Toni Kukoč

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Basketball player
Toni Kukoč
Toni Kukoc.jpg
Player information
birthday 18th September 1968 (age 51)
place of birth Split , SR Croatia , SFR Yugoslavia
size 208 cm
Weight 87 kg
position Small forward / power forward
NBA draft 1990 , Pick 29, Chicago Bulls
Clubs as active
1986–1991 Jugoplastika Split 1991–1993 Benetton Treviso 1993–2000 Chicago Bulls 2000–2001 Philadelphia 76ers 2001–2002 Atlanta Hawks 2002–2006 Milwaukee BucksYugoslavia Socialist Federal RepublicYugoslavia
United StatesUnited States
United StatesUnited States
United StatesUnited States
United StatesUnited States
National team
1987-1991 1992-1999Yugoslavia Socialist Federal RepublicYugoslavia
32 games
38 games

Toni Kukoč (born September 18, 1968 in Split , SR Croatia , SFR Yugoslavia ) is a former Croatian basketball player who was active for most of his professional career in the North American professional league NBA .


Kukoč, who measured 1.90 meters at the age of 13, played table tennis and soccer as a teenager. At the age of ten he was table tennis champion of the Dalmatia region in his age group . He started playing basketball at the age of 15 when a talent scout from KK Jugoplastika Split saw him playing sports with friends on the beach and invited him to basketball training.

In 1985, Kukoč was European Cadet Champion under coach Svetislav Pešić . The Yugoslav team at that time included other professional players, including Vlade Divac . At the age of 16, Kukoč played in the men's team of Jugoplastika Split, in the 1985/86 season he scored an average of 2.6 points per match in 20 league games.

In the summer of 1986 he won the European Championship in the U18 age group in Austria alongside Dino Rađa , Aleksandar andorĐević , Teoman Alibegović and Divac. At club level, Kukoč increased in Split in the 1986/87 season under coach Zoran Slavnić his points yield to 14.4 per game.

At the Junior World Championship, which he won with the Yugoslav selection in Bormio in the summer of 1987 , he came as the third best scorer of his team to 14.7 points per use. In the group game against the USA, which Yugoslavia won 110-95, Kukoč towered with 37 points, while he hit eleven of his twelve throws from outside the three-point mark. The two teams met again in the final, here Kukoč was comparatively inconspicuous with nine points.

Toni Kukoč (left) and Dino Rađa at Jugoplastika Split

In 1988 he became Yugoslav champions with Split and won the silver medal at the Olympic Games in Seoul, with Kukoč as the youngest player in the Yugoslav Olympic squad still playing a supporting role in the national team led by Dražen Petrović . In the 1988/89 season he reached the final of the European Cup with Jugoplastika Split and contributed 18 points (4/7 threes) to the victory. He was Yugoslavian champion with Split this season as well. In the summer of 1989 he won the European Championship with the top-class Yugoslav national team in Zagreb .

In 1989/90 he achieved a triple triumph with Split: Kukoč won the Yugoslav championship title, the cup and repeated victory in the European Cup with the team. He was named the best player in the final tournament in Zaragoza , having scored 20 points in the final against FC Barcelona . At the end of June 1990, the Chicago Bulls secured the rights to Kukoč in the NBA draft proceedings and let him call up a total of 29th place in the second selection round. Two more titles followed in the same year. With Yugoslavia, Kukoč became  world champions in Argentina in August 1990 . If he had played a minor role in previous tournaments in the Yugoslav national team, he made the step to leading player at the World Cup in Argentina, was the second best scorer after Petrović with 16.5 points per match and was named the best player in the World Cup. He also won the Goodwill Games in Seattle with the team in 1990 .

The year 1991 was also very titled for Kukoč. With Split he was again the best team in the Yugoslav Championship and the Cup, in the European Cup, the previous year's final against Barcelona was repeated (with the previous split coach Božidar Maljković ). Kukoč remained relatively pale in this duel with eight points in attack, but was still voted the best player of the final tournament after winning the European Cup for the third time since 1988 with Split. In June 1991 he led the Yugoslav national team to the European Championship with 19 points per match and was named the best player of the tournament.

In the summer break of 1991, Kukoč accepted an offer for a six-year contract with the top Italian team Benetton Treviso , where his compatriot Petar Skansi had the say as coach. In his first year of play in Serie A, Kukoč contributed significantly to winning the championship with 20.5 points per game.

At the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992 he met the Croatian team twice on the United States with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen from the Chicago Bulls . Since Jordan and Pippen had a tense relationship with Bulls manager Jerry Krause, who had repeatedly praised Kukoč, they decided to defend particularly closely against the Croatian in the two duels. Kukoč and his Croatians lost the games against the USA significantly, including the final. In the group game he managed only four points against the cover of his future Chicago teammates, while he suffered seven ball losses, in the game for gold Kukoč got along better and scored 16 points, but the Americans won clearly.

In the 1992/93 season he moved into the final of the European Cup with Treviso, but surprisingly  had to admit defeat to CSP Limoges from France. With Treviso he was 55:57 seconds before the end of the game; Kukoč's attempt to equalize or to achieve the lead was prevented by a controversial win by Limoges' Frédéric Forte .

