Stojakovi? with the Mavericks in 2011
|League||NBA G League|
June 9, 1977 |
Slavonska Po?ega, SR Croatia, SFR Yugoslavia
|Nationality||Serbian / Greek|
|Listed height||6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)|
|Listed weight||220 lb (100 kg)|
|NBA draft||1996 / Round: 1 / Pick: 14th overall|
|Selected by the Sacramento Kings|
|2006-2010||New Orleans Hornets|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Points||13,647 (17.0 ppg)|
|Rebounds||3,782 (4.7 rpg)|
|Assists||1,408 (1.8 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Predrag Stojakovi? (Serbian Cyrillic: ? ?, pronounced [?prêdra:? 'stôja:ko?it]; born June 9, 1977), also known by his nickname Peja (sr. Pe?a/Pedja/?, pronounced ['pêda]), is a Serbian professional basketball executive and former player. He is currently the director of player personnel and development for the Sacramento Kings and the general manager for the Reno Bighorns, Sacramento's NBA G League affiliate.
Standing at 6 ft 10 (2.08 m), Stojakovi? played mostly at the small forward position. He won the NBA Three-point shootout two times, and was the first European-born player to win one of the All-Star Weekend competitions. Stojakovi? made 1,760 three-point field goals in his career which ranked 10th all-time at the point of his retirement.
After starting in Crvena zvezda and while playing for PAOK, Stojakovi? was drafted fourteenth overall by the Sacramento Kings in the 1996 NBA draft. In the NBA, he had a breakthrough season in 2000-01 following two seasons on the bench, averaging 20.4 points and 5.8 rebounds while shooting .400 from three-point range in his first season as a starter. He finished second in voting for the 2001 Most Improved Player Award. A three-time All-star and a member of the 2004 All-NBA Second Team, Stojakovi? enjoyed success with the Kings reaching the 2002 Western Conference Finals. He also played for the Indiana Pacers, New Orleans Hornets and Toronto Raptors. Stojakovi? won an NBA Championship in 2011 as a member of the Dallas Mavericks.
Stojakovi? led the Yugoslavian national team to gold medals in the 2001 FIBA EuroBasket and the 2002 FIBA World Championship. Often considered to be one of the greatest European basketball players ever, Pe?a was named the Euroscar Basketball Player of the Year by the Italian sports newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport and the Mister Europa Player of the Year twice by the Italian sports magazine Superbasket.
Stojakovi? was born into an ethnic Serb family, to parents Miodrag and Branka Stojakovi?, in Po?ega, SR Croatia, SFR Yugoslavia, but his family fled to Belgrade at the start of the Yugoslav wars. His father stayed and fought in the Army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina against the Croatian Army until the fall of Western Slavonia (1995), after which he joined his son in Thessaloniki. The Stojakovi?s hail from the Papuk mountain region. Many of his relatives now live in Serbia. At 15 years of age (1991-92), he joined the KK Crvena zvezda, for whom he played 2 senior seasons, and won a national championship.
Stojakovi? moved to Greece at the age of 16, and joined the Greek League club PAOK. Peja, as he was known during his time in PAOK, scored a memorable last-second three-pointer against Olympiacos in Piraeus in the 1998 Greek playoff semi-finals series, winning the match 58-55 for PAOK. That victory, which ended the five-year reign of Olympiacos as Greek League champions, allowed PAOK to face Panathinaikos in the finals series, although the club had a disadvantage in home games, and ultimately lost the series (and the league) 3-2. Stojakovi? was closely guarded throughout the series by his future coach in New Orleans, Byron Scott, who was wrapping up his basketball career as one of Panathinaikos' main stars, and did not play at his normal level.
In his final season with PAOK, Stojakovi? averaged 23.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.2 steals per game in the Greek League, and 20.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game in the EuroLeague 1997-98 season.
Stojakovi? was selected by the Sacramento Kings in the first round (14th overall pick) of the 1996 NBA draft while playing in Greece. He continued to play there until the Kings signed him prior to the 1998-99 NBA lockout season. After two seasons on the bench with Sacramento, he had a breakthrough season in 2000-01, averaging 20.4 points and 5.8 rebounds while shooting .400 from three-point range in his first season as a starter. He finished second in voting for the 2001 Most Improved Player Award.
