10 Fun Facts About Jordan and Pippen’s Relationship

Toni Kukoc had a rude introduction to life in the NBA. Drafted in 1990 from Croatia with big expectations before the Bulls won their first NBA Championship, Pippen was trying to negotiate a new contract, which Jerry Krause refused to give because he wanted to keep the salary space to sign Kukoc. Kukoc stayed on to play in Italy for 2 more years after being drafted, and Pippen eventually did got his contract. Everybody wins, right? Well, yes, but the resentment still ran deep, and when The Dream Team were due to play Croatia at the 1992 Olympics, both Pippen and Jordan seized the opportunity to put on a display to show Jerry Krause how insulting his decision had been. In these days before the genuine superstars like Dirk Nowitzski and Pau Gasol were in the league, there was a very condescending view of European players, and Pippen and Jordan were adamant of proving this point.

With two of the NBA’s best defenders looking to embarrass him, Kukoc naturally ended up with 4 points in 103-70 loss.