May 22, 2020 – ‘The Last Dance’ documentary about Michael Jordan and the legendary generation of the Chicago Bulls broke all rating records, but at the same time provoked fierce reactions. A lot of ‘dirty’ and hitherto unknown details have come to light, and among them, there are many related to Croatia’s Toni Kukoc.
T.portal reports that ‘The Last Dance’ revealed how difficult it was for Toni Kukoc to fight for a place in that team, and it was even harder for him to fit into that ‘chosen society’ and earn their respect. First of all, this applies to the main star, the inimitable Michael Jordan, but also others, especially Scottie Pippen.
Now, Toni Kukoc has given an interview to Greek Sport24 in which he revealed that he heard from Michael Jordan a few days ago.
“We talked a few days ago and I told him I was happy the documentary was coming to an end. You know why? Because in the last three weeks, I have received more phone calls than in the previous 20 years,” said Kukoc and looked back on his years with the Chicago Bulls. The fact is that not everyone could stand what Jordan did to his teammates…
“He was no different to me and he treated us all the same. He simply pushes you to the extremes. There was a good reason for that because our team had the highest expectations. It wasn’t easy and sure not everyone could handle it all. There was a hierarchy and everyone knew their place in the team and that was always the case,” Kukoc recalled and revealed what Drazen Petrovic advised him to do. Namely, it was strange to everyone why Kukoc did not go to the Bulls when he was drafted in 1990, but signed for Benetton and stayed there for two years.
“Drazen Petrovic advised me to do that and I think it was a good decision,” Kukoc revealed.
Kukoc recalled meeting Jordan and Pippen at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
“I knew it was a matter of time before we met and that was in Barcelona and it was twice, in the group stage and the final. I didn’t play well the first game because I was guarded by Jordan and Pippen, the two best defensive players in the world. I don’t think many people would survive that,” said Kukoc, who arrived in the Bulls after Michael Jordan temporarily retired from basketball.
“The fact that he wasn’t there for a year and a half made it a lot easier for me because I got more minutes. As soon as Jordan returned, I realized how much it helped me to grow without him because I already played in three different positions,” explained Toni Kukoc, who was asked by Greek journalists to name who he thinks is the best basketball player of all time.
“It is very easy for me to answer that question,” said Kukoc.
“Michael Jordan has made basketball a global sport. It’s hard to compare LeBron James and this era when Magic Johnson and Larry Bird ruled. It’s hard to choose the biggest, but I prefer Jordan because I think he would be the best in every era.”
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