After seven long years of waiting, one of the best and most successful Croatian basketball players of all time, Toni Kukoč, has been inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, the organization announced on Sunday.
Triple winner of the NBA title with the Chicago Bulls (1996-1998), three-time European champion with Jugoplastika (1989-1991), world champion (1990) and two-time European champion (1989-1991) with the national team of the former Yugoslavia, winner of two Olympic silver medals, with Yugoslavia in Seoul in 1988 and Croatia in Barcelona in 1992, and the winner of many individual awards, Kukoč is the fifth Croat after Krešimir Ćosić (1996), Dražen Petrović (2002), Mirko Novosel (2007) and Dino Rađa (2019) to be included among the basketball immortals.
The 2021 generation of NBA players included two-time Miami Heat champion Chris Bosh, former Boston Celtics captain and NBA ring winner Paul Pierce, four-time league best defender Ben Wallace and Chris Webber.
Among the NBA coaches on the list are Celtics legend Bill Russell, who has long been in the Hall of Fame as a player, triple NBA finalist Rick Adelman and posthumously Cotton Fitzsimmons. Villa's two-time NCAA champions Jay Wright is also entering the Hall of Fame. Yolanda Griffith and Lauren Jackson are becoming new members of the Hall of Fame.