Career: Benston Zagreb (Croatia, 1999-2000), Cibona Zagreb (Croatia, 2000-03), New Jersey Nets (NBA 2003-...) Drafted in the first round (#22) of the 2003 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets.
Zoran Planinic was considered one of the most talented players in Europe. The Croatian guard didn't quite live to these expectations, but still made it to the NBA, where the Nets trust him to be Jason Kidd’s backup. At this EuroBasket, he will probably be the starter to a second-to-none Croatian team talent-wise. Planinic was born in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina; at 16, he was seen as the top guard prospect in Croatia. No need to ask, his teenage idol was the late Drazen Petrovic, who else? Became the starting point guard for Cibona Zagreb at 20, helping his team win the Croatian championship in 2001 and 02. Dazzled everyone with his skills in his “rookie” year and was branded MVP of the Euroleague opening tournament in 2001. Soon became a first rounder at the 2003 NBA Draft, picked up by the Nets. Planinic has great size for a point guard, excellent ball-handling, passing and shooting skills. A complete package that might give Croatia the much needed edge in the playmaking position.