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Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF

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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#81 » by Wingy » Mon Sep 13, 2021 11:41 pm

In a lengthy list of all the key people in Toni’s basketball life, including his family - one of the times his voice became noticeably more emotional in his speech was when he noted how he was embraced by the people of Chicago. Was it just me imagining that? As a non-Chicagoan, that was a cool moment to me.
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#82 » by bpguimaraes23 » Tue Sep 14, 2021 12:02 am

Not a lot of people will agree, but I believe Tony had more impact on winning than Rodman, and more than Pippen on the last championship. He was Ginobili before Ginobili. A hall of fame talent that accepted a lesser role than he deserved.
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#83 » by dice » Tue Sep 14, 2021 12:14 am

bpguimaraes23 wrote:Not a lot of people will agree, but I believe Tony had more impact on winning than Rodman, and more than Pippen on the last championship. He was Ginobili before Ginobili. A hall of fame talent that accepted a lesser role than he deserved.

kukoc was not in ginobili's league

and why did kukoc's career not blossom when the dynasty ended? instead it went the other direction. he was given the keys the following season and stunk. then he had a mediocre career after leaving the bulls. if anything, the evidence suggests that playing with MJ and scottie gave him the freedom to thrive as a high level role player. that was his nba comfort zone. because he was the personification of the soft euro stereotype

kukoc was krause's golden boy. but as soon as krause recognized that kukoc couldn't lead a team he dumped him for a first rounder

career TS percentages:

55.8 home
50.2 road

that's a huge gap. pretty telling about toni's ability to handle adversity. contrast that with jimmy butler:

58.2 road
57.0 home

one of the very few notable players in nba history to play better on the road. jimmy butler THRIVES on adversity. a testament to overcoming an awful childhood
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#84 » by troza » Tue Sep 14, 2021 9:31 am

dice wrote:kukoc was not in ginobili's league

and why did kukoc's career not blossom when the dynasty ended? instead it went the other direction.


I kind of agree with although it was not like he wasn't himself until 2003. His numbers as a starter were around 19 ppg and 6 assists and as a bench player he would almost always be at least a 10 ppg guy... and we are not sure if the 76ers actually missed him 2001 but no more than a good role player. I don't think it went downhill... he kind of did well until he was 34...

His dynasty numbers were better (regular season) but people must also realize that few players showed better numbers (or even the same) right before or right after playing for the Phil Jackson's Bulls... not even Scottie Pippen (although he kind of did that in some playoff runs). I would say that Rodman, Jordan and maybe Horace Grant (and this is kind of debatable) did that. (Ok, let's ignore those guys that were in the end of the bench and career like Robert Parish or guys that were in the bench for the Bulls and went to a starting role)

Number wise we know they are kind of similar. But we saw Ginobili being a leader, make things happen... showing that competitive spirit that fires up the fans... Kukoc kind of never showed that in the NBA... maybe because he spent too much time behind Jordan and Pippen while Ginobili had Duncan (that needed the guards to set up his game while Kukoc had Jordan and Pippen doing that ahead of him) and although we love Kukoc he would play wonderfully in some parts of the game and then disappear.
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#85 » by Michael Jackson » Tue Sep 14, 2021 12:28 pm

dice wrote:
bpguimaraes23 wrote:Not a lot of people will agree, but I believe Tony had more impact on winning than Rodman, and more than Pippen on the last championship. He was Ginobili before Ginobili. A hall of fame talent that accepted a lesser role than he deserved.

kukoc was not in ginobili's league

and why did kukoc's career not blossom when the dynasty ended? instead it went the other direction. he was given the keys the following season and stunk. then he had a mediocre career after leaving the bulls. if anything, the evidence suggests that playing with MJ and scottie gave him the freedom to thrive as a high level role player. that was his nba comfort zone. because he was the personification of the soft euro stereotype

kukoc was krause's golden boy. but as soon as krause recognized that kukoc couldn't lead a team he dumped him for a first rounder

career TS percentages:

55.8 home
50.2 road

that's a huge gap. pretty telling about toni's ability to handle adversity. contrast that with jimmy butler:

58.2 road
57.0 home

one of the very few notable players in nba history to play better on the road. jimmy butler THRIVES on adversity. a testament to overcoming an awful childhood


Fully agree he wasn’t Ginobli.

As far as being Krause Golden Boy, well so we’re Pippen and Jackson at one point and he has no problem cutting ties with his chosen ones that’s for sure, when Krause traded Kukoc he was blowing everything up regardless and Krause opposite of JR had no problem forgetting loyalties. Kukoc was never as great in the NBA as he was advertised to be ( which was the next Jordan excuse the guffaws) he was simply a good player on a great team.
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#86 » by ATRAIN53 » Tue Sep 14, 2021 2:10 pm

I'm with Doug on this one.

