Greek Basket League
|Arena||Olympic Indoor Hall|
|Team colors||Green, White
|Head coach||Duško Ivanović|
|Championships||6 European Championships
34 Greek Championships
15 Greek Cups
1 Intercontinental Cup
2 Triple Crowns
|Retired numbers||4 Fragiskos Alvertis|
Panathinaikos Basketball Club is the professional basketball team of the major Athens-based multi-sport club Panathinaikos. The team also goes by the name of P.A.O., which stands for Panathinaikos Athlitikos Omilos (i.e. "Panathenaic Athletic Club"). It is owned by Dimitris Giannakopoulos. The parent athletic club was founded in 1908, while the basketball team was founded in 1922, being one of the oldest in the country. It has since developed into the most successful basketball team in Greece, and among the best in Europe. Panathinaikos has won 34 Greek Basket League championships, 15 Greek Cups, 6 Euroleague championships, 1 Intercontinental Cup, and 2 Triple Crowns.
Among the well-known players that have played with the club over the years include: Fragiskos Alvertis, Antonio Davis, Nikos Galis, Stojko Vranković, Arijan Komazec, Alexander Volkov, Žarko Paspalj, Panagiotis Giannakis, Dominique Wilkins, Fanis Christodoulou, Byron Scott, Dino Rađa, Dejan Bodiroga, Željko Rebrača, Antonis Fotsis, Johnny Rogers, İbrahim Kutluay, Mike Batiste, Dimitris Diamantidis, Vassilis Spanoulis, Dejan Tomašević, Ramūnas Šiškauskas, Šarūnas Jasikevičius and Nikola Peković. Such players, the successful management of former long-time owners Pavlos Giannakopoulos and Thanassis Giannakopoulos, and the long-time guidance of the most successful coach in Euroleague history, Željko Obradović, have made Panathinaikos the most successful team in Europe over the last two-and-a-half decades.
Panathinaikos is the first team of a Greek club to win a European Championship and the only team on the European continent to win as many as six Euroleague titles, since the establishment of the modern era Euroleague Final Four format in 1988 (no other club has won more than four Euroleague championships in this period). Overall, and on the basis of the club's achievements, in both Greece and Europe, Panathinaikos B.C. is the most successful Greek team ever.
- 1 History
- 2 Players
- 3 Domestic competitions
- 4 European competitions
- 5 Worldwide competitions
- 6 Matches against NBA teams
- 7 Seasons
- 8 Fans
- 9 International record
- 10 The road to the six Euroleague victories
- 11 Season-by-season records
- 12 Notable players
- 13 Notable coaches
- 14 Top Panathinaikos players in games, points and rebounds in the A1 Division
- 15 See also
- 16 References
- 17 External links
Panathinaikos started as a football club in 1908. In 1918, basketball was still unknown in Greece. During that period Giorgos Kalafatis attended basketball games between the Allies of World War I, in Paris. When he later returned to Greece with the necessary equipment, he set up the Panathinaikos basketball club, led by Apostolos Nikolaidis.
In 1922, PAO played their first match against the (Greek) YMCA, a match which took place at the Panathenaic Stadium. Regrettably, the lack of equipment and interest quickly led to the dissolution of the team.
In 1937, Kalafatis managed to create a new Panathinaikos team that, during the following year, tried to catch up with already established clubs like the YMCA, Ethnikos Athinon, Panionios, Aris and Iraklis. Angelos Fillipou, Nikos Mantzaroglou, Litsas and Dimitrakos were the ringleaders of the group and were later joined by Telis Karagiorgos, Thymios Karadimos, Giorgos Bofilios, Philipos Papaikonomou, Petros Polycratis and Nickos Polycratis. During the German occupation that followed, Dimitris Giannatos (founding member of the basketball department) was executed by the Nazis for his resistance action.
Postwar history (1946-1970)
In 1946 (the first post-war championship) and 1947, Panathinaikos emerged champions, with the help of players like Giannis Lambrou, Missas Pantazopoulos, Stelios Arvanitis (these players would later go on to win the bronze medal in Eurobasket 1949) and Jack Nicolaidis (nephew of Apostolos Nikolaidis).
In 1950 and 1951, Panathinaikos emerged champions once again with the help of great athletes Fedon Matheou (the patriarch of Greek basketball) and Nikos Milas. In 1954 the club would repeat the success, however the next five years would prove fruitless and the club, despite its strength, would have to be renewed.
In 1961 Panathinaikos won the Greek championship with new leaders Giorgos Vassilakopoulos, Stelios Tavoularis and Petros Panagiotarakos. In 1962 Panathinaikos made the repeat and was again the Greek champion. That was also the year that PAO took part in a European competition facing Hapoel Tel Aviv for the European Championship.
In 1967, Panathinaikos were crowned champions, with Giorgos Kolokithas – one of the greatest basketball players of his era – in their ranks. In 1969, the conquest of the Championship was followed by the first European success of the club, namiely the entrance in the semi-finals of the Cup Winners Cup, where it was eliminated by Dinamo Tbilisi. The next year, 1970, PAO were the first Greek basketball team to use a foreign player (Craig Greenwood) in a European game.
The Golden Age 1970–1984
During this period, Marco Antonio de Venetis, nicknamed the fox of coaching, managed the team of the 4-K (the young Kontos, Koroneos, Kokolakis and Kefalos). These players, along with Iordanidis, who functioned as a link with older players, won 5 consecutive championships and made the greatest accomplishment of their time by participating in the semifinals of the European Championship, aided by American Willy Kirkland. Unfortunately, Ignis Varese, one of the giants of the era, proved an insurmountable obstacle for Panathinaikos.
