Brooklyn Nets: Honoring legacy of Drazen Petrovic makes sense

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 25: The Brooklyn Nets logo (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 25: The Brooklyn Nets logo (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The tragic death of Drazen Petrovic was one of the saddest in basketball history. The Brooklyn Nets honoring his legacy vs the Bulls Monday night makes sense.

Drazen Petrovic, even though his Brooklyn Nets (New Jersey at the time) and NBA tenure were short-lived, is a pioneer in the game.

Petrovic loved basketball so much. He is one of the pioneers for European players being showcased in the NBA. It is not often thought about because it was so long ago.

For all the younger fans who love players like Kristaps Porzingis, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic, or Dirk Nowitzki, Petrovic is someone to thank. The sharp shooter from Croatia perfected his craft back home before exposing the United States to his game in 1989. He became a Net in 1991. His death came shortly after in 1993.

More from Empire Writes Back

The Nets have already retired Petrovic’s number. Even though his tenure with New Jersey ended abruptly, the franchise should be proud of the player who was supposed to be the face of it.

Perhaps the biggest European name in basketball from this era is Vlade Divac (traded for Kobe Bryant on draft day), but Petrovic’s game, is just as good if not better. The way Petrovic was so accurate and smooth must have been a blast to watch. The fact that he was born in Europe is something that eventually changed the game. Seemingly never in the NBA quite like now. Petrovic proved that sharp shooting Europeans nearly grow on trees over there.

His ability to come to a franchise and be regarded as one of the best point guards and shooters in the entire league opened up a whole new market.

The sad death of Petrovic is a tragic story. But his legacy is so much greater , it is a shame he can never see it unfolding before our very eyes.

Already a legend in his native Croatia, it makes sense the Brooklyn Nets do not let their fans forget who he is.

Not only is it smart to glorify the franchise’s days back in New Jersey, it is smart to glorify a player who changed the landscape of the league they play under. Regardless of the way Petrovic was treated by the franchise and vice versa his night is the right thing to do.

Although the basketball world will never know just how good Petrovic would’ve been in the states, his ability to make basketball look like an art and helped change the way the modern-day NBA is played. Without him there might not be many guys drafted out of European countries or leagues. To say Drazen is the Yao Ming of Europe might be a stretch. But they played similar roles in exposure to the league. There are a ton of European NBA fans now.

No matter how we look at it, Drazen Petrovic is an all-time Net. He was that good. The league is that much influenced. It is smart to honor his legacy. Everyone should continue to even beyond 25 years. His son remains in the sport.

Next: Dinwiddie wins skills challenge

This is a classy move the Brooklyn Nets that everyone should like. It is not often a guy like him emerges from across the world to make a difference. The whole point of cementing a legacy is to change the trajectory of everyone else’s. Petrovic has done that, even in the little time he was a Net. It might take another player like Petrovic to turn them around again. But if not, at least he is remembered for being a Net. That is something no one can take away.