Toni Kukoc Accused In Prostitution Scandal
The man formerly known as “The Waiter” is being served with a first rate scandal. Former Chicago Bulls forward and Croatian basketball legend Toni Kukoc is facing allegations that he has been one of the “beneficiaries” of a prostitution ring in his native Croatia. His response? A nice shrug of the shoulders.
“I was in worse situations in life. What should I do? Return home to Split? Of course I will stay in Osijek,” Kukoc told media members. His name was connected with a so-called ‘elite prostitution ring’ headed by the apparent Heidi Fleiss of Croatia, a person named Nebojsa Perunovic Pance, who was arrested last week.
In a surprising turn of events that is rare in the prostitution game, Pance was accused of of pimping young women, wanna-be-models and other so called ‘beautiful girls’ to Austrian businessmen, rich Russians, and professional athletes. According to Croatian daily Jutarnji List “one young woman was told to offer sexual services to ex-NBA player Kukoc”. The woman that named Kukoc stated:
“I went there, I can’t remember the name of the hotel. In the hotel I had sexual relations with [Toni] Kukoc who paid me 500 Euros,” she said.
Kukoc has been out of the spotlight since his NBA career ended. He is best known as a dazzling player who was vital to the Chicago Bulls championship team that won three championships from 1996-1998. But even more so, Kukoc is known for getting under the skin of teammate Scottie Pippen. For those that forgot, let’s reset the scene:
At the end of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals in 1994, with the Bulls and the New York Knicks tied 102-102 with 1.8 seconds left, Bulls coach Phil Jackson designed the last play for Kukoc, with Scottie Pippen charged with inbounding the basketball. Instead of taking the assignment for the betterment of the team, Pippen became incensed and angered by Jackson’s decision to not let him take the potential game-winner and refused to leave the bench and re-enter the game when the timeout was over. FAIL. With Pippen sulking on the bench, Kukoc hit a 23-foot fadeaway jumper at the buzzer, winning the game for the Bulls. Chicago eventually lost the series, and even though they went on to win 3 more titles, the moment was forever etched in the minds of Chicago Bulls fans.
We’ll see how this scandal develops, if it does at all. For his piece, Kukoc has stated that he is not guilty.