Vujcic, 35, a member of the Euroleague’s All-Decade Team from 2001 to 2010, was considered one of the elite big men outside the NBA. In a recent interview with Eurobasket, Vujcic approached the reasons behind passing on numerous offers to play in the United States and wishes he could turn back the clock. “After winning the Euroleague with Maccabi Tel Aviv for the first time, I had a few NBA offers but none made me leave Israel,” said Vujcic, who won two Euroleague titles, five Israeli Championships and four State Cups for Maccabi. “Toronto Raptors offered me a three-year guaranteed deal – and for better money – but I had just won the Euroleague, our team was keeping a core group of guys and we were favorites to win back-to-back. There was no way I was giving that up for Toronto,” he added.
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Looking back on his 18-year pro-career, Vujcic expressed a great deal of disappointment by not playing in the NBA and addressed one offer from a varsity Western Conference team he lucked out on. “I had an offer from the San Antonio Spurs but they ended up signing Fabricio Oberto instead. In retrospect, I didn’t pursue the NBA hard enough and I’m sorry I couldn’t play for San Antonio because they’re an organization I’d never turn down. Coincidently, that same season they won the NBA Championship,” Vujcic said.
“After finishing my third year in Tel Aviv I received more offers from the NBA,” the Croatian revealed. “Toronto wanted me again, the Washington Wizards and Atlanta Hawks were also in the picture, but I accepted an offer from Olympiacos (Greece) which I couldnt refuse.” According to reports, Vujcic’s contract value in Greece was estimated at 4.5 million euros.