to pay me, but you need to be in your underwear and check-in to the hotel in New York.’ So that happened.
via Sacramento Kings, Vlade Revisits His Kings Years.

I... er... we... uh... so...

I'm just trying to get my head around the visual of Bobby Jackson walking in to check into a hotel in New York in his skivvies. That's right. I said skivvies.  

(HT: Sactown Royalty
Posted on: October 13, 2010 1:07 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 7:49 pm
 

ESPN's Drazen Petrovic doc drawing rave reviews

ESPN's documentary film about former NBA players Drazen Petrovic and Vlade Divac is garnering great reviews.

Posted by Ben Golliver

On Tuesday night, ESPN premiered "Once Brothers ", their latest entry in the "30 for 30" film series . The film looks at former NBA players Drazen Petrovic and Vlade Divac and how war in the Balkans during the 1990s strained the relationship between Croatians and Serbians.

The heavy Twitter hype last night was apparently not misplaced: cruising through cyberspace today, "Once Brothers" is drawing unanimously positive reviews. Here's a sample of what the critics have to say.  
Eric Newman of Dime Magazine calls it "the best basketball documentary since Hoop Dreams."
As someone who grew up watching Petrovic and Divac from their first days in the NBA, this was an incredible piece to watch. It was no accident that these two left their mark in the NBA, as the flash and charisma of both players made them fan favorites. It is what came between them that also made this story so sad. Reliving the tragic death of Petrovic in 1993 and learning that Divac has been carrying around the burden of never sitting down with Petrovic to settle their differences was emotional to watch, to say the least.
Writing on TrueHoop, Zach Harper says it was his favorite of the 30 for 30 series .
However, outside of the beautiful basketball we saw a tempestuous glimpse into the overall message of what was lost and how easily worlds can be torn apart. It left me feeling fairly sad about the entire project. Some may criticize the use of Vlade as the film’s simultaneous muse and a narrator, but I found it to be the only way to dive into the events of what happened and the emotional dissonance that rose from these friendships being put on hold -- some permanently.
John Scheibe of the Los Angeles Times praises the movie's visuals .
In part, "Once Brothers" has the look of a foreign film, with subtitles and beautiful photography. Tolajian focuses on Vlade Divac, shadowing him on a journey from Belgrade to Zagreb, Croatia, where the former Lakers center tries to comes to grips with the death of his teammate, Drazen Petrovic, who died in a car crash at age 28.
Sean Highkin of Rip City Project loved the geopolitical exploration .
But basketball aside, the real story here is the way that the friendship between Petrovic and Divac was thrown into turmoil by the breaking up of Yugoslavia. Divac is Serbian, while Petrovic (and several other teammates) were Croatian. This didn’t affect their relationship in the slightest before the start of the civil war, but the tension mounted as reports came in of the gunfire and destruction in their home country, coming to a head immediately after Yugoslavia’s defeat of the Soviet Union in the 1990 FIBA championship game, when Divac yanked a Croatian flag away from a fan who ran onto the court to celebrate. Divac claims it was a gesture of support for a unified Yugoslavia, but Petrovic and his Croatian teammates grew increasingly distant from the Serbian big man. Divac tried repeatedly to make amends with Petrovic, but was unable to do so before Drazen’s death. The country of Croatia still hasn’t entirely regained its trust of Divac, as we see in one particularly powerful scene in which he visits Zagreb for the first time since the beginning of the war.
Dan Devine of Yahoo!'s Ball Don't Lie says the film's honesty and seriousness of its subject helps it succeed.
The emotional toll that the war took on the former national team members, both individually and collectively — the national division (plus one controversial action that, as the film plainly shows, still damns Divac in the minds of many) severely damaged the relationships among the Serbian Divac and his Croatian teammates Kukoc, Radja and Petrovic — is palpable throughout the film. Their honesty in discussing it is perhaps the greatest asset of a film teeming with them. As near as I can tell, this is exactly the kind of presentation "30 for 30" was meant to produce — an enthralling recounting of a forgotten or underappreciated story about how sports and capital-letters Real Life interact.
David Cassilo of SlamOnline enjoyed the discussion of international players adjusting to life in the NBA.
What makes this a must-see for any NBA fan is that within the main story is the story of how an international player adjusts to the NBA. Divac and his former Yugoslavian teammates express all of the obstacles that are in the way for a foreign-born player, including style of play, language and the lack of belief by others that they could actually cut it in the NBA.
I just spent like 14 hours reading about this movie and I don't think I came across a truly negative paragraph. Given that this is the internet we're talking about, that's pretty impressive.

