In 1993, Toni Kukoc dipped his toe into NBA waters as part of the first wave of European players expecting to make a real impact on American basketball. Kukoc, already a battle-tested two-time Olympic silver medalist, believed that he and other foreign players like Dino Radja, Vlade Divac, and Drazen Petrovic possessed the skill, athleticism, and talent to compete in the League. Kukoc was right. Five seasons later, Kukoc was a three-time NBA champion with the Chicago Bulls and had earned the 1996 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award. Gone were the assumptions by Americans that international players were one-dimensional, or too soft, or too disinterested to play defense. Kukoc helped change the perspective with his passing, open-floor shooting, and rebounding. The five-time European Player of the Year won gold at the 1990 FIBA World Championships when he was named MVP, two gold medals in the European Championships, and was a three-time EuroLeague MVP. All of that to go along with the 1992 title in the Italian League and three titles in the EuroLeague.
BornSeptember 18, 1968 Split, HR
Professional CareerAtlanta Hawks Chicago Bulls Milwaukee Bucks Philadelphia 76ers
MAN OF THE YEAR
PLAYER OF THE YEAR