It’s about damn time.
The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame officially announced the 2021 inductee’s on Sunday morning, and finally earning his nod is Bulls legend Toni Kukoc. The Croatian Sensation has been a nominee by the International Committee in the past several classes, including in the 2020 class which was headlined by Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) May 16, 2021
Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf on Toni Kukoč‘s Hall of Fame selection. pic.twitter.com/a230RWH01J
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) May 16, 2021
— Basketball HOF (@Hoophall) May 16, 2021
Before joining the Chicago Bulls in 1993, Kukoc was one of the most dominant international players. He won three EuroLeague championships from 1989-1991 and also finished as the EuroLeague Final Four MVP three times to go along with numerous other overseas accolades. Kukoc was previously inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2017.
When he finally joined the Bulls after Jordan retired for the first time, Kukoc’s success only continued. He played a pivotal role in the organization’s second three-peat, highlighted by a Sixth Man of the Year Award in 1996. Kukoc played a total of six full seasons for the Bulls and averaged 13.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 1.0 steal on 46.4 percent shooting from the field and 33.5 percent shooting from downtown (FWIW: Over the Bulls three championship runs, Kukoc shot 37.0 percent from behind the arc). He was the team’s third-leading scorer each championship season behind Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
The 1996-97 Bulls team now has 5 Hall of Fame players (Jordan, Pippen, Rodman, Parish, Kukoc) plus two Hall of Fame coaches (Jackson, Winter) and a Hall of Fame General Manager (Krause).
— Jeff Mangurten (@JeffGurt) May 16, 2021
Overall, Kukoc played 15 seasons in the NBA to go along with his prestigious overseas career. To remember just how good this dude could be, go ahead and relive some of his best moments. Awesome stuff.