Former NBA player Kenny Anderson made a guest appearance on the Vintage Ballers to talk about his NBA career, where he touched upon his time with the New Jersey Nets in the early ’90s. The Nets were a formidable squad during those days and had an exciting group of players that unfortunately didn’t stay together long. An integral piece to that team was none other than the late great Dražen Petrovic, who made a name for himself after joining the Nets in 1991 after playing as a backup guard for the Blazers.
Petrovic was regarded as the best European player when he came to the NBA in 1989, but at first, didn’t get much playing time because of various prejudice towards foreign players during those times. Luckily for him, he was traded to the Nets, after which he established himself as one of the best shooters in the NBA, averaging well over 20 points per game. The Nets had a well-rounded team, and Anderson remembers how it fell apart as soon as Petrovic died in the car accident.
We had a very good trio. The Nets were on the way, and then Drazen Petrovic died in the car crash, and after that, it all went downhill but something I will always remember playing for the New Jersey Nets.Kenny Anderson, via Vintage Ballers
Alongside Petrovic and Anderson, Derrick Coleman also played for the Nets. The three of them were a great core of players capable of impacting the eastern conference. Unfortunately, they didn’t keep the team for an extended period of time, and Anderson honestly believes they could’ve done a lot more together if they had that opportunity. Even now, almost 30 years after Petrovic died, Anderson remembers that moment and the time they spent together as teammates.
That is what I always think about, but it’s crazy how things happen, but we would be really good in the east. Drazen was really good, and I’m glad we got them with the Nets because in Portland, he was with Clyde Drexler and Terry Porter, so there wasn’t any room for him, so he came in and really proved himself in the NBA. It was a sad day when he passed away, really sad.Kenny Anderson, via Vintage Ballers
In his last season with the New Jersey Nets, Petrovic averaged 22.3 points per game, shooting 45 percent from the three-point land. They made it to the playoffs alongside Kenny Anderson and Derick Coleman, where they lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games. There were big plans for that team for years to come; however, it all changed after Petrovic died in a horrible car accident at the age of 28 with plenty of great basketball years ahead of him.