The end of an era
The beginning of the 1990’s saw major political upheaval across Europe, as communist regimes began to collapse and the iron curtain gradually disintegrated.
The effect of this change on the basketball landscape was profound, as it led to the collapse of the two basketball superpowers, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia.
Yugoslavia were the first to feel the effects of the new political reality at the 1991 European Championship in Rome.
Yugoslavia did not have their full complement of stars as Drazen Petrovic and Stojko Vrankovic were not on the team. But, with Toni Kukoc and Dino Radja at the height of their powers, there was no other team that could challenge them on the court.
Off the court, however, Yugoslavia faced other problems. The war that would go on to split the country had started and its effects were already being felt.
Juri Zdovc was the first casualty.
Slovenia declared independence 2 days into the tournament, and although he had played in both games, Zdovc was ordered not to play any more. Not only that, but he was forced to stay in his hotel room for the remainder of the competition and not