Michael Jordan to Present Toni Kukoč at Basketball Hall of Fame Induction

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

Milan Sabic / PIXSELL
Milan Sabic / PIXSELL

After it was announced in May that Toni Kukoč would be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Illinois, we learned on Thursday that one of the greatest basketball legends to live would introduce the Croatian basketballer to the Hall of Fame.

When talking about basketball greats, it’s impossible to miss mentioning the legendary American basketball player and one of the greatest of all time, Michael Jordan, Kukoč’s teammate on the Chicago Bulls. Jerry Reinsdorf, longtime owner of the Bulls, will join Jordan on stage with the former Croatia national team player during the ceremony on September 11, 2021, at the MassMutual Center. 

Along with Kukoč, owner of three NBA rings, the 2021 class includes Val Ackerman, Rick Adelman, Chris Bosh, Bob Dandridge, Cotton Fitzsimmons, Howard Garfinkel, Yolanda Griffith, Lauren Jackson, Clarence Jenkins, Pearl Moore, Paul Pierce, Bill Russell, Ben Wallace, Chris Webber, and Jay Wright.

Toni Kukoč will become the fifth Croat in the Basketball Hall of Fame after Krešimir Ćosić (1996), Dražen Petrović (2002), Mirko Novosel (2007) and Dino Rađa (2018).

Although he was a three-time NBA champion and winner of the award for the best sixth player in the strongest league globally, a league where he spent 13 years, Kukoč could not have a place in the Hall of Fame based on his NBA career. That is why he was nominated as a candidate for international basketball, and a special International Committee decides on its representative every year. It consists of seven members, and a nominee must receive six affirmative votes to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

With the inclusion of Kukoč, Croatia became the country with the most representatives in the Hall of Fame after the USA. So far, it has been tied at the top with Serbia, which has four – Divac, Bora Stankovic, Aleksandar Nikolic, and Drazen Dalipagic.


Kukoč is the only basketball player in history who has not only won the European Champions Cup / Euroleague and the NBA ring three times but did so for three years in a row. During all three European titles with Jugoplastika, he was named the best player of the Final Four, winning two of the most prestigious European individual awards (Euroscar and Mister Europa) nine times. He also won four championships and two Yugoslav cups, as well as the Italian league and cup. In addition, he won the Olympic silver in Barcelona in 1992 and two European and one world bronze with the Croatia national team. He was also an Olympic silver medalist with Yugoslavia in 1988, won the world gold, two European gold, and one bronze and three gold with junior selections.

Source: HRT

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