He was a better than average player- but HOF?
I don't think so and the fact it's still debated and he doesn't get int until 2021 tells you he's borderline at best.

and if he's getting in then Horace has to get in. Horace even beat the mighty Bulls squad and chunky, rusty MJ and got a bonus ring down in LA with Phil. He even got his $$$ when Krause challenged him to leave and go get it. He did and came back and beat Jerry. That was nearly HOF worthy in itself.


Their career stats are pretty identical too-

https://stathead.com/basketball/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&player_id1=kukocto01&player_id2=grantho01

I'm gonna bet this was MJ's reaction when this news came across the wire:

Image

Neither of those two are going to the ceremony and speaking highly of him.
Not even angry salty 2021 Pip who could take a good cheap shot at MJ here with Kukoc, but that's got a 1.8% chance of happening.
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#87 » by Wingy » Tue Sep 14, 2021 2:23 pm

ATRAIN53 wrote:I'm with Doug on this one.

He was a better than average player- but HOF?
I don't think so and the fact it's still debated and he doesn't get int until 2021 tells you he's borderline at best.

and if he's getting in then Horace has to get in.


You may have missed that he only got in via the international committee. More than safe to say he doesn’t get in otherwise.

Edit: seems you’re not paying attention at all. You do realize Michael stood on stage for Toni during his HoF speech, right?
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#88 » by troza » Tue Sep 14, 2021 2:33 pm

ATRAIN53 wrote:I'm with Doug on this one.

He was a better than average player- but HOF?
I don't think so and the fact it's still debated and he doesn't get int until 2021 tells you he's borderline at best.

and if he's getting in then Horace has to get in.


The thing is... he was selected by his european career. Horace doesn't have that and if it was for his career just on the NBA Kukoc wouldn't deserve it either (and would never be there).

Not going to discuss the merit of him being there due to his european career. After all, Dino Radja is there with only 200 and something games... Sabonis, Divac and others wouldn't be deserving just for their NBA career... Ok, Sabonis actually did play the majority of his career outside the NBA so it kind of makes sense... but the others? I don't know... truth to be told, the way the game is today with lots of players from other countries was impacted by the success of those players so for that it kind of makes sense to recognize the impact they had in the evolution of basketball that the others didn't have...

PS - I must admit that looking at some hall of fame classes we see some choices that I need context to understand...
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#89 » by bpguimaraes23 » Tue Sep 14, 2021 2:36 pm

troza wrote:
dice wrote:kukoc was not in ginobili's league

and why did kukoc's career not blossom when the dynasty ended? instead it went the other direction.


I kind of agree with although it was not like he wasn't himself until 2003. His numbers as a starter were around 19 ppg and 6 assists and as a bench player he would almost always be at least a 10 ppg guy... and we are not sure if the 76ers actually missed him 2001 but no more than a good role player. I don't think it went downhill... he kind of did well until he was 34...

His dynasty numbers were better (regular season) but people must also realize that few players showed better numbers (or even the same) right before or right after playing for the Phil Jackson's Bulls... not even Scottie Pippen (although he kind of did that in some playoff runs). I would say that Rodman, Jordan and maybe Horace Grant (and this is kind of debatable) did that. (Ok, let's ignore those guys that were in the end of the bench and career like Robert Parish or guys that were in the bench for the Bulls and went to a starting role)

Number wise we know they are kind of similar. But we saw Ginobili being a leader, make things happen... showing that competitive spirit that fires up the fans... Kukoc kind of never showed that in the NBA... maybe because he spent too much time behind Jordan and Pippen while Ginobili had Duncan (that needed the guards to set up his game while Kukoc had Jordan and Pippen doing that ahead of him) and although we love Kukoc he would play wonderfully in some parts of the game and then disappear.


I don’t see how you can question the competitive spirit and leadership of a guy who won on every levels he played, both as “The Man” or as role player and earned the respect of both Jordan and Pipped even with the stigma of being “Krause Boy”

He was fearless, second only to Jordan on the amount of clutch plays, and hat a unique skillset for the time.

His numbers all over the place because of the many different roles he had, and buy the time he was a starter his body was starting do give up on him and the teams he played ware mostly terrible. And let’s not forget that back than international players got even less respect that now.

