Former Bulls forward Toni Kukoc named to Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2021


CHICAGO, IL – JANUARY 26: Toni Kukoc #7 of the Chicago Bulls dunks against the Miami Heat on January 26, 1996 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1996 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

CHICAGO – Another member of the Bulls’ dynasty who enjoyed a great career in the NBA and internationally will be joining the elite in the history of the game.

On Sunday morning, the Basketball Hall of Fame announced that forward Toni Kukoc will be a part of the Class of 2021. He will be officially enshrined on Saturday, September 11th at the Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.

“When Toni joined the Bulls in 1993, he had already established himself as one of the best players ever to come out of Europe,” said Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. “While we knew what kind of player he was, we were not sure how he would adapt to the NBA. He quickly proved that his game was suited to play with the best players in the world. He was a star player on his championship teams in Europe, and one of the best sixth men in the NBA on our second three-peat championship teams in Chicago. There are not many players in the history of the game who have excelled at the level that Toni has. Congratulations on this very well-deserved honor.”

Kukoc was elected by the international committee after a decorated career in Europe and a 13-year run in the NBA. That included a memorable tenure with the Bulls from 1993-2000 where he was named Rookie of the Year in 1994, Sixth Man of the Year in 1996, and helped the team to three NBA titles.

After a trade in 2000, Kukoc would finish out his career with the Sixers, Hawks, then Bucks.

Before and during his time in the NBA, the forward is one of the greatest players in the history of the European game. Kukoc was a five-time Euroscar European Player of the Year, three-time Euroleague Player of the Year, won the FIBA World Championship in 1990 with Yugoslavia which he was also named the tournament MVP.

He helped Yugoslavia to the sliver medal at the 1998 summer Olympic games in Seoul, South Korea, then got another silver with Croatia in the 1992 summer games in Barcelona.

Kukoc enters the Hall of Fame with one other player who was with the Bulls for a time: Center Ben Wallace. He played in 127 games with the team from 2006 through 2008 when he was traded to the Cavaliers.

They are a part of the 16-person Class of 2021 that includes coach Rick Adelman, Chris Bosh, Paul Pierce, Bill Russell (elected as coach), Chris Webber, Jay Wright, Yolanda Griffith, Lauren Jackson, Val Ackerman, Cotton Fitzsimmmons, Howard Garfinkel, Clarence “Fats” Jenkins, Bob Dandridge, and Pearl Moore.

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