By Giannis Rammas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Who make up the Top 10s in every major statistical category in the history of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague? Which countries do they come from?
Numbers don’t always tell the truth, but in this case there is a detail that makes the difference: The Top 10s of all time only have room for the best. Some are veterans now, some still active in the competition, but all of them have a special place in the annals of the EuroLeague.
Eurohoops gathered the cream of the crop in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks from the 2000-01 season onwards and presents them to you.
Juan Carlos Navarro, the best “bomber”
For nearly five years now, FC Barcelona Lassa’s Juan Carlos Navarro has been constantly improving his leading position at the top of this list, while Olympiacos Piraeus’s Vassilis Spanoulis follows behind as the only other player in EuroLeague history with more than 3,000 points. The Top 10 is completed with only two other players who are still active (CSKA Moscow‘s Milos Teodosic fourth and Real Madrid‘s Felipe Reyes fifth) and another six players who have retired.
Reyes, the king of rebounds
Mirsad Turkcan was for many years the EuroLeague’s Mr. Rebound, with almost a double-digit average for his career, but now Reyes, Ioannis Bourousis (Panathinaikos Superfoods Athens) and Paulius Jankunas (Zalgiris Kaunas) are the top three in total rebounds. Immediately following Turkcan, who is fourth, is Kerem Gonlum, who played 14 seasons in the EuroLeague! Bourousis is not the only Greek presence in the Top 10, since his Panathinaikos teammate Antonis Fotsis follows in eighth place.
The Greek assist-making trio, and Milos
The category of assists is by far the most Greek Top 10. Dimitris Diamantidis features at the top, followed by Spanoulis, those two having left behind Theodoros Papaloukas, who formerly led this category, but is now fourth. Teodosic has entered the top three and is the one with the highest assists average in the group. Pablo Prigioni, in fifth place, has just been added to the list of players who have retired. Another Greek player, Nikos Zisis of Brose Bamberg, is in 10th place and making his way up.
Steals: another for Diamantidis
Prior to retiring after 12 consecutive EuroLeague seasons, all of them with Panathinaikos, Diamantidis made sure the top spot was his in steals – and by a wide margin too. How could it have been otherwise for the player who has been handed the competition’s Best Defender Trophy six times? Papaloukas, in second place, adds to the Greek flavor, while Navarro at No.6 is the first player to come across on this particular list who is still active. Victor Khryapa of CSKA Moscow, in 10th place, is the other still-active stealing ace.
Vazquez, the best blocker
Fran Vazquez safeguarded baskets for years and with almost 1 block for every one of his 254 appearances, the summit is all his. Bourousis, the old warhorse, keeps him company from the second slot of a list consisting of otherwise outdated big men, although players like Stephane Lasme and Kyle Hines are the exception to the rule. D’or Fischer has the third highest average, but hasn’t played enough games to climb higher in the overall ranking.
Most of the appearances in the Top 10s are Greek, followed by Spain
The Greek element dominates at the individual level, with Diamantidis (thrice), Papaloukas (twice), Spanoulis (twice), Bourousis (twice), Fotsis and Zisis appearing on the list of the best in the major statistical categories a total of 11 times. This translates into a 22% figure among the 50 slots, while Spain, with Navarro (thrice), Reyes (twice), Sergio Llull, Sergio Rodriguez, Vazquez and Jorge Garbajosa, follows with 18%. The USA could not be missing from the list, but has to settle for the third-largest piece of the pie (16%).