Deep Thoughts… with Vlade Divac

19 Feb 1995

Last fall, after discovering the WWW’s most ridiculous web page, the Michael Jordan Fan Page, I decided to one-up it and start the Vlade Divac Fan Page.

It now gets too much traffic for my desktop, so I’ve moved it to the Apollo workstation running my personal web page. It’s a 400t Workstation with 8MB memory and now should be able to be up 24/7. It has more than 300 user contributions and has already been translated into Serbian. It’s a work in progress.

Thanks to the page’s visitors for unearthing these gems:

On Aging

  • “We all get heavier as we get older because there’s a lot more information in our heads.”

On playing in the NBA

  • “At times, I have to say to myself, ‘Wake up’…”

On Yugoslavia’s chances in the 1996 Olympics

  • “The U.S. will have another Dream Team, so they are the team to beat,…we would be very happy to finish in second-place.”

On playing in the NBA as a European

  • “I don’t think they respected us in the beginning, but I think now they should.”

On the NBA vs Europe

  • “Playing for the national team, you don’t play for money or for anything else, you play for pride…the NBA is the same game, but it’s a style of thinking that’s different. Each year somebody comes over and we get better and better.”

On the NBA Dream Team vs. a European Dream Team

  • “Depends on which team we play…the first team? No way! But I think any other future dream teams, we could win.”

On Europeans in the NBA

  • “I was the first one to break this wall…and now players can come over and not be afraid. I’m talking about players who came directly from Europe without going to college. Detlef helped me, but playing in the NBA, directly from Europe, I was the guy.”

On the war

  • “The last couple of years were really tough for me with the war…people say I should be the happiest man in the world, but I can’t be since my country is at war…one part of my country is dying, so I don’t look so happy. Mr parents, my family and friends are suffering.”

On the USA

  • “I have a feeling that I belong here, I’ll definetly be here for the rest of my life. This is my home, even after basketball.”

On his family and the US

  • “My kids are Americans, they were born here, but they’re also Serbian because I’m from there. They’re going to speak both languages, learn both cultures.”

On “back home”

  • “I’m big over there. Let’s put it this way: Michael Jordan is over here like I am over there.”

On his country

  • “When Monica Seles started playing tennis, I was so proud of here because she’s from my country. People are suffereing and many people are dying, so I’m proud for things that people from my country do.”

On European NBA players’ families

  • “We speak different languages, but we are far away and in the same situation. Missing our families, not going home that often. When we play against each other, we try to get together and have dinner.”

On dedicating his life to basketball

  • “I left my parents when I was 12 to play basketball because we had no team in our town. My father was behind me 100 percent. He didn’t want me to regret it later. I don’t.”

On family

  • “My parents come here almost year during the winter time there so they can save some money and don’t pay electricity. I’m so happy to see them. My parents did everything for us and put us in the right direction. I always say to them, ‘I wish my kids were like yours because we’re successful.’”

On arriving

  • “When I first came here in ’89, I crossed in the locker room, and when I saw Magic, Worthy, Byron and A.C., I couldn’t believe it…I saw those guys on TV and I just couldn’t believe I was playing with them. I was scared. I remember Jerry West was waiting for me at the airport, and whatever he said was great. I din’t know what he was talking about since I didn’t speak English that first year. Everything was new and schocking, but it was great.”

On the war and Serbia/Croatia

  • “You must push yourself and try to leave those things in you home and do your best at your job…sometimes, when I play against Dino or Toni, we talk trash in Yugoslavian, so when we go to the free-throw line, we might have a hard time.”

On dreams and his country

  • “I remember a couple young guys I was helping in a camp in Bosnia. I told them the most important thing is to have a goal or a dream, and take the steps to that dream. The NBA is big there, especially after the road of success that I’ve been lucky to have. It’s much easier when someone does it in front of you and you can follow them.”

UPDATE! Ahmad Rashad just referenced this page and read the first two quotes on NBA Inside Stuff before the Sonics / Kings round 1 playoff game!

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