Another bit of history. An inevitably retro collection of a team sadly disappeared but of course it deserves to be remembered. Yugoslavia is considered one of the best teams in basketball history with 5 World Championships, 8 Eurobaskets and 1 Olympic gold medal. But between this achievements Yugoslavia is the reponsible team of 2 big eras of domination in the international basketball.
Firstly with the Petrovic generation. Drazen called to the door in 1986 World Championship becoming the tournament’s MVP. Next year some 20 years old men joined to Petrovic&Divac “brothers”: Kukoc, Radja, Paspalj … converting the bronze medals in a bad result. Because since the 1987 Eurobasket Yugoslavia reached the final game in 1988 Olympic Games and the gold medal in the next 3 competitions. With the victory in 1990 World Championship the new era in the international basketball was confirmed.
But also it started a new era in Yugoslavia. This would be the last tournament of Petrovic with the national team and the rest of croatians also left the team after the victory in 1991 Eurobasket. The reason: That summer it broke out the war in the Balkans causing the Croatia secession. Besides Yugoslavia was penalized for 3 years out of international competitions, loosing the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games participation.
So after the civil war suspension Yugoslavia returned in 1995. Only with serbians and montenegrans but hungry. And the team didn’t wait to recover the lost time winning the Eurobasket the same summer. A team leaded by the Partizan’s formers Sasha Djodjevic and Predrag Danilovic started a new domination: gold in 1995 Eurobasket, silver in 1996 Olympics and gold in 1997 Eurobasket.
In 1998 World Championship and with Danilovic out the “titles-winner” Dejan Bodiroga took the command. Yugoslavia won the World Championship and Dejan was named MVP. However the team had 2 “fails” the next years losing the 1999 Eurobasket semifinal and the medals in 2000 Olympic Games.
But the good stories are better with a happy ending. A great shooter increased his prominence: Predrag Stojakovic. “Peja” leaded Yugoslavia to another gold medal alongside Bodiroga and he got the 2001 Eurobasket MVP. This guys extended the domination the next year in a special tournament: 2002 World Championship of Indianapolis … Yugoslavia reached the world crown in USA territory. This was the perfect farewell.
After this success the country of Yugoslavia disappeared. The same team followed competing under the name of Serbia and Montenegro. But the internal conflicts were continuous until 2007 when Serbia and Montenegro were separated. Now you can enjoy this collection that perfectly could be full in my hall of fame!