By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
FC Barcelona veteran Nick Calathes became the All-Time assists leader in EuroLeague history last week, to overtake former teammate and record-owner Vassilis Spanoulis with a total of 1.612 assists across 268 games (thus far).
The Greek-American guard reflects on how his journey in the EuroLeague started, how he and James Gist shared the perfect connection on the court and what he’s learned from former teammate, and now coach, Sarunas Jasikevicius, during their time on the court while in Panathinaikos.
“When I came over here at 20, I was nervous, scared, didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know how my career in Europe would turn out, but I am very blessed for the opportunities I’ve had over the years”, tells the new assists king.
It was Calathes’ second assist of the game which marked the historic achievement, a pass that teammate Nikola Mirotic would’ve been glad to be on the receiving end of – though it ended up to Sertac Sanli.
“I told him, that second assist had to come for me (smiles). ‘Cause I want a little bit of that history”, says Mirotic. “There are no doubts for me, he’s in the Top 2-3 point guards in EuroLeague history. It’s been an amazing experience playing with him”.
The same applies for Calathes, as Mirotic is on the list of players with whom he believes he’s had a great connection over the years.
“Obviously there are a couple of players that I’ve had a great connection with throughout my career. I’ve always had a good connection with James Gist, Mirotic the last couple of years, Deshaun Thomas, James Feldeine, I’ve had a really good feel on the court with these guys”
“He trusts you so much that he will throw whatever pass that is”, admitted Gist.
Coach Sarunas Jasikevicius, arguably one of the best point guards in European basketball history, also praised Calathes’ sportsmanship. “He’s one of the best point guards in Europe for sure. He’s an extremely good passer. It’s a blessing to have a guy like him”.
“I’ve had a great relationship with coach (Jasikevicius) ever since I played two years with him (in Panathinaikos). It really taught me a lot about how to play pick ‘n rolls,” adds Calathes.
Photo credit: EuroLeague