Nick Calathes

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Nick Calathes
Νίκος Καλάθης
Calathes nick.jpg
Calathes in a Greek national team training jersey
No. 12 – Memphis Grizzlies
Position Point guard / Shooting guard
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1989-02-07) February 7, 1989 (age 26)
Casselberry, Florida
Nationality Greek / American
Listed height 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Listed weight 213 lb (97 kg)
Career information
High school Lake Howell (Winter Park, Florida)
College Florida (2007–2009)
NBA draft 2009 / Round: 2 / Pick: 45th overall
Selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves
Pro career 2009–present
Career history
2009–2012 Panathinaikos (Greece)
2012–2013 Lokomotiv Kuban (Russia)
2013–present Memphis Grizzlies
Career highlights and awards

Nicholas William "Nick" Calathes (Greek: Νικόλαος "Νίκος" Γουλιέλμος Καλάθης; born February 7, 1989) is a Greek-American professional basketball player for the Memphis Grizzlies of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He also plays for the Greek national team internationally. He played college basketball for the University of Florida. Calathes has also played in the Greek Basket League and the Russian Professional Basketball League.

Early years[edit]

Calathes was born in Casselberry, Florida. He attended Lake Howell High School in Winter Park, Florida, and graduated as the leading high school basketball scorer in Seminole County history.[1] He teamed with future Florida Gator Chandler Parsons, future VCU Ram Joey Rodriguez, to help Lake Howell to a 31–3 record, and a state championship in 2007. At Lake Howell, Calathes twice won the Florida Mr. Basketball award, placing him on a long list of NBA players who have won that award, including Vince Carter, Amar'e Stoudemire, Brandon Knight and Austin Rivers.[2]

College career[edit]

Calathes playing for the Florida Gators

Calathes accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida, where he played for coach Billy Donovan's Florida Gators men's basketball team from 2007 to 2009. Calathes was considered one of the top play-making guards in college basketball. At 6'6", he could play the positions of point guard, shooting guard, and small forward.

He was a first-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection in 2009, and he was the only player in the nation to average better than 15.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game. Calathes broke the Florida school records for assists and assists per game in each of his first two years, totaling 221 as a freshman (6.1 assists per game), and 231 (6.4 assists per game) as a sophomore. He ranked third in Florida school history in career assists after just two years. He was the SEC Newcomer of the Year and the SEC co-Freshman of the Year in 2008, as he led Florida in scoring and assists.

College career highs and statistics[edit]

College career highs
February 10, 2009
Total Rebounds
January 28, 2009
February 14, 2009
February 18, 2009
College season averages
2007–08 Florida Gators 36 15.3 5.2 6.1 1.6 0.1 .426 .367 .724 32.6
2008–09 Florida Gators 36 17.2 5.3 6.4 1.9 0.2 .482 .390 .707 33.3


Professional career[edit]


On May 23, 2009, Calathes announced that he would bypass the NBA to play in the Greek Basket League. He agreed to terms with the elite Euroleague club Panathinaikos Athens. The three-year deal, sources said, would pay Calathes around 2.4 million net income, in addition to providing him with a home, car, and endorsements, making for a total package commensurate with what the NBA rookie salary scale provides an early lottery selection.[4] Despite his commitment to play in Greece, he was still selected in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves. He was then traded to the Dallas Mavericks for a 2010 second-round draft pick and cash.

"Diamantidis was the MVP of the series, but Calathes was the key player."

Xavier Pascual

In his first year with Panathinaikos, he won the Greek League championship, averaging 5.4 points, 2.0 assists, and 2.2 rebounds in 15 minutes per game. He also participated in the Greek Youth All-Star Game (for players age 22 and under), in which he scored six points and dished six assists. In 2010, Calathes was also voted the third best young player (age 22 and under) in the Greek League, after Nikos Pappas and Vangelis Mantzaris. In the 2010-11 season, Calathes had an average of 7.8 points, 3.2 assists, and 3.1 rebounds in the Greek League. He also participated in the senior men's HEBA Greek All-Star Game, replacing Papaloukas (who was out with an injury), because he was 16th in the fan voting with 1,200 votes. Calathes scored 11 points and dished six assists in the All-Star Game.