In 2001-02, he played in the NBA All-Star Game for the first time. His scoring average went up to 21.2 ppg, and he reached career highs in shooting percentage (.484) and three-point percentage (.416). His scoring average dropped slightly to 19.2 ppg in 2002-03, but he played again in the All-Star Game. In both seasons, he won the three-point shooting contest conducted during All-Star Weekend.
In 2003-04, Stojakovi? was again selected as an All-Star, and finished second in the league in scoring with a career-high 24.2 ppg. He finished fourth in MVP voting and was voted on to the All-NBA 2nd Team. He also led the NBA in free-throw percentage (.933) and three-pointers made for the season (240). In 2004-05, he missed 16 games to injury, and was somewhat hampered in several games, but still averaged 20.1 ppg. Peja's number 16 was retired by the Sacramento Kings on December 16, 2014.
On January 25, 2006, Stojakovi? was traded to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for forward Ron Artest, ending his eight-year tenure with the Kings. However, he missed four games of their first round playoff series with the New Jersey Nets, all losses.
During the 2006 offseason, he agreed to a deal with the then-New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets worth $64 million over five years. On November 14, 2006, Stojakovi? scored a career-high 42 points against the Charlotte Bobcats, and became the first player in NBA history to open the game with 20 straight points for his team. His strong start to the season was halted by injuries, as a result missing all but the first 13 games of the 2006-07 season.
Stojakovi? bounced back the following season, starting all 77 games he played in, and was a key contributor in helping the Hornets win a franchise-record 56 games, and their first ever division title. In the first two games of their second round match-up against the defending champion San Antonio Spurs, both wins, Stojakovi? averaged 23.5 points per game while shooting 63.7% from the three-point line. The Hornets ultimately lost to the Spurs in seven games, ending their run.
The Hornets core of Chris Paul, Tyson Chandler, David West and Stojakovi? would keep the Hornets in contention the following year, but injuries and the trade of Chandler forced New Orleans into a team rebuild, making the veteran Stojakovi? expendable.
After appearing in only two games, on January 20, 2011, Stojakovi? was released by the Raptors. He had missed 26 games due to a left knee injury.
On January 24, 2011 he signed a deal with the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks won the NBA championship that year, with Stojakovi? averaging 7.1 points per game during the Mavericks' playoff run. Stojakovi? scored more than 20 points in two different playoff games for the Mavericks.
On December 19, 2011, Stojakovi? announced his retirement, citing ongoing back and neck problems that hindered his play later in his career.
In August 2015, Stojakovi? was appointed director of player personnel and development for the Sacramento Kings. In this role, he is serving as General Manager for the Reno Bighorns, the Kings' NBA Development League affiliate.
As a member of the FR Yugoslavia national basketball team, he earned a bronze medal at the 1999 FIBA EuroBasket, held in France, as well as gold medals at the 2001 FIBA EuroBasket, held in Turkey, and the 2002 FIBA World Championship, held in Indianapolis, Indiana. He also participated at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games. Stojakovi? was named the MVP of FIBA EuroBasket 2001, and was a member of the All-Tournament Team in Indianapolis in 2002, along with fellow NBA stars Manu Ginóbili, Dirk Nowitzki, and Yao Ming, as well as New Zealand's Pero Cameron.
Stojakovi? acquired full Greek citizenship at the age of 17, while he was playing with PAOK in Greece. His name, in Greek transliteration, is Prentragk "Petza" Kinis Stogiakovits (Greek: "" ). Stojakovi? also speaks Greek fluently.
Stojakovi? served in the Hellenic Army, a mandatory service by each male Greek citizen. He also runs the "Peja Stojakovi? Children's Foundation", which is a charity that is designed to help improve the lives of children in the Balkan countries of Serbia, Montenegro, and Greece.
|+||Denotes season in which Stojakovi? won an NBA championship|
|*||Led the league|