Predrag Stojaković (Serbian Cyrillic: Предраг Стојаковић, pronounced [ˌprêdraːɡ ˈstôjaːkoʋit͜ɕ]; born June 9, 1977), also known by his nickname Peja (sr. Peđa/Pedja/Пеђа, pronounced [ˈpêd͡ʑa]), is a Serbian professional basketball executive and former player. He is currently the director of player personnel and development for the Sacramento Kings.
Stojaković with the Mavericks in 2011
|Position||VP, Basketball & Team Development|
|Born||June 9, 1977|
Slavonska Požega, 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|
Standing at 6 ft 10 (2.08 m), Stojaković 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. Stojaković 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, Stojaković 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, Stojaković enjoyed success with the Kings reaching the 2002 Western Conference Finals. He also played for the Indiana Pacers, New Orleans Hornets and Toronto Raptors. Stojaković won an NBA Championship in 2011 as a member of the Dallas Mavericks.
Stojaković 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, Peja 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.
Predrag "Peja" Stojaković was born into an ethnic Serb family, to parents Miodrag and Branka Stojaković, in Požega, 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 in 1995, after which he joined his son in Thessaloniki. The Stojakovićs 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.
Stojaković moved to Greece at the age of 16, and joined the Greek League club PAOK. He won the 1993–94 FIBA Korać Cup and the 1995 Greek Cup. He also was played in the 1996 FIBA European Cup final.
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. Stojaković 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, Stojaković 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.
Sacramento Kings (1998–2006)Edit
Stojaković 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, Stojaković 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. Stojaković's number 16 was retired by the Sacramento Kings on December 16, 2014.
Indiana Pacers (2006)Edit
On January 25, 2006, Stojaković 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.
New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans (2006–2010)Edit
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, Stojaković 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.
Stojaković 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, Stojaković 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 Stojaković 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 Stojaković expendable.
Toronto Raptors (2010–2011)Edit
After appearing in only two games, on January 20, 2011, Stojaković was released by the Raptors. He had missed 26 games due to a left knee injury.
Dallas Mavericks and retirement (2011)Edit
On January 24, 2011 he signed a deal with the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks won the NBA championship that year, with Stojaković averaging 7.1 points per game during the Mavericks' playoff run. Stojaković scored more than 20 points in two different playoff games for the Mavericks.
On December 19, 2011, Stojaković announced his retirement, citing ongoing back and neck problems that hindered his play later in his career.
In August 2015, Stojaković was appointed director of player personnel and development for the Sacramento Kings. In May 2018, Stojaković was announced as Assistant General Manager. In this role, he is serving as General Manager for the Stockton Kings, the Kings' NBA Development League affiliate.
National team careerEdit
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. Stojaković 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.
Stojaković 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: Πρέντραγκ "Πέτζα" Κίνης Στογιάκοβιτς). Stojaković also speaks Greek fluently.
Stojaković served in the Hellenic Army, a mandatory service by each male Greek citizen. He also runs the "Peja Stojaković 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.
NBA career statisticsEdit
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
|†||Denotes season in which Stojaković won an NBA championship|
|*||Led the league|
Awards and achievementsEdit
- NBA Champion: 2011
- All-NBA Team:
- Second Team: 2004
- 3× NBA All-Star: 2002, 2003, 2004
- 2× NBA Three-point Shootout Champion: 2002, 2003
- 4th in NBA history in career free-throw percentage at .895
- 16th in NBA history in 3-pointers made with 1,760
- 7th in NBA playoff history in free-throw percentage at .900
- 11th in NBA history in 3-pointers attempted with 4,392
- First player in NBA history to start a game off by scoring 20 consecutive points for his team.
- He and Steve Nash of Phoenix were the only players to rank in the top 25 in both free-throw and 3-point percentage during the '04–'05 and '05–'06 seasons.
- FIBA Korać Cup Champion: (1994)
- Greek Cup Winner: (1995)
- FIBA EuroLeague Top Scorer: 1998
- Greek League MVP: 1998
- Won the 2001 Euroscar, given to the best European basketball player by Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.
