Vlade Divac criticizes current NBA centers, claims he started flopping because of Shaq


vlade-divac-speaksEx-NBA Center Vlade Divac, spent some time with the international players at an Adidas Eurocamp, trying to impart some of his vast knowledge of the game gleaned from a successful 16-year career in the NBA, NBCSports reported.

Divac was the guest speaker at the event where he shared his experiences during his career in the NBA. Former NBa center also spoke about how the game has changed since he left the NBA.

“Every year it’s become more fast and physical,” Divac said. “I don’t see big men playing with their back to the basket anymore. That’s a big minus for basketball. To have an inside-outside game, it’s very important to have big men playing with their backs to the basket.”

Divac also expressed his views about the “disease” that is currently running through the NBA, which is flopping. Back in his day, Divac is known as one of the great passing big men of all time, but he’s also known for bringing flopping into the NBA — if not initiating it, then certainly making it more prominent and acceptable as a way for players to gain an advantage.

The league has implemented an anti-flopping policy in recent years, which didn’t have much of an effect.

Divac was better than anyone during his era at successfully pulling off these kinds of acting jobs, but he’s not necessarily proud of it. He’s in favor of the league trying to eliminate it from the game, but said his resorting to that strategy was simply done out of necessity.

“Whenever you overdo something, it’s time to stop it,” Divac told NBCSports.com. “So I think it’s a great decision by the NBA. But everyone is saying that’s my rule; that’s not my rule. That’s Shaq’s rule.”

“I started it because of Shaq, because they didn’t want to call fouls,” Divac said. “So that’s not my rule, that’s Shaq’s rule.”

With regards to players forcing their way out of current teams in advance of free agency, Divac said he wasn’t supporting it.

vlade-divac-sidelines“I’m not supporting it, but you can’t do anything about it. I think loyalty from all sides should have more impact — from the teams and the players. You just can’t go to [random] places. I remember when I made the decision to go to Sacramento, all my friends, even my agent, advised me not to go because they were the worst team. But I chose to take the challenge, make sure that I do something to change it. And I did,” he said.

“For me, being a champion is the way you act and the things that you do on the way to being a champion. That’s more important. Today, I can be a champion — just go and sign with the Miami Heat, and I’ll be a champion, right?”

Divac also recalled on how he was traded from the LA Lakers to the Charlotte Hornets.

“I was devastated,” Divac said. “That first week, I just didn’t know what was happening. But you know, things happen in life that you don’t have answers until later on. I think that trade actually helped me and extended my career. It was good for me, but back then I didn’t know.”

“I talked to Jerry West or Mitch Kupchak later on, I told them now, thinking about it, I would do the same thing. Because you move Vlade, you make the salary cap to get Shaq and you get Kobe. So you got Shaq and Kobe for Vlade. It’s a no-brainer.”

Divac played 16 seasons in the NBA for LA Lakers, Charlotte Hornets, and Sacramento Kings. He averaged career high 16 ppg backed up by 10.4 rpg and 2.2 bpg for the Lakers during the 1994-95 season.

He has made a name for himself in the NBA as a sharpshooting center, both capable of blocking shots in the paint, and knocking down an outside jumper. Divac made it to the NBA All-Star team during the 2000-2001 NBA season.

He appeared in total of 1134 NBA games (979 started), averaging 11.8 ppg, 8.2 rpg and 1.4 bpg.

Aside from being noticed for his basketball abilities, Divac is also known as a great humanitarian, helping children in his native country of Serbia, as well as in Africa.

On October 16, 2008, Divac was appointed as a government adviser in Serbia for humanitarian issues. On February 24, 2009, he was elected as the President of the Serbian Olympic Committee for a 4-year term.


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