If you want to judge for yourself, "Once Brothers" re-airs tonight at 8 p.m. on ESPN 2.
Posted on: September 16, 2010 1:35 pm
 

Gamesmanship in basketball

Posted by Royce Young

There's been a ton of chatter today about what Derek Jeter did last night against the Tampa Bay Rays. If you didn't see it, basically, a pitch tailed inside on Jeter and hit the knob of his bat. But the way it happened looked as if it hit Jeter's elbow and the umpire bought it. Jeter went to first in a very important divisional game his team was trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning.

The whole thing has sparked a lot of discussion about the difference between cheating and gamesmanship. And I'm not sure there's any more of a cloudy line than between those two. Baseball has its encyclopedia of unwritten rules and gamesmanship has been a part of the game for a long time. Stealing signs, spitting on the ball and all that stuff.

I'm bringing this back to basketball, I promise.

For instance, flopping. We all know what it is and we all despise it to varying degrees. Some players have reputations for it, some players make it a point not to do it. But is it cheating or gamesmanship? Basically, it's the same thing Jeter did last night in Tampa. He did what he could to get to first base. By flopping, you're doing what you can to try and score points. Both are the goals of the game.

Flopping is something seen by most as disrespectful and low class. Instead of playing the game straight up, you've got to take to acting and antics in order to gain an advantage. You work the officials by over-exaggerating fouls. But is that really cheating? Or is it just smart? Working around the rules to manipulate officials in order to score more points? Isn't that what Jeter's being praised for today?

Or what about at the free throw line? It's common for players to put their hands up when their opponent is taking their free shots. But typically, they wait until the last minute to raise their hands, trying to distract the guy at the line. Or how players will swap sides on the lane right before the free throw shooter gets the ball from the referee. It's an effort to try and disrupt rhythm and focus. Cheating or just playing the game?

What about players screaming "AND ONE!!!" to try and coerce a ref into blowing his whistle? Or things like stretching rules like traveling and carrying? Or an opposing bench yelling or waving a towel as someone attempts a 3 in the corner? Couldn't all these things be considered "cheating?"

I for one, despise flopping. It's why a lot of Americans hate soccer and it's a lot of the reason Manu Ginobili isn't very well-liked outside of San Antonio. It cheapens the game and it's just a low-brow effort to try and gain an advantage. Man up and play. As a basketball fan, is it annoying to watch? Absolutely. But is it cheating? No way. It's completely fair to do and if a flop wins your team a game, it's a smart play. It might hurt your reputation as a player, but if you don't care, by all means.

As long as you put competitors in competitive situations, they're going to look for an edge. Steroids is the extreme example and that's where the line is blurry. What about what the Patriots did taping the Rams' walkthrough? All of that stuff is kind of hard to define.

There are different levels of cheating and depending on how you want to define it, I suppose what Jeter did could be seen as such. But this is a game. Nobody says you have to be honest on the field or court and nobody says you can't can stretch some contact, or milk an injury. Cheating is breaking rules. What Jeter did, was a smart player taking advantage of a situation.

Fair or not, still doesn't mean I approve of flopping though.
Posted on: July 15, 2010 2:03 pm
 

David Kahn thinks Darko is "Manna from heaven"

Posted by Matt Moore

This is too easy. It really is. I could spend 250-500 words describing all the absolutely ridiculous content in the video below. I could talk about the insanity of comparing Vlade Divac, one of the greatest big men with touch in the league to Darko Milicic, a stone with two legs. I could talk about comparing Chris Webber's storied career to Darko's which is storied in the annals of draft busts. I could point out what Tom Haberstroh of HoopData.com did this morning, which is the unbelievable gap in assist percentage between Vlade/Webber and Darko. But really, the video tells the best story all by itself.

Highlights:

  • Darko Milicic is "Manna from heaven." 
  • Darko can pass "like Vlade"
  • Webber: "Vlade Divac?"
  • Darko's career similar to Chris Webber.
  • Chris Webber: Darko's career not similar to Chris Webber.
  • Webber: "Good luck"


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com