SACRAMENTO -- The one that got away.
News broke Friday afternoon of another player move from the Sacramento Kings. A transaction 22 years in the making was finally completed when according to a published report, the Kings renounced the rights to 6-foot-7 Serbian, Dejan Bodiroga.
The Sacramento Kings have renounced the draft rights for Dejan Bodiroga. He's a free agent. He's 44 years old.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) July 21, 2017
The now 44-year-old wing has been retired since 2007. He’s known around the basketball circles as one of the greatest European players to never to come to the NBA.
Drafted by Geoff Petrie with the 51st overall selection in the 1995 NBA Draft, Sacramento tried multiple times to get the sharpshooter to come to the states. It was always a longshot, but after selecting Corliss Williamson and Tyus Edney with his first two selections, Petrie took a late-round gamble.
Bodiroga has a trophy case full of awards, including a Spanish League MVP, a FIBA World Cup MVP and a Greek League MVP. He also won championships in the Italian, Greek and Spanish Leagues, as well as silver medal in the 1996 Olympic games.
He is also on the list of the 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors along with fellow Serbian and current Sacramento Kings General Manager, Vlade Divac.
Kings fans reacted on Twitter to the news in standard fashion:
End of an era!— Kevin Fippin (@kfippin) July 21, 2017
They have held this dude’s rights for my entire adult life. https://t.co/W7hGSLlGRi
UGHHHHHHHHHH. The effects of Perry being gone are already being felt https://t.co/PoS00F8kKf— John (@HeuristicLineup) July 21, 2017
Kings should've held on to Bodiroga, had him come in and mentor that young upstart Vince Carter.— Bart Roberts (@BartonRoberts) July 22, 2017