Had Kukoc came of a US college program, the Bulls wouldn’t even have a chance to draft him.
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#90 » by wickywack » Tue Sep 14, 2021 2:48 pm

dice wrote:
and why did kukoc's career not blossom when the dynasty ended? instead it went the other direction. he was given the keys the following season and stunk. then he had a mediocre career after leaving the bulls. if anything, the evidence suggests that playing with MJ and scottie gave him the freedom to thrive as a high level role player. that was his nba comfort zone. because he was the personification of the soft euro stereotype



To be fair, a lot of all-star caliber players (and eventual hall of famers) fall off a cliff around the age of 30. Kukoc started late in the NBA and was already 30 post-dynasty. His second season (age 26, mostly without MJ) suggests he'd have been just fine without MJ at least.

It's interesting comparing Kukoc to fellow inductee Chris Webber past the age of 25:

https://stathead.com/basketball/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&player_id1=webbech01&p1yrfrom=1999&player_id2=kukocto01&p2yrfrom=1994

Webber played more minutes per game, but total minutes, per minute stats, and advanced stats are pretty close. Like Kukoc, Webber's profile is elevated by what came before the NBA. I think he's still more famous for the Fab 5 than anything he accomplished in a very good, but not particularly great, NBA career.

Ultimately, yes, Webber had more NBA impact. But, it's not *that* hard for me to imagine Kukoc getting close to that level with an earlier start and a starring role. That's no guarantee of getting in to the HoF though. Shawn Kemp had a pretty similar - maybe better - NBA career than Webber and isn't in. Kemp doesn't have the Fab 5 or Euro accomplishments to spice up his resume though.
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#91 » by bpguimaraes23 » Tue Sep 14, 2021 3:19 pm

dice wrote:and why did kukoc's career not blossom when the dynasty ended? instead it went the other direction. he was given the keys the following season and stunk. then he had a mediocre career after leaving the bulls. if anything, the evidence suggests that playing with MJ and scottie gave him the freedom to thrive as a high level role player. that was his nba comfort zone. because he was the personification of the soft euro stereotype


He was past 30 and given a team designed to lose. Kukoc prime happened during the dynasty.
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#92 » by troza » Tue Sep 14, 2021 4:40 pm

bpguimaraes23 wrote:
I don’t see how you can question the competitive spirit and leadership of a guy who won on every levels he played, both as “The Man” or as role player and earned the respect of both Jordan and Pipped even with the stigma of being “Krause Boy”

He was fearless, second only to Jordan on the amount of clutch plays, and hat a unique skillset for the time.

His numbers all over the place because of the many different roles he had, and buy the time he was a starter his body was starting do give up on him and the teams he played ware mostly terrible. And let’s not forget that back than international players got even less respect that now.

Had Kukoc came of a US college program, the Bulls wouldn’t even have a chance to draft him.


Maybe I just expressed myself in the wrong way.

I never said he wasn't clutch. But sometimes looking at his games, I get the feeling that he did what the game allowed him to do while others went out and made things happen even. Maybe that's just an impression of watching him play during the dynasty years where he was not the first option and already had Jordan doing that at a super high level for the team.

So I guess that I chose the wrong word to say that... And I have to say that you are right. And I think I didn't express myself correctly anyway this time so I will stop trying.
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#93 » by chefo » Tue Sep 14, 2021 4:41 pm

I find it funny that people are knocking Toni down for doing the right thing and taking a back seat to the 2(!) best ball-handling wings in the entire NBA during the second 3-peat. Scottie (most) and MJ (less) took turns being the lead ball handler on these Bulls teams. On top of that, in the triangle, there is no use for a traditional PG or a super-high usage point F, which were Toni's natural positions.

Despite that, and despite not being featured one bit and just being out there balling, he gave the Bulls around 16-18/6/5 per 36 during his prime. Again, just balling on a team that was kicking butts night out. BTW, Toni was playing darn near 37 or more minutes per game in Europe (out of 40) from the time he was a late teen. He could handle MJ and Scottie-like minutes.

Not coincidentally, on an absolutely craptastic team that was designed to be the worst in the NBA, when he got lead ball-handling duty, old, fat, out-of-shape, Toni put up 19/7/5.

I'm absolutely certain that had he been on virtually any other decent/playoff-bound franchise that did not have 2 absolutely elite wing ball-handlers ahead of him, in a system at least slightly designed to emphasize his strengths, Toni would have easily put up several seasons of 19-20/7/7 as the lead man, or thereabouts. These are otherwise known as pre-injury Grant Hill numbers, who was (rightly) considered a super-star at the time.

