NBA Entertainment

Vlade Divac and Drazen Petrovic were NBA players who were friends from Yugoslavia. Their friendship ended before Petrovic was killed in a fatal car accident. Clip »

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About Once Brothers

Film Summary

Drazen Petrovic and Vlade Divac were two friends who grew up together sharing the common bond of basketball. Together, they lifted the Yugoslavian National team to unimaginable heights. After conquering Europe, they both went to America where they became the first two foreign players to attain NBA stardom. But with the fall of the Soviet Union on Christmas Day 1991, Yugoslavia split up. A war broke out between Petrovic's Croatia and Divac's Serbia. Long buried ethnic tensions surfaced. And these two men, once brothers, were now on opposite sides of a deadly civil war. As Petrovic and Divac continued to face each other on the basketball courts of the NBA, no words passed between the two. Then, on the fateful night of June 7, 1993, Drazen Petrovic was killed in an auto accident. "Once Brothers" will tell the gripping tale of these two men, how circumstances beyond their control tore apart their friendship, and whether Divac has ever come to terms with the death of a friend before they had a chance to reconcile.

Vlade Divac's Personal Statement

As a young basketball player growing up in Yugoslavia, it didn't take long to realize that I had a chance to be part of something special. I was 18 when I signed my first pro contract and was called upon to play for my national team.

By the late 1980's, a new generation of Yugoslavian talent had come together, and eventually we'd all make it to the NBA -- myself, Toni Kukoc, Dino Radja and the great Drazen Petrovic. Together we won the silver medal at the 1988 Olympics, followed by first-place finishes at the European and World Championships ... it seemed no one could stop us.

Besides forming a great combination on the court, Drazen and I also shared a strong friendship. We thought we'd play forever, but powerful forces beyond our control - political and personal -- kept us from realizing some of our dreams. This is my journey to understand an enduring sense of loss - of my team, our shared future and the people I once considered my brothers.

What's Everyone Saying?

NBA Entertainment

NBA Entertainment (NBAE) is one of the largest suppliers of sports television and digital programming in the world, managing television, film, photos, PSA's, promotional campaigns and marketing partnerships, as well producing events domestically and internationally for the NBA, WNBA, and NBA Development League.

Founded in 1982 as the definitive visual archive of the NBA's history, NBAE's growth can be attributed to a simple philosophy: to tell compelling stories about the game of pro basketball and the people it touches. That storytelling mission has been carried out through a variety of short and long-form programming, including acclaimed documentaries.

Unprecedented access to the game and its players also provides NBAE unique contemporary storytelling opportunities, including such titles as Kevin Garnett: KG and Undeniable: The Rise of Dwyane Wade.

NBAE has enjoyed a successful history of working in the film and entertainment industry, enlisting a roster of renowned artists as narrators for its documentaries: Academy Award winners Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker; Academy Award nominees Samuel L. Jackson, Terrence Howard and Djimon Hounsou; and Grammy Award winners Justin Timberlake and Chris Rock.

Written and Directed by:

Michael Tolajian

Executive Producers:

NBA Entertainmentv
Dion Cocoros
Danny Meiseles
Keith Clinkscales
John Dahl
Joan Lynch
Connor Schell
Bill Simmons
John Skipper
John Walsh

Senior Producer:

Sean Kelly


Zak Levitt
Daniel Silver


Sean Kelly
Zak Levitt
Michael Tolajian

Original Music by:

Joel Goodman

Director of Photography:

Michael Winik

Narrated by:

Vlade Divac


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