- Named Mister Europa Player of the Year in 2001 and 2002 by Italian weekly magazine Superbasket.
- List of National Basketball Association career 3-point scoring leaders
- List of National Basketball Association career playoff 3-point scoring leaders
- List of National Basketball Association season statistical leaders
- List of National Basketball Association annual free throw percentage leaders
- List of National Basketball Association annual three-point field goals leaders
- List of European basketball players in the United States
- List of Serbian NBA players
- Stein, Marc (December 19, 2011). "Peđa Stojaković to retire after 13 years". ESPN. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
- "Sacramento Kings to Retire Jersey of Peja Stojaković". NBA.com. September 16, 2014. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
- Ozmo, Saša (December 21, 2011). "Predrag Stojaković – kraj blistave karijere". b92.net (in Serbian). Retrieved March 15, 2015.
- Vulić Zarić, Zorica. "Ko je ovaj čovek:Predrag Stojaković". glas-javnosti.rs (in Serbian). Retrieved March 15, 2015.
- PAOKWorld.com Αφιέρωμα στον Στογιάκοβιτς (in Greek).
- on YouTube
- FIBAEurope.com Predrag Stojakovic (PAOK THESSALONIKI BC) ACCUMULATED STATISTICS.
- The Sacramento Kings Retire Peja Stojakovic's Jersey
- "Pacers: Artest-for-Peja deal finally done". ESPN. January 25, 2006. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
- "Hornets complete deal for Stojakovic". NBA.com. July 13, 2006. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
- "Stojaković feat historic", NOLA.com, November 19, 2006, accessed February 11, 2008.
- "Raptors Acquire Bayless, Stojaković And Cash Considerations From New Orleans". NBA.com. November 20, 2010. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
- "Raptors Release Peja Stojaković". NBA.com. January 20, 2011. Retrieved January 20, 2011.
- "Peja Stojaković signs with Mavs". ESPN. January 24, 2011. Retrieved January 24, 2011.
- Beck, Howard (June 12, 2011). "Mavericks Defeat Heat for First Title". nytimes.com. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
- Stojakovic NBA.com profile
- Kings' Divac adds title of general manager
- Yugoslav Olympic participants by sports – Basketball, OKS.org.yu, accessed February 1, 2008.
- PAOKWorld.gr Αφιέρωμα στον Στογιάκοβιτς (in Greek).
- "Stojaković's trade demand leaves Kings on verge of breakup". Sports Illustrated. August 11, 2004. Archived from the original on August 13, 2004. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
- Peja: “PAOK is the most beautiful team in the world”.
- Πρέντραγκ Στογιάκοβιτς: ... στην ωραιότερη ομάδα του κόσμου (in Greek).
- Αλέκα Καμηλά – Πρέντραγκ Στογιάκοβιτς: Στη Χαλκιδική με τα τρία παιδιά τους (in Greek). FTHIS.gr.
- Α. Καμηλά – Π. Στογιάκοβιτς: Αγόρασαν βίλα στη Γλυφάδα! (in Greek). NewsIt.gr. Archived from the original on August 12, 2014.
- Sheridan, Chris (July 28, 2004). "Stojakovic scratches Olympics". Usatoday.Com. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
- "Stojakovic willing to play for Kings if not moved – NBA – ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. October 1, 2004. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
- Bukumirović, Daniel (December 21, 2011). "Peđa za MONDO: Neću da varam košarku!". mondo.rs (in Serbian). Retrieved March 15, 2015.
- Career Leaders and Records for Free Throw Pct, basketball-reference.com, accessed April 15, 2009.
- Career Leaders and Records for 3-Pt Field Goals, basketball-reference.com, accessed April 15, 2009.
- Career Playoff Leaders and Records for Free Throw Pct, basketball-reference.com, accessed May 25, 2008.
- Career Leaders and Records for 3-Pt Field Goal Attempts, basketball-reference.com, accessed April 15, 2009.
- "10 Things You Should Know About Peja Stojaković", Pacers.com, January 25, 2006, accessed February 1, 2008.
- SuperBasket "Mister Europa" honor roll, FIBAEurope.com, accessed February 21, 2008.