In the summer of 1993 he got out of his contract with Benetton Treviso for a million payment and moved to the Chicago Bulls in the NBA, with whom he signed a multi-year contract in July 1993. He later had to change his style of play in the NBA, according to Kukoč, who was scheduled to play in fourth position in Chicago, although he had never played on this in Europe, but was there instead of wing player. In his first year in the North American league, he averaged 10.9 points per encounter and was accepted into the NBA All-Rookie Second Team . In the 1994/95 game year, Kukoč was the team's third-best scorer behind Jordan and Pippen with 15.7 points per match. In 1996, 1997 and 1998 he won the NBA championship with Chicago. In 1996 he was named the best substitute player in the league ( Sixth Man of the Year Award ). Kukoč was an important part of the Chicago championship team, but is not perceived as a great player, according to a report on his career on in January 2020. In the same article, his former colleague from the Yugoslav national team, Vlade Divac, was included The words reproduced that Kukoč was one of the best who had ever played basketball, he won almost everything (all major titles). He achieved the best statistical values ​​for the Bulls in the 1998/99 season with 18.8 points and 7.0 rebounds per encounter.

With the Croatian national team after moving to Chicago, he took part in the 1994 World Cup (bronze), the 1996 Olympic Games and the 1995 and 1999 European Championships. At the European Championship in 1995, where he won bronze, Kukoč was elected to the team of the tournament.

In the NBA, he played briefly for the Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks after his time in Chicago . His last stop as an NBA professional was the Milwaukee Bucks , where he spent his last four professional years.

Kukoč became special advisor to Jerry Reinsdorf, owner and president of the Chicago Bulls, in 2015.

Achievements and Awards

  • NBA Championship: 1996, 1997, 1998
  • NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award : 1996
  • NBA All-Rookie Second Team : 1994
  • Yugoslav champion: 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991
  • Yugoslav Cup: 1990, 1991
  • Italian champion : 1992
  • Italian Cup : 1993
  • European Champion Clubs' Cup : 1989, 1990, 1991
  • Silver medal at the Olympic Games: 1988, 1992
  • World Champion: 1990
    • Bronze medal at world championships: 1994
  • World champion age group U19 in Bormio: 1987
  • European champions: 1989, 1991
    • Bronze medal at European Championships: 1987, 1995
  • European champion age group U16: 1985
  • European champion age group U18: 1986
  • 5 × Euroscar Player of the Year: 1990, 1991, 1994, 1996, 1998
  • Admission to the FIBA Hall of Fame : 2017

Web links

Commons : Toni Kukoč  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Vladimir Stankovic: Toni Kukoc: The Pink Panther of basketball. In: KOS magazine. November 28, 2016, accessed July 1, 2020 .
  2. 1985 European Championship for Cadets: Yugoslavia. FIBA , accessed on June 29, 2020 (English).
  3. ^ 1986 European Championship for Junior Men: Yugoslavia. FIBA , accessed on June 29, 2020 (English).
  4. ^ Toni Kukoc profile, World Championship for Junior Men 1987. Retrieved July 1, 2020 .
  7. Yugoslavia | 1988 Olympic Games: Tournament for Men | ARCHIVE.FIBA.COM. Retrieved July 1, 2020 .
  10. Champions Cup 1989-90. Retrieved July 1, 2020 .
  11. 1990 NBA Draft. Retrieved July 1, 2020 .
  13. World Championship 1990. Accessed July 1, 2020 .
  14. “YOU CAN'T GUARD A CHAIR” Was Toni Kukoč a defensive liability coming into the NBA? May 3, 2020, accessed July 1, 2020 (American English).
  15. Champions Cup 1990-91. Retrieved July 1, 2020 .
  17. European Championship 1991. Accessed July 1, 2020 .
  18. a b Phil Hersh: KUKOC ANXIOUS TO START LIFE WITH THE BULLS. Retrieved July 1, 2020 (American English).
  19. Kukoc Toni - Statistiche INDIVIDUALI. In: LEGABASKET SERIE A. Retrieved July 1, 2020 .
  20. -se-passait-a-chicago-jai-ete-surpris-par-lintensite /
  24. ^ Chicago Bulls All-Time Transactions. In: Retrieved July 1, 2020 .
  25. a b The overlooked star that is Toni Kukoc. In: Retrieved July 1, 2020 .
  26. Toni Kukoc Always Delivered. In: Retrieved July 1, 2020 .
  27. a b c Toni Kukoč Stats. Retrieved July 1, 2020 .
  28. 1994-95 Chicago Bulls Roster and Stats. Retrieved July 1, 2020 .
  29. 2017 Class of FIBA ​​Hall of Fame: Toni Kukoc. Retrieved July 1, 2020 .
  30. World Championship 1994. Accessed July 1, 2020 .
  31. European Championship 1995. Accessed July 1, 2020 .
  32. Toni Kukoc named special advisor to the President and COO of the Chicago Bulls ( English ) August 17, 2015. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  33. Dream Team, Shaq and Kukoc headline 2017 Class of FIBA ​​Hall of Fame Inductees. FIBA , August 23, 2017, accessed on September 12, 2017 .