Despite coming in at a towering 7-foot-1 and roughly 243 pounds, Vlade Divac’s game was based more on skill than brute strength, as is the case with most European players who learn to play the game in its purest form.
At that size, he could obviously back down most defenders well into the post, but once he got good enough position, Divac had plenty of moves with which to turn to, ranging from soft runners in the lane to drop steps and fakes over each shoulder.
He wasn’t a volume scorer, but Divac could get a bucket when called upon to do so, seeing as how nobody could keep him out of the lane, not even Shaquille O’Neal.
The best of the Serbian big man came from his ability to dish the basketball. Most guys that size aren’t able to thread the needle on a consistent basis, but Divac was a clear exception to the rule. All one needed to do was get him the ball and make sure the other four players were constantly in motion, either popping open for 3-pointers or cutting to the rim. If that happened, Vlade would find a way to get them the ball more often than not.
What Divac also brought to the court was an intimidation factor, a prerequisite for all contending teams in the 90s and early 2000s. He wasn’t afraid to mix things up down low, and he certainly liked his chances against any and all challengers.
Vlade is beloved in Sacramento for his role on those early 2000s Kings teams, and his arrival was the spark that ignited six consecutive playoff appearances during his tenure. Those teams didn’t win any titles, but they were incredibly gifted and extremely fun to watch, and there is no doubt Divac is a large reason why.