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Just The Sports: Toni Toni Toni

Just The Sports

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Toni Toni Toni

Toni Kukoc's proclamation that "it looks like he's done" shows he has finally read the memo that has been passed around the league for years and is ready to give up a sport he was getting progressively worse at.

If Kukoc were to take a cold, hard look at his career, he would realize he was really done in 1998, right around the exact moment Jordan retired and he found himself unable to complete a full NBA season. After Jordan left, Kukoc, in the few games he actually played, was asked to take a bigger responsibility on offense and he proved himself ill-equipped to handle the task, putting up the lowest offensive ratings of his career until last season. The Bulls tired of this act and Kukoc found himself in Philadelphia in 2000 where he continued to play poorly on the offensive side of the ball. His defense was still palatable because Larry Brown's 76ers' teams all played good defense.

In 2001, Kukoc experienced a resurgence of sorts with Atlanta, but that quickly faded and he has been in steady overall decline ever since his first year with Milwaukee in 2003. His offensive rating, however, has fluctuated alternating between going up and going down, but it has never gone up enough to offset his inability to play defense so he has really been dead weight when the Bucks allowed him on the floor and they have done so too frequently.

Even though Kukoc said he thinks he is done, he is still disillusioned enough about his talent to think he could contribute, evidenced by his saying, "I can still play 10, 15, 20 minutes, maybe, but I don't need it anymore."

Now, I cannot speak about ten minutes a game because he has never played such a low minute total, but he averaged 15.7 minutes per game last year and he was abysmal, especially shooting where he sit career lows or near-career lows in every shooting category. The truth is no team needs Toni, no matter how he chooses to spin it.


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