Andrei Kirilenko (born in Izhevsk, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union) is here because of his defense. European players have had a long running reputation for being soft and a liability on defense, however, Kirilenko is working hard to help shatter this stereotype.
From 2003 to 2006 (came into the NBA in 2001), Kirilenko averaged:
16.5 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.8 blk, 1.9 stl
15.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 3.3 blk, 1.6 stl
15.3 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 3.2 blk, 1.5 stl
As for Kirilenko's awards:
Member of the 2004 All-Start team
All-Defensive First Team 2006
All-Defensive Second Team 2004 and 2005
Toni Kukoč (born in Split, SR Croatia, SFR Yugoslavia) began his NBA career while Michael Jordan was playing baseball. Upon Jordan returning to the Bulls, Kukoč became an integral part of the machine that was the 2nd three-peat Bulls squad of the 90's. During the three-peat stretch Kukoč remained the teams 3rd leading scorer despite coming off the bench.
In 1996 Kukoč was the NBA Six Man of the Year.
Peja Stojaković (Požega, SR Croatia, SFR Yugoslavia) might be on the downward swing of his career (Stojaković's came into the league in 1998), but, you can't forget his playing days in Sacramento. From 2000 to 2005 Stojaković points per game averages were: 20.4, 21.2, 19.2, 24.2, 20.1. It is Stojaković's play that is largely responsible for the great Kings/Lakers series of the early 2000's.
In the process Stojaković earned the following honors:
3 time NBA All-Star from 2002 to 2004
All-NBA Second Team 2004
2 time NBA 3-Point Shootout Champion from 2002 to 2003