Toni Kukoc talks Bulls dynasty on CTL
Three titles with the Bulls 969798. -- ninth time European player of the year he is. Toni Kukoc great to have -- here thinking things from the Booth. All right so you're retired and I you're enjoying life you still follow the game very much you miss playing. No not that much because I don't know I can't play. And more after that hip replacement that I hit everything kind of went. Some of and enjoy watching it -- not good not as often. I don't go down to Madison is off I want to see maybe 1015 games but I've watch every game on the TV. Your fondest memory is -- winning titles is it playing with Michael who's the greatest player of all that what sticks out in your mind. All of all of probably the best of the best part of of all that is is attorney that you go through. -- goes like 'cause the championships. Of them playing with -- -- All the practices all the travels. That you spent with the guys over lunch is kind of although go through your head after everything you said and done you've. You're obviously high profile player yourself you've played with me the most high profile player of all time in Jordan. Now Derrick Rose is obviously sort of a sending to that. So status what's he going through as a young player who's gonna have all this attention on him for years and years. The issue icon awesome what what challenges he -- -- -- that you -- personal -- saw Jordan's well. I didn't grow as much right through those challenge maybe maybe maybe Europe band and probably Michael via a better. Person to have to ask about that. And he he can be a distraction. Two new runs especially boo you right now when he's battling moved to come back and and then. What out of this injuries not taken a long time my. Pro that's his only focus right now and then he doesn't have none of these problems that's. Gonna come. Again when he when he starts. When you some -- LeBron James playbook than most NBA playoffs and in the Olympic Games. Can run -- talking about him you know ascending to that Jordan level -- on this kind of showed that he can do it and lead a team as well what did you notice that was so different about him. Seem this year in the previous few feet and just the way -- he's at work and more -- picked him. -- that honestly I needed dead dead learning curve the learning process and and he found the way who. That didn't open. The previous season against the Dallas. He he couldn't honestly couldn't do it. This year he led the team and pretty much every category. He had played great defensively played. Multiple positions. Use the force bug players of course -- which he never -- him in the Dallas serious. And guarded the the best in their their opposition the best players and just took it through to the Olympics as well. -- Michael magic you've got all those rings for some people say no LeBron we saw last year. Is the most talented player most personally -- player ever to play basketball but do you agree with that. Harmless but I don't think you can compare. No movement didn't Michael and then the magic could with LeBron obviously we're talking about 2030 years of basketball before on this then and to me. LeBron visible better athlete. -- a bigger athletes who it is like everything else of those progressive basketball progressed through so. I don't think you know but no Michael did -- his time. It's very hard to repeat. I'm plus was talking about six championships and then LeBron almost don't want. If you go back to 89 or ninety you're in the ninety draft. I remember getting a call from her -- right who is an agent here works and lucky to pick -- Europe aces then got a guy for you gotta know about this guy. The name is Toni Kukoc or what never heard of them he said. There's no Internet back then you don't follow things that we did and you won the first European players sabonis came over. You came over why did it take so long to get European players here because now it's the norm. I systems who. I don't I don't really know why it took so long because we know how good we were. But it when I first got to Chicago I'm not really sure that Phil Jackson who. What position I'm playing you just heard of me -- a couple scouts when there and then so basically saw us play. And the European Championship pennant and the world championship I think those -- those the first time. These people had access to us and now and my idea of everything was that the teams there were close to winning a championship here. They -- the player bit but they couldn't get anybody go from a draft so this so we'll maybe one of these European guys can be good enough to take us. To get to the level that's why they did them play before the Chicago Portland Lakers. Went to Europe and then look forward. Guys -- sabonis Richard Jonas -- do you it's drugs -- -- myself dean Roger. How were you welcomed when you came in filled in really know what he had Jerry Krause did. How the first day you walk in and there's Michael there Scotty. You get drafted I think Michael had retired the first time you have to play with him what was it like did you feel. I'm not too comfortable here or there were okay. Well it took some time to get used loop through all that number what's gone on to -- you've got a good just to but -- NBA basketball. End of language was a little bit of a career first. And but but you get used so if you talk to them and these guys every day trying to learn the NBA game and everything kind of holes of and the right place I mean. We think of -- while such a global sport at this point. Do we underestimate how popular was back when -- -- still playing here before you came over here was -- tremendously popular at that point even then the lord yes it was very popular and the Yugoslavian rusher were were big countries and I honestly think that those those two leagues but I have to be able were by far the best -- who really comes the basketball. And most of the guys that -- did I mention before we -- came actually from those two countries move with the with the demise of big Russia and then Yugoslavia the other countries picked it up and and they're way better right now talking about Spain France. Turkey Greece from the players that common right now or mainly from from these countries. What a great team player and and beat everybody pretty easily a lot of people said. Hear what they'll never catch up a lot of other people said that the European players saw how good the dream team Blair's work. And they said that's the level we need to be -- and that -- with a big kick forward to improvement in European basketball do you see at Iowa. Yes I do from yes -- do. It was that you're you can put that thing. And at two different perspectives and learn that the when they didn't play the United States were losing to Yugoslavia to Russia when they came and and play the first