The recency bias and the enormous stat inflation of the last decade have kinda' made people forget, but back then 20/7/7 were borderline super-star numbers and most definitely all-star numbers. Add to that the fact that Toni was a very exciting player to watch, and I could see him easily be an all-star starter at some point as well.

On another note, Toni averaged 20/6/5 for his Beneton team (mind you, in Europe, assists were vastly less liberally awarded than in the NBA), shooting 60% from 2 and 40% from 3. That was pre-prime Toni in a shorter game, with a slower pace and fewer opportunities for rebounds and assists. The above numbers (20/7/7) are not that much of a stretch, IMO.

Anyhow, loved Toni on the Bulls, but I also watched him in Europe before he came over and these two were not the same players. One was truly a Magic-like prodigy and the biggest star in Europe, and Bulls Toni was a third fiddle who eventually morphed into a stretch 4, that his own team did not bother to feature in any meaningful way.

The one constant was that the dude won a TON every time he touched a ball from his mid teens until he hit 30 and the only championship he did not win was Olympic gold.

He's a:
* 3x NBA champ
* 3x Euroleague champ (in a three-peat; the only one I'm aware of in the modern era)
* 2x World Champion (1 youth and 1 men) and WC MVP
* 4x Yugo champ
* 1x Italian champ
* 4x Euro champ (2 youth and 2 men).

Apart from his time on the Bulls, he was either #1, or #2 (behind Petrovic) on every team he was on.

Yeah, even if he didn't sniff the NBA, and retired at 25 (when he came over), he'd still be in the HOF.
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#94 » by kodo » Tue Sep 14, 2021 5:38 pm

Kukoc did produce #s right after the championship, while he was still on the Bulls.
18.8 ppg 7.0 rpg 5.3 apg. This was significant considering the Bulls scored about 80 ppg. Normalizing for today's pace of 99.2, I'm getting about 21 ppg 8 rpg 6 apg. That's really damn good. And it's not like anyone played well under Pink Floyd. Brent Barry was one of the league's best historic sharpshooters after Kerr, he shot 30% from 3 under Floyd. Just 2 years later in Seattle he shot 47.6%. The Bulls were that bad.

After the Bulls Toni got jacked around from team to team. By the time was in a stable situation again, he was 34. Had he come into the league as a main option with a better coach than Floyd, not been behind 2 of the best wings in the history of the NBA, yeah I think he would have put up some #s. But I'm sure he's happy with the rings instead.
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#95 » by ATRAIN53 » Tue Sep 14, 2021 5:39 pm

Wingy wrote:
ATRAIN53 wrote:I'm with Doug on this one.

He was a better than average player- but HOF?
I don't think so and the fact it's still debated and he doesn't get int until 2021 tells you he's borderline at best.

and if he's getting in then Horace has to get in.


You may have missed that he only got in via the international committee. More than safe to say he doesn’t get in otherwise.

Edit: seems you’re not paying attention at all. You do realize Michael stood on stage for Toni during his HoF speech, right?


you're right - totally missed that
didn't even realize the enshrinement was this weekend!.
was at the ND game Sat-

gonna have to watch that speech with MJ and Reinsdorf.
Funny to see them all on same stage. I would have thought MJ and Scottie were home laughing at it.
I wonde rif Kruase was stil alove if he would have been up there and with MJ.....

also noted that Isiah Thomas was there to induct Chris Webber.
I wonder if he and MJ hung out and had dinner LOL
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#96 » by troza » Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:45 am

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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#97 » by RSP83 » Wed Sep 15, 2021 12:13 pm

Just want to comment on the Ginobili mention. Manu was an awesome player, if anything he's probably underrated by many. I think Toni and Manu are two different types of player, playing for two different systems.

I think Toni is as talented if not more talented that Manu. I mean 6'11" PG who can shoot is rare even by today's standard. The Spurs (and the Mavs) were sort of ahead of their time, probably the pioneer in terms of mixing NBA and Euro basketball principles and building around Euro talent. I don't know if Toni would be as successful as Dirk in Dallas (most likely not), but I think Toni would look really good in the Spurs system with Pops during that Duncan era (assuming his peak overlap with Duncan's like Manu and Parker). He would've had a better career statistically and in terms of individual recognition.

Manu had the luxury to play for Pop his whole career in a system which worked for him and more similar the way International basketball is played. Toni played on a team running the triangle where effectiveness of the system depends how well everybody on the team execute their role and then everybody knows MJ needs his space, there's Scottie as well. Toni was basically playing Rick Fox/Robert Horry role in that Triangle Lakers team. And after the break up he played 1 year for Tim Floyd Bulls. Then with Sixers, Hawks, Bucks, he could never really find his niche. And he probably didn't have much left in the tank. I mean same thing with Scottie, it's pretty much retirement for everybody after the break up.

