HoopsHype Toni Kukoc rumors

September 29, 2014 Updates
September 12, 2014 Updates
June 22, 2014 Updates
March 28, 2014 Updates

Toni Kukoc doesn't know when or if Nikola Mirotic will leave Real Madrid to join the Bulls. What Kukoc does know, as well as anyone, is what Mirotic will experience if he opts for the NBA. "Thank God Scottie and Michael are not here to torture him," Kukoc said with a laugh during a phone conversation. That, of course, would be Pippen and Jordan. Kukoc bore the brunt of the enmity the Hall of Famers had for general manager Jerry Krause relentlessly endorsing Kukoc during the 1992 Olympics. The pair ultimately embraced Kukoc as an essential piece in the second three-peat. Chicago Tribune

Mirotic won't face such a dynamic. What the Montenegro native will have to overcome are challenges that extend far beyond making baskets. "A lot more games. A lot more travel. Different language. Different food," Kukoc said. "It's a lot." Chicago Tribune

December 8, 2013 Updates

That whole thing was being at the forefront — and in the middle — of a globalization that has transformed the sport. In 1989, he helped persuade Marciulionis to sign with the Golden State team his dad coached. Eastern Europeans Drazen Petrovic, Vlade Divac, Toni Kukoc and others also came to the NBA about the same time the Berlin Wall fell. “I grew up shagging balls for the old Celtics, so I knew what an NBA player looked, breathed and smelled like,” Nelson said. “So I would come back and say, ‘Hey, Dad, there’s a Larry Bird over there, only this guy is 7-4.’ When you’re over there and actually locking horns with them, you realize these guys belong.” That 7-4 Larry Bird to whom Nelson referred was former Soviet and EuroLeague superstar Arvydas Sabonis. He was drafted by Portland in 1986 but didn’t arrive in the NBA until nearly a decade later after foot injuries had robbed him of his mobility. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

February 17, 2013 Updates
December 22, 2012 Updates
November 8, 2012 Updates

Teammate Ricky Rubio snapped a picture of Shved sleeping during the plane ride home. He tweeted it with the caption: "Gotcha!!! The young Toni Kukoc is tired!" Fact is, the shorn Shved does look a lot like a young Kukoc, the former NBA player from Croatia. But Shved got a bit flustered when asked about it. "Come on, guys," he said. "I don't know about that. Ask Ricky Rubio." Minneapolis Star-Tribune

June 11, 2012 Updates

Jordan saves his biggest zinger for longtime Bulls general manager-foil Jerry Krause, who had drafted Toni Kukoc from Croatia, the Dream Team's second-round opponent and gold-medal game victim. "Krause was recruiting this guy, talking how great he was," Jordan says in the film. "That's like a father who has all his kids and now he sees another kid that he loves more than he loves his own. So we were not playing against Toni Kukoc. We were playing against Jerry Krause in a Croatian uniform." Adds Pippen: "We were going to give (Kukoc) the worst experience he ever had on the basketball court. We wanted to go guard him on the bench." Chicago Tribune

July 29, 2011 Updates

Croatian daily Jutarnji List wrote that one young woman was told to offer sexual services to ex-NBA player Kukoc. "I went there, I can’t remember the name of the hotel. In the hotel I had sexual relations with [Toni] Kukoc who paid me 500 Euros," she said. Kukoc says he is not guilty, daily Jutarnji List writes. Croatian Times

July 28, 2011 Updates

Croatian baskteballer Toni Kukoc has shrugged his shoulders at the allegations he has been one of the "beneficiaries" of the elite prostitution ring uncovered recently in Croatia. "I was in worse situations in life. What should I do? Return home to Split? Of course I will stay in Osijek," Kukoc told the media after his name emerged in connection with the elite prostitution ring headed by Nebojsa Perunovic Pance who was arrested last week. Croatian Times

Pance is suspected of pimping young starlets, wanna-be-models and other beautiful girls to Austrian businessmen, rich Russians, and it appears, sports stars. Croatian daily Jutarnji List wrote that one young woman was told to offer sexual services to ex-NBA player Kukoc. "I went there, I can’t remember the name of the hotel. In the hotel I had sexual relations with [Toni] Kukoc who paid me 500 Euros," she said. Croatian Times

February 23, 2011 Updates

Former Bull Toni Kukoc has been charming fans in the Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan after being called for jury duty this week. Observers said Kukoc, who played 13 seasons in the NBA, seven with the Bulls, has graciously posed for photos and signed autographs as he’s moved through the courthouse wearing a juror’s badge. But like a good juror, the member of the Bulls’ 1996, 1997 and 1998 championship teams isn’t talking to the media. And county officials won’t say if he’s actually serving on a panel. Chicago Sun-Times

August 15, 2010 Updates

Among the most vivid memories of the Dream Team in Barcelona was what's known as "the Kukoc game." That was the game in which Jordan and Pippen vowed to shut down Tony Kukoc, the Croatia star who had been offered a big contract by the Chicago Bulls at the same time management had refused to extend Pippen. In a Friday morning roundtable the Dream Teamers had joked about how all of them had vowed to shut down Kukoc on behalf of Pippen. Which is exactly what happened. So several hours later it was jarring to see Kukoc featured so prominently and saying nice things about Scottie in the taped segment that preceded Pippen's induction. In truth, though, Pippen always felt a little guilty -- emphasis on little -- about "the Kukoc game." For after the tall and talented Croatian joined the Bulls, he became one of Jordan's and Pippen's favorite teammates for his versatility. SI.com

August 14, 2010 Updates

On the game against Croatia when the Dream Team vowed to shut down Toni Kukoc, who had received a lucrative contract offer from the Bulls. And shut him down they did: Barkley: "I remember Michael was, like, foaming at the mouth. 'Kukoc makes more money than Scottie and I put together! Wherever he goes, I got him!' And Michael and Scottie shut him down. It was hilarious." Pippen: "I appreciate you guys talking like that, but it was truly a collective effort. If I got beat on the backdoor, David was right there. In truth? Toni did not have a chance in that game." SI.com

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.