Olympics then they beat everybody -- deliberate very I was I was actually recipient of that want. But at the hope. But I heard that sound even a mix of an MBA players and -- college players couldn't do -- -- I lost a couple times the loss to Argentina of their loss to Serbia. And and talking to all these guys that they know and most of them came to all the good. European players one of -- did you see how good actually there are so they all come here. Build experience MBA. And they just want to get better but that's I thought the blue the final of the the United States and Spain was a great game to watch. Well for a focus on the return and the previous Olympics are both great games yes that's Michael -- Michael are very good friends not play golf together. You have a very good relationship you do charity stuff to getting your celebrity golf outings. The first time you -- what was he like to deal with -- I was actually did a music because I just came to -- Chicago for a for a doctor's visit then. He was in the gym Arizona shooting the ball getting ready -- with his dad. Getting ready for New York's here's your game. And just kind of set of hard to each other we have the couple question asked the couple question no source attendant there because it was Michael Jordan. That's that's how I went on the next time when I came sadly was the day before. His the father was on -- and went. It from that point on was there a moment where you hit a big shot or you made a great passer you finish the play that he set you up -- need the relationship. Came together plus the. You grow through them through the years on your first when he first came back we'll -- you don't wanna get into all that. -- there was look around them and all that that good then you you catch a moment of food -- the practice after practice. A couple of lunches in the softly live the good. You take your time we ask the question he's asking the questions. Moon about the family back home -- during the war and all this stuff so. You get friendly here fund and Aaron. That has started. Worked alright we're faced questions for the panel what they have to exceed TL. At the French Bulls fan wants to know. Did you watch the young -- that the Bulls have the draft first to -- kids play and if so do you believe that he can have the same intensity you have. In Chicago. I kind. Haven't seen them much help from what I hear from a scouts back home. He's a very good offensive player. When he can play multiple positions you can use him as a three play as a -- can shoot the three you know that. If he comes here he needs it -- that adjustment period to the to the NBA game but both everybody says that he's really really good. You know that they've obviously locked in Tom Thibodeau here fur for awhile what what makes a good NBA coach would get what are the qualities that get a guy. And make him able to it's it's kind of get all these egos and million dollar contract living in one direction while. Or if he's able to give every player to buy into the system. I think that's the third best best -- humble over a good coaching move. And reserves we've been very good coach you know I guess is the first one to move that the fastest want to get 20200. Lens sort of he's. Talks about defense preaches the defense all the time that the fundamentals of the basketball and -- -- said if you can get -- -- -- players. -- iron into that system of yours you were good coach. Get a feel for how much of a struggle is going to be for the Bulls until Derek gets back to being Derek. While we can talk about. Good to different ways and honestly you don't wanna put Derek back. Sooner -- -- and he's ready to play so if a team is doing good if there. Above 500 of them somewhere in between them paid them for its spot. You know and and the playoffs then. Then you don't you don't need him out until is absolutely ready but I -- Panic button it has to be pressed them and then you are outside the play Olsen is the second part of the season and you've got to put him back then. Somebody's got to give the decision I mean doctors and coach. Himself. He is going to be OK I think -- team is gonna be OK with the with the new additions. I think offensively. He was better than last year. But I gotta ask you about. Draws and patronage and tragic skilled in a car accident. But as you went through the war in your home country is divided a lot of relationships -- in drug that. How hard was that on you how hard was that on other players where now you're all over here and playing. And all of a sudden there's this golf between you because of what's going on back home. Well everything disappeared in like a week. In the war or something -- that you -- you don't want to deal when you can't deal with everything else goes on -- aside it's it's that this is serious thing. Sports are not important nothing else but them that the survival is is the only thing that it's important so up. Although those friendships and in the -- that we had and that we -- through the through the years. Went through the window and and -- than a minute. You're also big golfer you loved to played onto it your best score in the 65 a lot that on the while I shoot 65 up there. Career best one more question does our front nine for me draws him. -- that -- -- -- -- really comfortable with the -- just about the time that that the accident happened Tom how good do you think he was on the way to being at that point. Well he was duels always good. I'm and we know how good he was then and did he play. It was difficult for him to play well in Portland with the with the reporter and Drexler plan in his position. So once we found a comfortable place. The with the with the Mets there was all about him destroy the world how good he was and then he was -- on the way to be. -- he was already I think at third team. Third all NBA team averaged twenty some points hopefully that it would only be better from that point -- Some are you to have a very -- of spreading do you keep -- Dino Arnott him. The you know I do there's a Croatian I don't talk to -- -- -- I don't get a lot of -- that. Everyone's slow occasionally we we do -- we don't go close to each other I mean we. Did it's it's hard and he's he lives in or is Flynn and Serbia live here. But could we do talk we both are actually hit is the retirement party back in the boundary when. I went out of their respect for the it was a lot of players there that was flesh well but not us as. Often as we would go before the war. Thank you for being here with particularly will be seen throughout the -- hopes of you've got -- and doing various Tony can go out three time champ nine time European player of the year.
Toni Kukoc joins the panel on CTL to discuss the Bulls dynasty in the 90's and playing alongside Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen - 10/12