OT: ESPN Films-Once Brothers

Submitted by RollDamnTide on March 2nd, 2012 at 11:59 AM

I know it's a couple years old now. But, if you haven't seen the movie, I highly suggest you do. It's centered around former NBA great Vlade Divac and the former Yugoslovian national team.   Covering their struggles through the civil war, with Croatia trying to separate from the former Yugoslovia. There's great stuff in there about Drazen Petrovic, and how great of a player he was. But the heart of the story, is the ruining of the friendship of Vlade and Drazen, because of the war. Worth a watch, if you're even a moderate basketball fan.



March 2nd, 2012 at 12:09 PM ^

Vlade Divac { my boy from his time with C- Webb in Sac Town} and his Olympic and national team teamate who was a rising star with the N.J. Nets? If so that was one of my favorite, it was so touching and sad. I would say top 3 with the Fab Five, Pony Express, Only Brothers, The U, and the one on the running back Dupree I think who was Bo Jackson, and Herschel Walker combined in his hay day.


March 2nd, 2012 at 12:29 PM ^

that was a great one also, The Two Escobars right on. I have to say 30 for 30 is just awesome everyone I have seen multiple times and I give all of the 5 out of 5 stars. I can't think of one the was so bad that I was like come on, actually War Eagle, Roll Tide may have been my least favorite which is saying a lot cause I thought it was done very well and I was into it like it was my rivalary.


March 2nd, 2012 at 12:13 PM ^

the whole situation was so sad...

In a less important note: I would have loved to see that Yugoslavian National Team play the Dream Team in 92...I think that would have had the potential to be an all time classic


March 2nd, 2012 at 12:36 PM ^

right Vlade Divac had to pay for his head stone for his burial site. I think the family couldn't afford one, so Vlade stepped up and paid for it, or it was his funeral all together. Vlade really loved him and was si crushed by his passing.


March 2nd, 2012 at 2:30 PM ^

the directors of that one are up to the challenge.  That was literally my JFK assasination.  Three things I won't ever forget where I was and what i was doing, Magic Johnson AIDS announcement, 9/11, the release of the Daniel Berg video by major news outlets.  Moments in my life were time stood still and nothing about what I believe made sense.

Aids and Magic Johnson were so far apart in my consciousness that I could not put the two together in a coherent thought.  Magic represented everything pure and fun in my life at my age at the time.  AIDS was the monster that lurked far far far away from me, in terms of age, demographics, family lifestyle.  Seeing them clash changed my perception a lot.  I was only 13 at the time, but I remember "aging" a lot in the 24 hours after he made that announcement.

If that movie is done well it could be really powerful stuff.


March 2nd, 2012 at 2:43 PM ^

Did you mean the Nick Berg or Daniel Pearl beheading videos? I'm not sure who Daniel Berg is, but maybe I'm missing an important event

I was only 9 when Magic announced he had AIDS. I didn't really understand the full situation, but I didn't understand why this apparently healthy man had to stop playing at his prime.

Johnny Blood

March 2nd, 2012 at 12:54 PM ^

Amazing player... really sad that he died young. 

I used to go to Nets game to see him when I lived in NYC -- the '91, '92 teams with Petrovic, Kenny Anderson and Derrick Coleman were fun to watch and helped turn the fortunes from a team that had being going through a terrible string of bad luck (albeit some of it self-inflicted with terrible drafts... Dennis Hopson over Scottie Pippen or Reggie Miller!) with losing Michael Ray Richardson to failed drug tests and Darryl Dawkins to slipping in a bath tub.


March 2nd, 2012 at 12:59 PM ^

favorite ESPN documentaries. I was deployed to Bosnia with the US Army and saw how the war there tore family and friends apart. Definitely a good, but sad story worth watching.


March 2nd, 2012 at 1:27 PM ^

If you want to see even more sadness from that region, watch (or read) The Whistleblower.  It's amazing there are people out there who do this kinda shit.  Watch the movie or read the book and you'll see what I'm talking about.  Disgusting stuff to say the least, and amazing how so many agencies and so many people enable this kinda crap.


