Toni Kukoc had the not-so-easy job of playing with the Chicago Bulls from 1994 through 2000. The Croatian player needed to work hard to find his touch and position on the team, but all that hard work paid off, with Toni winning three championships in the Windy City.
He never was a superstar in the league, but legendary NBA writer Sam Smith believes he could have done much more if he didn't play alongside two incredible players like Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
The Chicago Bulls official Twitter account recently shared a video of Smith explaining how good Toni would have been if he didn't play for the team that drafted him as a second-rounder. Smith believes that Kukoc would have been Luka Doncic before Luka Doncic.
"You look at the NBA now, whos' the champion? Guy from Greece. Who's the MVP? Guy from Eastern Europe. Who's the best player to watch? Luka Doncic, another European player. Basically, the NBA is dominated now for the most part by European players. If Toni Kukoc had gone to almost any team other than the Bulls, he would have been one of the great players. He would be what Luka Doncic is now. He would be essentially and virtually an NBA candidate."
This is a big comparison knowing how great Luka has been so far. The Dallas Mavericks superstar is once again an MVP candidate entering the new season.
We'll never know how great Kukoc would have been if he went to a different team, but there's nothing he can complain about. He achieved a lot of things with the Bulls, becoming one of the best European players of all time.
Right now, international players dominate the NBA, with Europeans taking over in the past couple of years. Players like Kukoc, Petrovic, Divac, and more paved the way for the new generation that succeeds right now.
In 863 games, Kukoc averaged 11.6 PPG, 4.2 RPG and 3.7 APG, shooting 44.7% from the field and 72.9% from the free-throw line.