Vlade Divac Dedication
Weight: 260 lbs.
Vlade Divac is/was:
A skilled shooter, passer, rebounder and shotblocker, Yugoslav-born Vlade Divac has become one of the most versatile centers in the NBA, playing seven solid seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers before moving to Charlotte and Sacramento and continuing his fine all-around play. Although he never played college ball, Divac put in five pro seasons in his home country before joining the Lakers in 1989. In 1988 he won an Olympic silver medal for Yugoslavia and competed against the Boston Celtics in the McDonald's Open. The following year the Lakers made him the 26th overall pick in the 1989 NBA Draft. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had just retired, and the Lakers were searching for a starting center for the first time in nearly 15 years. In 1989-90 Divac shared time in the pivot with Mychal Thompson and appeared in all 82 games. Divac's efforts that year earned him a spot on the NBA All-Rookie First Team. He led the Lakers in blocked shots and ranked second on the club in rebounding despite logging only 19.6 minutes per game. The following season Divac became the Lakers' No. 1 man in the middle, leading the club in rebounding and posting the league's fifth-best field goal percentage. Los Angeles surprised many by reaching the NBA Finals in 1991, only to lose to the Chicago Bulls in five games. A back operation kept Divac out of 44 games in 1992-93, but he made a full recovery and stepped back into the starting lineup. By 1993-94 Divac's name was appearing on lists of the league's finest centers. That year he ranked 12th in the NBA with 40 double-doubles. Early in the campaign he corralled 24 rebounds in a game, the most for a Los Angeles player since Abdul-Jabbar had grabbed 25 boards in 1979. In 1994-95 Divac's play won universal kudos. He ranked in the league's top 40 in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots, assists, field goal percentage and steals and averaged 4.1 assists to lead all NBA centers. In March, Divac won a Player of the Week award. His three 20-20 performances led the league, and his back-to-back 20-20 efforts were the first by a Lakers player since Abdul-Jabbar in 1975. Following the 1994-95 campaign he helped lead Yugoslavia to the European Championship. Divac led the Lakers in rebounding for the fourth consecutive season in 1995-96 and was also among the top 25 in blocked shots and field goal percentage, although his scoring average dipped for the first time in his career. At season's end, the Lakers decided to make a run at signing veteran free agent Shaquille O'Neal, whom they would eventually land on July 18. To make room for O'Neal in the middle and free space under the salary cap, the Lakers traded Divac to the Charlotte Hornets for the draft rights to 18-year-old Kobe Bryant, the high school sensation who had been selected in the first round by Charlotte. Before donning a Charlotte uniform, however, Divac competed for Yugoslavia at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and helped his team to a silver medal. Divac played a key role in the rebuilt Hornets' surge to 54 wins in 1996-97, despite the team having traded mainstays Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson over the previous year. He ranked among the NBA leaders in rebounding and shotblocking, topped all NBA center in assists and was a reliable scorer from inside or out. He shared the center position with Matt Geiger in 1997-98 and the two combined to give the Hornets a solid presence in the middle, combining for nearly 22 points and 15 rebounds per game. Prior to the 1998-99 season, both Divac and Geiger moved on from Charlotte, with Divac signing as a free agent with the Sacramento Kings and Geiger signing with the Philadelphia 76ers. Vlade is now with the Kings, and did great his first year, becoming the veteran leader imediately, and he carried the team when we got into the playoffs.
(most information taken from www.nba.com player profiles).
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That VD was born in the country of Serbia?
He has appeared in the movies "Eddie" and "Driving Me Crazy", and the TV shows "Married With Children" and "Coach"?
He averaged 14.3 ppg and 10 rpg last season for the Kings?
That him and his wife have an adopted daughter from Belgrade?
Among the Sacramento Kings he was second in points per game, assists, and rebounds last season?
That he won a silver medal with Yugoslavia in the 1988 Olympic games?
That the Lakers selected him 26th overall in the 1989 draft, after he played 5 years of basketball in his home country?
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