By Stathis Trapezanlidis/ email@example.com
Dimitris Diamantidis is climbing on the Everest of Euroleague! Panathinaikos‘ captain will be officially celebrated as a Euroleague legend, joining two former teammates in the Greens and one in the Greek national team.
3D is first in… half of the Euroleague statistical categories, like ranking, assists, steals, playing time and games started. Also, he is sixth in the list of the top scorers and close on making it among the top 10 rebounders of the competition. He has won three Euroleague titles (2007, 2009, 2011), being named Final Four MVP twice (2007, 2011) while he was the season MVP in 2011. Of course, he has dominated the “Defensive Player of the Year” award, being voted as such six times by Euroleague coaches. Just before he completes his 12th season in Euroleague (always wearing the jersey of Panathinaikos, since the 2004/2005 season), Euroleague Basketball is honoring him as it suits him!
Thodoris Papaloukas became the first to officially receive the “Euroleague Legend” honor, something that took place on 12th December of 2013, almost 5 months after he retired. The Greek guard played in Euroleague for 12 seasons with three different teams (CSKA Moscow, Olympiacos, Maccabi Tel Aviv), having won the title twice (2006, 2008). He was the Final Four MVP in 2006, and season MVP in 2007.
Juan Carlos Navarro is the only player along with Dimitris Diamantidis who has received the honor while being still active in his professional career. The captain of Barcelona received the distinction on March 14, 2014, having spent 13 seasons in Euroleague. He will soon complete his 15th year in the competition. “La Bomba” has won the Euroleague twice (2003, 2010) and was the season MVP in 2009, as well as the Final Four MVP in 2010.
Ramunas Siskauskas was named a Euroleague legend on 16th of May 2014, two years after his retirement from action. The Lithuanian small forward played in Euroleague for seven seasons, wearing the jerseys of Benetton Treviso, Panathinaikos and CSKA Moscow. He won back to back Euroleague titles in 2007, with Panathinaikos, and 2008, with CSKA Moscow. In 2007/2008 he was the season MVP in Euroleague.
Sarunas Jasikevicius became the second Lithuanian player who receives the honor on 9th of February 2015, few months after ending his professional career. The head coach of Zalgiris Kaunas has played in Euroleague with six different teams (Barcelona, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Panathinaikos, Lietuvos Rytas, Fenerbahce and Zalgiris Kaunas) during a 12 years in the competition. He has been Euroleague champion four times, starting in 2003 with Barcelona, continuing with the back-to-back titles of Maccabi (2004/2005) and then with the 2009 he won wearing the jersey of Panathinaikos.