In the Euroleague 2010-11 playoffs, Calathes scored a career-high with 12 points against Barcelona in game 4 of the playoff series. Barcelona head coach Xavier Pascual said, "Diamantidis was the MVP of the series, but Calathes was the key player". His teammate, Ian Vougioukas, stated about him, "Calathes played four outstanding games, especially on defense, and was a key for us." In the four-game playoff series against Barcelona, Calathes averaged 7.8 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and a steal in 26 minutes per game.

In the 2010-11 Euroleague semifinal against Montepaschi Siena, Calathes had another good performance, which helped send Panathinaikos to the 2011 Euroleague Final. He scored 17 points, dished 2 assists to his teammates, and grabbed six rebounds. At the 2011 Euroleague Final against Maccabi Tel Aviv, Calathes helped Panathinaikos by scoring four points, recording six assists, and making two steals. Finally, Calathes won his first Euroleague title. In the 2010-11 Greek League playoffs, Calathes had an average of 8.8 points, three rebounds, and 3.8 assists, in 23 minutes per game. He helped Panathinaikos to reach the Greek League Finals. He played especially good in the fourth game of the Greek League Finals, in which he had 16 points, 11 assists, and five rebounds, in 42 minutes. He won his second Greek League championship with Panathinaikos, and he was named to the website's All-Greek A1 League First Team and All-Defensive Team. He also won the website's Most Improved Player of the Year award.

Lokomotiv Kuban[edit]

In the summer of 2012, Calathes signed a two-year contract with the Russian VTB United League team Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar.[5] He signed a two-year 2.2 million Euro net income contract.[6] He was named to the First Team[7] and selected the season MVP[8] of Europe's 2nd-tier competition, the Eurocup, in 2013.

Memphis Grizzlies[edit]

On July 22, 2013, the Dallas Mavericks traded Calathes' draft rights to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for a 2016 second-round pick.[9] On August 20, 2013, Calathes officially signed with the Grizzlies.[10]

On April 18, 2014, just days before the 2014 postseason commenced, Calathes was suspended for 20 games for violating the NBA's anti-drug policy; the league indicated that Calathes had tested positive for Tamoxifen, though there was no evidence indicating that Calathes had been testosterone doping or using any other performance enhancing substance that would have been masked by the Tamoxifen. The NBA statement announcing the suspension, which took effect immediately, also indicated that the banned substance was an ingredient in a supplement that Calathes had been taking.[11] Calling the suspension "a true injustice," Acting NBPA Executive Director Ron Klempner indicated that the suspension would be appealed.[12]

Greek national team[edit]

"I love Greece, and I love playing at this club at the moment." - Nick Calathes on his life in Greece, and Panathinaikos.

Calathes (left) with Greek national basketball team

Calathes made his debut with the Greek junior national team at the 2008 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship, where he averaged 11.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in 22 minutes per game. With the Under-20 Greek junior national basketball team, he played in 10 games in total, scoring 115 points, averaging 11.5 points per game.

In 2009, Calathes debuted with the senior Greek national basketball team, and with them he won the bronze medal at the FIBA EuroBasket 2009. At the 2009 FIBA EuroBasket, Calathes was 5th in the tournament in steals, with 1.6 per game, and he also averaged 4.1 points, 2.1 rebounds, and two assists, in 17 minutes per game. In the quarter-final against Spain, despite his team losing the game, he scored 10 points, grabbed four rebounds, dished two assists, and made two steals.

The next summer, at the 2010 FIBA World Championship, Greece failed to win a medal. Calathes averaged 4.5 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 2.5 assists during the tournament. At the FIBA EuroBasket 2011, Calathes helped Greece to finish in sixth place, with averages of 9.2 points and 3.8 assists per game. He also played at the 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

Calathes has played with the senior Greek national basketball team in 41 games to date, scoring 283 points, for an average of 6.9 points per game.[13]

Calathes was suspended from competing in any FIBA competitions for four months, from April 2014 to August 2014, by WADA.[14] This was due to his NBA suspension for violating the league's anti-drug policy, after he tested positive for Tamoxifen.[15]


2009 EB Greece 8 1 17.3 .353 .182 .636 2.1 2.0 1.6 0.1 4.1
2010 WC Greece 6 0 12.7 .407 .000 .625 2.2 2.5 .7 0.2 4.5
2011 EB Greece 11 10 25.5 .418 .222 .784 2.6 3.8 1.6 0.1 9.2
2012 OQT Greece 3 2 18.3 .429 .1000 .778 2.0 3.0 .7 0.0 7.3