June 10, 1979 |
Rustavi, Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, USSR
|Nationality||Georgian / Greek|
|Listed height||7 ft 2.5 in (2.20 m)|
|Listed weight||290 lb (132 kg)|
|NBA draft||2000 / Round: 1 / Pick: 25th overall|
|Selected by the Phoenix Suns|
|1996–2000||AEK Athens (Greece)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Tsakalidis, a 7 ft 2 1⁄2 in (2.20 m), 290 lb (130 kg) center, holds dual citizenship in Georgia, where he was born, and in Greece, where he was raised and became famous.
Tsakalidis began his professional career in 1996 at the age of 17 with the Greek League club AEK Athens. With AEK, he was a 2-time Greek Cup finalist (1998, 1999), a Saporta Cup winner (2000) and a Greek Cup winner (2000). In those years with AEK, Tsakalidis played at a great level, especially in the painted zone area, where he complemented his teammates Michalis Kakiouzis and Dimosthenis Dikoudis in that area.
In 2000, Tsakalidis left Greece and moved to the United States. He began his NBA career that year when he signed with the Phoenix Suns. He would spend the next 7 seasons playing with various NBA teams. In 2007, he returned to Greece after leaving the Houston Rockets. He joined the Greek Euroleague club Olympiacos.
Tsakalidis was selected by the Phoenix Suns in the 1st round (25th overall) of the 2000 NBA Draft. On September 30, 2003, Tsakalidis was traded by the Suns, along with teammate Bo Outlaw, to the Memphis Grizzlies for Brevin Knight, Robert Archibald, and Cezary Trybański.
He was eventually traded by the Grizzlies to the Houston Rockets on February 13, 2007 for small forward Scott Padgett.  In his NBA career, he averaged 4.8 points per game and 3.9 rebounds per game.
Greek national basketball team
Tsakalidis played for the Greek national basketball team at the 1998 FIBA World Championship, where his team finished in 4th place, at the 1999 FIBA European Championship, where his team finished in 16th place, and at the 2003 FIBA European Championship, where his team finished in 5th place.
- Grizzlies swap C Tsakalidis to Houston for F Padgett, posted February 13th, 2007.
- Jake Tsakalidis. basketball-reference.com