Dino Radja

Quick Hits

Position: Power Forward

Teams:

  • Boston Celtics (1993-1997)
  • Various European Teams (1987-1993, 1997-2003)
  • Yugoslavian National Team
  • Croatian National Team

Notables:

  • Drafted by the Celtics in 1989, but didn’t play for them until 1993
  • Averaged 15.1 points and 7.2 rebounds per game during his rookie season
  • All-NBA Rookie Second Team (First Team: Rider, Hardaway, Webber, Mashburn, Baker)
  • Averaged 16.7 ppg and 8.4 rpg for his career, including nearly a double-double (19.7 ppg, 9.8 rpg) in ’95-’96.
  • Was supposed to be traded to the 76ers for Clarence Weatherspoon in 1997, but failed his physical and the trade fell through. This prompted him to end his NBA career and return to Europe.

First of all, Random Forgotten Player of the Day is not seeing eye to eye with RedSox Maniac’s blog from January 29th of this year, which is titled “Never Forgotten: Dino Radja”. Ok RedSox Maniac, we are officially feuding over Radja’s forgotten factor. I dare you to rate him a 1 on our homepage. No, make that a double dare. By the way, the video in that blog entry, two questions: 1. Why does Dino Radja make that fast break look like he’s playing on an 8-foot hoop against his little brother? 2. Who is that getting shat on by Radja, is that Chris Mullin?

(Note: RFPoftheDay and RedSox Maniac are not actually feuding. In fact, they are super excited to find someone else who appreciates Dino Radja as much as they do.)

Radja played in two Olympics before entering the NBA. He won the silver medal at the 1988 games in Seoul, South Korea as a member of the Lithuanian National Team. He duplicated that silver medal performance at the 1992 games in Barcelona, only this time he was playing for the newly liberated country of Croatia. The Croatians finished second only to the Dream Team.

Radja had a very short, yet successful stint in the NBA from 1993-1997, spending his whole career with the Celtics. His stats were impressive (16.7 ppg, 8.4 rpg), but knee injuries were a recurring problem. Out of a possible 328 games played in his career, Radja missed 104 (nearly one-third).

The knee problems played a large role in Dino’s quick exit from the NBA. In 1997 he was traded to the 76ers for Clarence Weatherspoon, but the trade would not be complete until the traded players passed phyisicals for their new teams. Radja was unhappy with the trade from the get go, according to this Associated Press story. First of all, he wanted “to be sent to a warm climate and a playoff contender.” Philadelphia satisfied neither requirement. Radja was also convinced that his knees would not allow him to pass a physical. In the end, Radja never passed the physical and decided to return to Europe.

Despite his years in the NBA, Radja’s heart was always in Europe, and he enjoyed great amounts of success and fame over there.

Here’s an interview with Radja conducted by Euroleague.net in 2002 about a magical run his team made to the Euro Final 4 in 1989 (Don’t worry, it’s in English).

His first contract after returning to Europe from the NBA was with Greek powerhouse Panathinaikos BC. After winning two Greek Championships, Panathinaikos BC and Radja split ways due to a physical altercation Radja got into in the locker room after one of their games. Unknown to Radja at the time, the man he got into the fight with was the club president’s son. Whoops. (Link)

Just recently an alumni game featuring ex-players from European clubs KK Split and FC Barcelona took place in Madrid. The game featured Dino Radja and Toni Kukoc, among others. Here is a quick article and photo gallery, courtesy of ballineurope.com.

Boston blogger and columnist Rich Levine hosts a Celtics podcast titled “The Dino Radja Experience”. Listen to the latest installment here. Why is it called “The Dino Radja Experience”? I dunno, but I’m sure gonna try to find out.

ESPN.com has Radja listed as one of the top 12 Euroleague/NBA stars of all-time.

Radja is currently the president of the Croatian team KK Split, who he once played for.

Youtube him:

Dino Radja Mix

Dunk against the Dream Team in the ’92 Olympics

A couple clips from the NBA years

>>Return to RFP Homepage

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: