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Calling for safeguards against NBA raids on its players, a...

June 30, 1989

Calling for safeguards against NBA raids on its players, a Yugoslav basketball team denied center Dino Radja permission to play for the Boston Celtics, who drafted him earlier this week.

Bozidar Maljkovic, Radja's coach on the Jugoplastika team, said, "It would be a catastrophe for our basketball" if the Yugoslav federation did not adopt rules against allowing its best players to leave. He said no players younger than 26 should be allowed to sign with U.S. teams.

The Lakers drafted another Yugoslav, Vlade Divac, and he has been given permission by his country's government to join them. Also reportedly negotiating with NBA teams are Yugoslavia's star guard, Drazen Petrovic, and center Stojko Vrankovic. Petrovic, who currently plays for Real Madrid in Spain, was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers in 1986, and Vrankovic was chosen by the Celtics the same year.

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