The Slovenian rivalry between Goran Dragic and Sasha Vujacic


Goran Dragic

PHOENIX — When fellow countrymen Goran Dragic and Sasha Vujacic went chest to chest and received double technicals with 9:43 left in the fourth quarter of Thursday night’s game, it was clear that there was some bad blood between the two.

The technical was the first of Dragic’s career and the way he reacted to Vujacic intentionally bumping into him from behind showed exactly how he felt about the Laker guard. The two exchanged choice words, in Slovene of course, which was instigated by Vujacic, according to Dragic.

Goran said that it’s nothing personal between the two, but their altercation certainly indicated otherwise. And when he was asked whether or not they were friends, he responded, “No. We didn’t go for coffee and this kind of stuff.”

Dragic explained that the two practiced together with the Slovenian national team for about 15 days last year before The Machine was cut. During that time the guards developed quite the rivalry, which carried into the regular season and obviously Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals.

“We are coming from the same country and he wants to demonstrate that he’s better than me and (I want to show that) I’m better than him, so that’s just the rivalry,” Dragic said. “I know that he wants to guard me and I want to play against him. It’s just a huge rivalry between me and Sasha, and that’s all.”

Goran’s younger brother Zoran, who is a 20-year-old swingman playing for Geoplin Slovan Ljubljana in Slovenia, was in attendance at Friday’s practice and was able to shed some light on the rivalry.

“It was like a little bit tense I think. They’re not good friends,” Zoran said. “They don’t like each other and this happen all the time.”

While Goran expressed his lack of friendship with Vujacic, the Lakers guard wouldn’t even acknowledge Dragic, as he called him “the kid on the other team” in a post-game interview. Vujacic also said that he’d never heard of Dragic when he was back home.

Whether Vujacic will admit it or not, these two don’t like each other. There is a clear rivalry there and Phil Jackson wouldn’t have inserted Vujacic into the lineup for the first time all series if he didn’t know that.

The Machine did a good job getting under the skin of Dragic with his ball pressure early in the game, but Goran said he is looking forward to the challenge Saturday night in Game 6.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGlBqbMgl5k&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0]

  • Josh

    This rivalry was called "balkanistic" by Wilbon today!

  • Brian

    Vujacic looks like a girl.

  • v s

    Vujacic saying he didn't do/say anything to deserve a tech is like Materazzi saying he respected Zidane's sister. Thank you Mr. Sharapova for releasing the Dragon. Enjoy the burn in game 6.

  • Mel.

    The funniest thing about this situation is that it's like a tale of two systems: Goran comes in as a nobody, earns his spot on the team the hard way, contributes like a good company man… while Vujacic has basically turned into the Slovenian Danny Ainge (sans Ainge's savvy as a player).

    The commentators basically laid out the tale of the tape: that Phil stuck that slack-jawed dope in the game to instigate a "T" and cause problems. And to his credit, he succeeded… at least up until the point that Goran hit that three-pointer DEAD in his face without blinking, at which point I seem to recall Machine winding up back on the bench between AMMO and Jonah Hill.

  • Tony

    "God love a Lakers fan."

    LOL thanks Mel. Though the Machine did have one other field goal, FYI.

  • Dragic

    Maybe he has an itch for drag?

    Sasha 1

    Dragic 0

  • DANNY FRANKS

    Both are actually women

  • Kevin Brumit

    Man, I wish I knew what Sasha Suchabitch said to him. It really pissed him off, and you never see that from Goran. I actually really liked seeing the Dragon has that in him!!!

  • Brett Murdock

    “The kid on the other team”? you mean, “The Guy That Would Destroy You 1-On-1 And Make You Look Like A Fool”

  • John

    The guy that would destroy him 1 on 1? First off since when has that meant shit in the NBA? Pretty sure its 5v5. Also, im pretty sure he had a chance during game 5 to “destroy” him. What was that result again?

  • Hersey

    Vujacic is a waste of skin. There are few players I hate but he’s #1 on the list.

  • lakerfan91

    mel ur dumb dragic scored that 3 in gasols face when sasha guarded him he didnt score shit. but sasha did hit a 3 in dragics face so go look at the tape. sashas coming back n hes gonna fsu in the playoffs.o n btw dragic sucks n he cant even speak english

  • tedidog

    It’s like that punk Vujabitch is trying to channel Kobe when he said he “didn’t know that kid Raja Bell” a few years ago & we all saw how well that series worked out for the Lakers. I love how Goran didn’t take any crap from that idiot. Goran has a bright future in the NBA whereas Vujabitch will probably be out of the league soon cause he isn’t worth a crap & an asshole to boot.

  • Mel.

    Uh, yeah. Let’s check that tape:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgbKTogfeCA

    Gee, Dragic looks a lot like Leandro Barbossa at around 7:00, when Machine hits his three. I was off on the Gasol call, but I’d say you look like a bigger mongoloid by trying to correct me with your own fantasy booking.

    Also, Dragic and Vujacic played the same minutes, both went 1-3 on threes and the only difference (Aside from the +/-) was Goran had two rebounds and an assist. I’ll definitely be looking for this “fsu” in Game Six, since he hasn’t done a goddamned thing of note prior to instigating the “T” last night.

    God love a Lakers fan.

  • Tony

    And lakers91, Dragic speaks English fine. I would say watch the post show from Game 4 but I don’t get the sense that you’re the kind of Lakers fan who watches an entire game if you think they’re going to lose. LOL

  • Tony

    ^In order for that to be funny we would have to admit that Machine looks less like a girl than Dragon… and I can’t even pretend like that’s true.

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  • simon

    btw, the two speak in slovene, not in serbian… it is a language that exist! =)

    • http://www.valleyofthesuns.com Michael Schwartz

      @Simon We apologize for that mix up, it has since been fixed!

  • Tony

    @ Simon: Thank you for the clarification, I hope anybody reporting on this story gets it straight. Like calling Spanish ‘speaking Mexican’. LOL

    And even if you are a Lakers fan there’s no way you can think that Sasha is anything but a punk after Game Six. Stupid selfish actions that almost handed the Suns the game. I seriously hope we get rid of this kid after Phil retires. he’s the only reason Vujacic has a spot to begin with.

  • dragdrag-ic

    vujacic is a SUPAK!!!!!!!!!!!you can ask vujacic what supak means, because he had heard it many times before

  • http://www.nba.com jen

    sashas just mad cause goran will be a star in this league. if he keeps it up, he could easily be the next ginoboli, he’s skilled enough and he a mean streak to him that all stars have.

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  • rekal24

    did all you bafoons really think Dragic was gonna save the Suns from Kobe Bryant, the best player on Earth, from destroying you to get the finals? and take an bicep to your chin on the way out!!

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  • Lakersgirl!

    I saw this game, because I am writing an article for my journalism class. Dragic is a low life, and Vujacic was obviously sticking up for himself and I am happy he got to hit Dragic.. he deserved it!

  • hj

    Only 14-year old girls support Vujabitch. Everyone else knows what a liar he is, not to mention a crappy player. Vujabitch lying has been PROVED many times, it is not even doubtful.

  • Lakersrock

    Vujacic is WAY good…he just doesn’t come in alot and that doesn’t mean anything..he has got STROKE!!! Besides Dragic did say something to him and i think that flagrant foul was worth it!

  • Suns suck

    Not to mention Lakers beat the Suns… Just saying… sorry to make you Suns fans cry

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