So I have a lot of respect for Manu, and stats wise and in terms of NBA individual accolades, he's had a more successful NBA career than Toni. But, I think Toni was a special talent, he just had a different NBA experience than Manu. Still won 3 rings though lol as 3rd scoring option.
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#98 » by League Circles » Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:04 pm

bpguimaraes23 wrote:Not a lot of people will agree, but I believe Tony had more impact on winning than Rodman, and more than Pippen on the last championship. He was Ginobili before Ginobili. A hall of fame talent that accepted a lesser role than he deserved.


I like Toni Kukoc a lot, but man oh man is he overrated by Bulls fans. I think it's because he made the game look so easy. Kind of like an incredibly slow TMac. He was a good ball handler and very good passer for his size back then. He was a pretty solid/good shooter. Sucked hard at 50% of the game (defense), not a good rebounder, and far overrated as a shooter.

The proof is crystal clear. Toni was just 29 years old when the dynasty ended. Instead of lighting it up and leading the rebuild, as any actual hall of fame talent would have, he immediately regressed, was traded after a year and a half of very meh play, and was never a regular starter again in the league over 6 seasons and 3 teams. He was a nice 6th man for a guy who didn't do jack **** to keep himself competitive, who predictably was exposed when no longer carried by the GOAT.

Manu was a LOT better than Toni. A significant better and more well conditioned athlete, better defender. I never understood why Toni was called a 6'-11" "PG". He never played point guard, could never defend an nba guard to save his life, and lacked a major skill that they have (dribble penetration initiation). Toni WAS a very unique player in his day, and on a team sorely lacking offensive talent outside the top 2 guys, he was invaluable. But that's about it.
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#99 » by HomoSapien » Thu Sep 16, 2021 6:09 pm

League Circles wrote:
bpguimaraes23 wrote:Not a lot of people will agree, but I believe Tony had more impact on winning than Rodman, and more than Pippen on the last championship. He was Ginobili before Ginobili. A hall of fame talent that accepted a lesser role than he deserved.


I like Toni Kukoc a lot, but man oh man is he overrated by Bulls fans. I think it's because he made the game look so easy. Kind of like an incredibly slow TMac. He was a good ball handler and very good passer for his size back then. He was a pretty solid/good shooter. Sucked hard at 50% of the game (defense), not a good rebounder, and far overrated as a shooter.

The proof is crystal clear. Toni was just 29 years old when the dynasty ended. Instead of lighting it up and leading the rebuild, as any actual hall of fame talent would have, he immediately regressed, was traded after a year and a half of very meh play, and was never a regular starter again in the league over 6 seasons and 3 teams. He was a nice 6th man for a guy who didn't do jack **** to keep himself competitive, who predictably was exposed when no longer carried by the GOAT.

Manu was a LOT better than Toni. A significant better and more well conditioned athlete, better defender. I never understood why Toni was called a 6'-11" "PG". He never played point guard, could never defend an nba guard to save his life, and lacked a major skill that they have (dribble penetration initiation). Toni WAS a very unique player in his day, and on a team sorely lacking offensive talent outside the top 2 guys, he was invaluable. But that's about it.


I love Toni too. I think he's fantastic and very deserving of being in the HOF. I also think he could have put up better numbers on just about any team, so he deserves credit for sacrificing individual numbers for the good of the team. That said, it's hard for me to get behind any argument that suggests he's more important than Rodman. The Worm had a job that almost no one else on the roster could do, which was guarding the opposing elite big man in an era when the league was full of them. Kukoc wasn't as bad of a defender as he was labeled, but there was a reason why the 95-96 off-season was all about getting front-court help.

Maybe you can make an argument that Kukoc was important in 98 given that Rodman was sort of checked out at times and Pippen was injured, but even then I think the Bulls have more success without Kukoc than they do without Rodman.
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#100 » by el_Diablo » Fri Sep 17, 2021 6:46 pm


The proof is crystal clear. Toni was just 29 years old when the dynasty ended. Instead of lighting it up and leading the rebuild, as any actual hall of fame talent would have, he immediately regressed, was traded after a year and a half of very meh play,



I dont think there is a player who after a 3-peat and also winning everything else there is to win on basketball court would have been motivated to ”lead a rebuild” on that bulls team which obviously wanted to lose as much as possible.

Some other player may have demanded a trade though.

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