By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
In the 2012 EuroLeague championship game of Olympiacos vs. CSKA Moscow, a 21-year-old Kostas Papanikolaou helped the Reds achieve a stunning comeback win and claim the title by scoring a team-high 18 points without missing the shot. His personal matchups included former NBA veteran Andrei Kirilenko and former EuroLeague champion and MVP Ramunas Siskauskas.
Papanikolaou, who also drained a pair of crucial free throws in the last seconds and before Giorgos Printezis’ historic game-winner, said that one of the reasons behind his performance was the fact that he approached the match with an outstandingly relaxed attitude.
“I was just not thinking, just playing the game,” Papanikolaou said on EuroLeague’s “The Crossover” podcast with Joe Arlauckas. “I believe that was the more relaxed I’ve been in such a crucial game. Maybe because, like I told you before, I couldn’t realize how crucial this game was, also because of my age. I don’t know, maybe. Maybe, it was our time to do something. I can’t find the words to explain anything on that weekend. Even in Greek, I couldn’t find the words.”
After another EuroLeague championship with Olympiacos, Papanikolaou moved to Barcelona, then the NBA and then back in Greece to rejoin Vassilis Spanoulis, Printezis and co. The Greek forward described this journey while also talking about his basketball beginnings, his upcoming fatherhood and more on The Crossover.