Skip to main content

Dražen Petrović's workout plan revealed - ”That's why he was the greatest”

Most considered him just a shooter, but Lebron knew Dražen was also very athletic. Here's how Petrović got to a level where he could hang with the best of them, including Michael Jordan.
Croatia guard Drazen Petrovic

Dražen Petrović

Reggie Miller said he's the greatest shooter he ever played against, Steph Curry watched him drain threes while sitting on his dad's lap, and LeBron didn't forget him when naming the greatest international players ever. Most people spotted Dražen's shooting ability, but Lebron also spoke about something international/European players are usually looked down on - athleticism and courage. 

“What do I like about Petrović? His ability to shoot the ball. And he was very athletic...very athletic. He wasn't afraid of the moment; he wasn't afraid of anything. He was awesome.” 

Dražen is the definition of maniacal passion

If there's one story that encapsulates how confident Petrović was, it's the one about him going from teammate to teammate before the 1992 Olympic Games Finals, trying to convince them they have a shot against the Dream Team. This wasn't just a leadership exercise; Dražen really believed it. How could he not when he had Steph Curry moments in the preliminary rounds. 

That supreme confidence was built on the foundation of hard work. Dražen wasn't the most talented player of his generation, but his love of basketball knew no boundaries. When moving from his hometown of Šibenik to the capital of Zagreb, Dražen was offered to pick any real estate in the city. He picked a small apartment in the blue-collar part of town because it was across the street from the gym. 

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Once, he was in the hospital due to some back issues. While talking to a reporter on the phone from his room, the reporter heard a ball bouncing. He asked Dražen what the noise was about, and Petrović responded he was shooting to keep his touch. 

The reporter didn't understand how could someone on strict bed rest, who had to lie flat on his back, shoot the ball. Dražen had a basket installed above the door and paid a kid to bring him the ball. In short, the guy was insane for basketball and winning. 

The NBA challenge

Before his transition to the Association, Petrović knew he had the skill and basketball IQ but was open about the fact he needed to work on his body. To no one's surprise, he took that challenge with a standard level of dedication. The Dražen Petrović Memorial Center from Zagreb published a weekly workout plan from his workout days. 

This is probably from his NBA days, most likely in the offseason. You can see handwritten conversions from pounds to kilograms, probably because he was working out somewhere in Europe. In addition to the program developed for him, Dražen threw in cycling and running, most likely to warm up - 35 to 45 min of it each day. 

Each year in the NBA he grew stronger and more athletic, and that's how Dražen became the full package. The man, the myth, the legend. 

anthony-davis-brittney-griner-min

The rumor of Anthony Davis and Brittney Griner being engaged once upon a time

The two stars apparently had a serious fling back in the day.

Utah Jazz guard John Stockton and Earl Watson

”He got real chest hair coming out of his jersey” — Earl Watson recalls when John Stockton took him to school

Earl Watson came up with a counter against John Stockton's tendencies. Little did he know that the Utah Jazz had one move to counter his counter.

Utah Jazz forward Karl Malone and Phoenix Suns forward Charles Barkley

“I have Charles Barkley’s attitude, and my inside game is as powerful as his and Karl Malone’s” — when an NBA rookie boasted about his game

In 1993, Rodney Rogers generated quite a buzz when he claimed that he was a better version of Charles Barkley and Karl Malone.

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul and center DeAndre Ayton

“A lot of times guys don’t accept that very well” — Antonio Daniels defends Chris Paul from fans and players criticizing his leadership

Antonio Daniels admires it, Kenyon Martin not so much - Chris Paul's controversial leadership style isn't for everyone.

Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh, Lebron James and guard Dwyane Wade

“We knew that some of the hate was because of our skin color” — Dwyane Wade says the hatred for the Heatles was racially motivated

Wade compared their treatment to Larry Bird's Big 3 in Boston, Michael Jordan's in Chicago and Magic Johnson's in Los Angeles.

Nick-Wright-Draymond-Green

”Draymond has become what he most despises — just giving takes for the sake of takes.” — Nick Wright exposes Draymond Green’s hypocrisy

We'll see if Draymond has the courage to respond to this, but one thing's for sure, he took the L for this one.

os Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James and Richard Jefferson

“LeBron has not done enough as a Laker to be a Laker great” — why Richard Jefferson is right about LeBron James' legacy as a Laker (so far)

Adding another title to his trophy case was certainly nice, but Jefferson is right in saying that James has some more work to do if he wants to fully establish himself as a Laker great