March 2nd, 2012 at 1:34 PM ^

but did anyone see June 4th 1994 (or whatever the date was, the OJ one)?? That one was crazy. I thought how it was done (no commentary, just spliced footage) was really interesting and really put together just how intense that 1 day was. I thought it was great


March 2nd, 2012 at 1:39 PM ^

My faves:

Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs the Knicks

Fab Five

The Band that Wouldn't Die (Baltimore Colts band story)

16th Man (About the 1994 Rugby World Cup in post-apartheid South Africa)

The Guru of Go (About Paul Westhead and 'the system')


March 2nd, 2012 at 2:41 PM ^

to love Winning Time so much.  I remember all of that stuff vividly and it was really captivating material.  However, in the end, the movie came across kind of like I thought it would, it rang hollow.  As much as Miller terrorized the Knicks, the Pacers never did anything, the Knicks always got the last laugh.  And the story never really made it into the everyday person's consciousness, so it really lacked a "bigger picture" so to speak.  It was damn well made, but I found myself asking "to what end."



March 2nd, 2012 at 2:42 PM ^

Being like, 48th on the list of great NBA rivalries.  It's just because it had New York involved that anyone cared.  The 80's and early 90's had a half dozen better rivalries...it just didn't involve Spike Lee.


March 2nd, 2012 at 2:44 PM ^

The last line of the film being "Now, if only that was a more important round of the playoffs...." I was like, you lost! The Knicks lost! this was all nothing because waiting in the wings was MJ or Hakeem


March 2nd, 2012 at 1:50 PM ^

It just goes to show you how well done all these stories are.  In this thread alone there are 20+ different titles mentioned as favorites.  I watch ESPN as much as anyone should, and I have not heard of half of them. 

Best one I saw was the Dupree story.

Most talked about one I have not seen was the Two Escobars.

Now i will put this one on the list too.




March 2nd, 2012 at 2:06 PM ^

Saw them all, got the box set. My favorite are this and Two Escobars. Ironically, both of them climax before the fall of their teams with the teams getting an unexpected standing ovation in Argentina.

There's still a lot of NASTY blood out there toward Divac. Many Croats still view him as a puppet of a horrid Serbian regime.


March 2nd, 2012 at 2:42 PM ^

"Pony Express" is one of the few films I havent seen yet.  Candidly I wasn't sure that ESPN would be able to tastefully handle the subject of James killing the 5 hookers so I was fearful theyt would omit this important part of his past from the story.


March 2nd, 2012 at 5:01 PM ^

is handled delicately vis-a-vis dead hookers, but they did have a clip with an interview of James' then girlfriend/now wife Marilyn and how Bear Bryant himself tried to convince her to transfer to Alabama so James would follow.  

I have to give James this: he had a hell of a lot more speed than I ever realized.  They show him blowing past the Texas secondary like someone fleeing the cops after killing five hookers.

Zvornik Bosna

March 2nd, 2012 at 3:27 PM ^

I truly believe that he meant no wrong in what he did on the court that day. The reason Croatians dislike the man is for no other reason than it is what the media told them to. The nationalist politicians and media ran with it because they viewed it as a dividing factor and not a unifying one. As was destined, he became a hero in Serbia and disliked in the rest of the republics. 


March 2nd, 2012 at 2:45 PM ^

This one was my favorite (being that the Fab Five wasn't a "real" 30 for 30).  But after that I liked one that I don't think has been mentioned yet - The U.  After that some of my favs were the Pony Excess, What happened to the USFL, Muhammad vs. Larry (really great look at Holmes), Jimmy the Greek, and of the oddball ones, Unmatched.  Their overblown obsession with Boston and New York hurt some of the others a bit.


March 2nd, 2012 at 3:13 PM ^

My favorite 30 for 30 was definitely Catching Hell, about the Steve Bartman incident.  I also really liked King's Ransom.  Even though it wasn't about anything particualrly controversial, I just liked reliving that time period in NHL history.  The Fab Five was obviously a great one, as was The Two Escobars.

Zvornik Bosna

March 2nd, 2012 at 3:16 PM ^

If Yugoslavia had stayed together. We would be able to challenge the US basketball team in the Olympics and almost certainly contending for World Cups. Stupid ethnic squabbles...


March 2nd, 2012 at 4:01 PM ^

Other than the Fab Five one, the one that I watch every time it is on is Unguarded about Chris Herren. If you have not seen this yet, checked it out. Just amazing how low his life got, how well he played all messed up and his fight to get his life back. When my kids get older I will make them watch it to see how much drugs can destroy your life.


March 2nd, 2012 at 5:16 PM ^

This is probably one of the best ESPN movies they were associated with. Moving film. 

Someone posted a picture a few days ago on another forum of Anthony Morrow rocking a Petrovic throwback during the 3-point contest. Brought back memories of the film.