Dirk Nowitzki is easily the best European Import in NBA History. His individual accomplishments alone vault him to the top of the list. However, Drazen Petrovic was well on his way to that title, were it not for a fatal 1993 car crash that cut both his life and his career short. A star and arguably the best player in Europe, Petrovic was brought over to the NBA to help push a contending Portland Trailblazers team over the top. It would be in New Jersey, while playing for the Nets, that Petrovic would finally show the American public why he was so coveted. He developed into one of the best scorers in the NBA, and along with Derrick Coleman and Kenny Anderson, supplanted the Nets with a playoff core.
His battles with Michael Jordan in the NBA and at the 1992 Olympic Games were the stuff of legend. The best American (global) Shooting Guard, against the best Europe had to offer. These battles came at a time when it was important for European imports to prove that they were able to compete stateside. Drazen Petrovic’s success made it possible for guys such as Toni Kukoc, Dirk Nowitzki and company to have the confidence to play in the NBA. Looking at his overall game, it’s not hard to understand why he was in the conversation for best Guards of the 90’s. He was relentless, skilled and certainly a true professional. Not to mention, he owned of the sweetest jump shots I’ve ever seen. We miss you Drazen.