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Vlade Divac (Serbian: Владе Дивац) (Born 3 February 1968) is a former NBA player. He was born in Prijepolje, Yugoslavia (now Serbia) and played as a center known for his great passing skills.
He began his professional basketball in then-Yugoslavia playing for Sloga Kraljevo. In 1986 started to play for KK Partizan Belgrade.
Drafted into the NBA in 1989, he played for the Los Angeles Lakers and was one of the first European players to have an impact on the league. He was traded to the Charlotte Hornets for the draft rights to Kobe Bryant in 1996. He later signed as a free agent with the Sacramento Kings where he played from 1998 to 2004 alongside fellow countryman Peja Stojakovic.
After the 2003-2004 season, he became a free agent. He signed a deal to return to the Lakers and was part of a grand plan to overhaul Laker basketball. The Lakers, following a defeat in the NBA Finals, had traded away or released most of their players, including star center Shaquille O'Neal; Divac was supposed to fill that void. However, Divac had back problems and was unsure if he could play. On 14 July 2005, Divac announced his retirement, ending his sixteen year basketball career.
Vlade is an active restaurant investor in the Sacramento area. He is also a prominent philanthropist who runs his own charity, called Group Seven. He and his wife have four children, two of which are war orphans, from Bosnia and Kosovo.
From 2005-2006, Vlade was employed as European scout for Los Angeles Lakers.
Vlade is currently the head of operations for Real Madrid basketball club.
In mid-2005, there was controversy over him avoiding the military draft in his native Yugoslavia. The incident has since been resolved.
Vlade has been involved in many non-basketball endevours while still actively playing in the NBA, and especially after he retired.
In late 2000, after the overthrow of Milosevic regime, Vlade and his former teammate Predrag Danilovic took over their former club KK Partizan. The club was a launching pad for both of their basketball careers in late 1980s and early 1990s and it was only fitting they'd now play prominent parts in its management. Vlade became the club's president while Danilovic took the vice-president role. Freshly retired Danilovic was actually running the club's day-to-day operations since Divac was still very actively involved with the Sacramento Kings at the time.
Though the duo never stated so outright, their main motivation in getting involved with KK Partizan again was perceived to be gaining the upper hand on club's eventual privatisation process once the new Law on Sports gets passed in Serbian parliament. Since the exact ownership structure of publicly owned KK Partizan isn't really clear, potential investors decided to stay away, at least until the law appears. Divac and Danilovic appeared pretty much out of nowhere in this regard but enjoyed plenty of fan and public support because most preferred to see their beloved club owned and operated by its former stars rather than a faceless corporation. However, after few years the duo ran out of patience and pulled out of the venture in late 2004 because it became too much of a financial burden with no end goal in sight.
While they currently perform no official functions at the club, Divac and Danilovic continue to be involved with it in lesser capacity.
Simultaneously with his NBA career and KK Partizan involvement, Vlade had his hand in another highly publicized business venture - Knjaz Miloš takeover bid.
Knjaz Miloš is a leading Serbian distributor of bottled spring and mineral water. Based in Arandjelovac, the company owns a couple of springs in the town and has over the years built a sizable distribution network in addition to respected and recognizable brand.
When the government of Serbia decided to sell its majority stake in the company, potential buyers started lining around the block. Divac hooked up with the French food products giants Danone, but they ended up losing out to an offer from a company named FPP Balkan Ltd. that bought 212,223 shares of the company, which made it the majority owner (58.07%).
In June 2006, Divac linked up with Ramón Calderón as part of his candidate bid for the presidency of Real Madrid polideportivo. When Calderón closely won the club elections on July 2, 2006, Divac became the head of operations at Real Madrid basketball club.
Lakers Players News
Junior Lakers win national title (myKawartha.com) The Peterborough Merit Precision Lakers stand atop the Canadian junior lacrosse mountain. The Lakers downed the Six Nations Arrows 9-5 Saturday in Hagersville to win the Minto Cup - the Lakers' 12th Canadian junior lacrosse championship title but the club's first in 17 years.
Lakers roll over BV, 44-0 (Huron Daily Tribune) SAGINAW — This is what Bill McLellan expected from his Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port football team this season.
Kobe to Host Event in Korea (NBA.com) "NBA star Kobe Bryant will host a 'talk show' in Seoul on Friday together with Korean-American heartthrob Daniel Henney. The 28-year-old LA Lakers guard, who is touring Asia, will arrive in Seoul on Friday morning for a two-day visit. He will host the 15-minute event in Myong-dong, central Seoul, from 8 p.m., where he is expected to talk about his life and career," reports the KOREA TIMES.
Arrows Express defeat Lakers (Slam! Sports) HAGERSVILLE, Ont. (CP) - Cody Jamieson scored four goals to help the Six Nations Arrows Express advance to the final of the Minto Cup lacrosse tournament with an 8-3 win over the Burnaby Lakers Friday.
NBA Truth & Rumors: Sept. 5, 2006 (Sports Illustrated) Steve Francis said he does not regret his early, wayward years in the NBA, but neither does he blame the Rockets or Magic for the way his career has turned. Francis believes he could be what he was. If he left New York, he said he could be a high-scoring, highlight-reel All-Star. -- Houston Chronicle
Lakers show progress in loss at Lovelock (Sierra Sun) North Tahoe's football team met the competition Friday night at Lovelock, losing 34-16 to one of the toughest teams in the Northern 2A.
Lakers win Minto Cup (Toronto Sun) IN TOMORROW'S PAPER:
Lakers open year with win (Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal) The Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Lakers' football team opened the 2006 season with a 21-6 win over Norwood Young America Thursday. Above, the Lakers' Josh Remer hands the ball off to Jake Young.
Kobe coaches Japanese children (AFP via Yahoo! News) NBA All Star Kobe Bryant coached Tokyo school children at a basketball clinic as Team USA left for home with bronze medals from the World Basketball Championship, which they won without his help.
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