Over the next 4 seasons Panathinaikos captured the championship once in 1977 and also won their first Greek Cup in 1979. They acquired Memos Ioannou in 1974 and Greek-American David Stergakos in 1979 (a player that would contribute greatly in the coming years).
The five years that followed, Panathinaikos won 4 championships (1980, 1981, 1982, 1984) and two cups (1982, 1983). More specifically, in 1982, coached by Kostas Politis, Panathinaikos succeeded in winning their first double as well as placing 5th in Europe. Before this Panathinaikos got the better of a strong CSKA team in the last seconds of a thriller match. The last championship before the decline was 1984 when Panathinaikos won the big game title in Corfu, starring Liveris Andritsos and Tom Kappos. Panathinaikos had a great chance to avoid the upcoming decline when he discovered Rony Seikaly but bureaucratic problems prevented him from playing in the Greek Championship as a Greek citizen despite being entitled to do so, which forced him to move to the USA.
The great decline 1985–1992
In 1985, PAO finished in 3rd place in the league. Stergakos, Ioannou, Vidas, Andritsos and Koroneos – who left the following year – were the key players. The balance however had now tilted in favour of Aris and Panathinaikos ceased to be a leader and were limited to a secondary role. Nevertheless, they remained a worthy adversary. Thus, in 1986, against all odds, they managed to eliminate powerful Aris from the Greek Cup at the semifinal stage. Then Panathinakos went on to win Olympiakos in the final and conquer their last title until 1993. During the next 2 seasons, PAO would finish in 5th place (worst result since many years ago).
In 1988, the ban on using foreign players in the league was lifted and Panathinaikos were able to acquire Edgar Jones from the NBA. He was a capable shooter, scorer and rebounder and for the next 2 years was the star of the team. Although PAO achieved significant wins over the other major Greek teams, they did not manage any notable distinction. The next two years, Antonio Davis, who had later a great career in the NBA, replaced Jones as the leader of the team stats. At this point of time, Panathinaikos had also acquired some of the most talented young Greek players (Fragiskos Alvertis, Nikos Economou and Christos Myriounis), but that didn't stop them from experiencing the worst period in the history of the club, finishing 7th in 1991 and dropping to 8th position in 1992, which left them for the first time outside Europe since 1967.
Return to distinction 1992–1995
Nikos Galis was the man responsible for the rebirth of the team. With his effort Panathinaikos transformed into a very strong team, capable of claiming all the titles. However his retirement during the 1994–95 season deprived the team of the opportunity to conquer any major title.
In the summer of 1992, Panathinaikos attempted a full reconstruction of the team. Nikos Galis, the top Greek basketball player, was acquired by the club and was flanked by star players Stojko Vranković, Tiit Sokk and Arijan Komazec. Thus, Galis lead PAO to a Greek Cup win and also to the Championship final, where they lost despite home advantage. The next season 1993–94 Nikos Galis along with Alexander Volkov and Stojko Vranković led Panathinaikos to 3rd place in Europe for the first time in the club's history, although they didn't manage any title back home.
The 1994–95 season started with the best conditions as the club acquired Panagiotis Giannakis and Žarko Paspalj. PAO was again the favourite for all domestic titles. The club started by eliminating Olympiakos from the Greek Cup in a very tough game before the start of the Championship. However, after the first games for the Greek Championship, Nikos Galis, the player that had led PAO in the cup game against Olympiakos and also in the decisive game for the Euroleague qualifiers, left the team. As a consequence, PAO – despite playing some great games – only managed to retain 3rd place in Europe and compete in the Greek Cup final.
European, Intercontinental and Greek Champions 1996–1998
During the years 1996–98, Panathinaikos fulfilled all of their objectives by winning the European Championship, the Intecontinental cup and the Greek championship (in this order).
In 1996 the expectations in the team had now risen a lot, as it was imperative for Panathinaikos to obtain a significant title. In the summer of 1995, they acquired Dominique Wilkins, one of the top American players playing in Europe. The coach of the team was Božidar Maljković. The former along with Giannakis, Vranković, Alvertis and Patavoukas comprised a very experienced team, which, in 1996, managed an unprecedented success for Greek basketball. Indeed, in April 1996, at the Paris Final Four, Panathinaikos became the first Greek team to lift the European Championships (now called the Euroleague), beating FC Barcelona in a the tournament final, by a score of 67–66.
Back in Greece, right after the big win in Paris, Panathinaikos wasn't able to clinch the Greek title, losing the deciding Game 5 to arch rivals Olympiacos 73-38.
The next season, Maljković removed all the stars from the roster in an attempt of assembling a squad that's based on teamwork. With the start of the season, PAO were crowned Intercontinental Champions, prevailing by 2–1 wins in a 3-game series over Olimpia de Venado Tuerto, South American champions. Unfortunately, the restructuring of the team failed and Panathinaikos failed to participate in the Final Four to defend their European title. Moreover, they finished in 5th place in the championship, thus losing the right to participate in next season's Euroleague.
At the next season Lefteris Subotic assumed technical leadership and convinced Dino Rađa to come to PAO. This great transfer was accompanied by Byron Scott and Fanis Christodoulou and with the help of Alvertis, Economou and Koch, Panathinaikos finally won the Greek league after 14 years.
The 1998–99 season proved very important for Panathinaikos, as Olympiakos who had gained home advantage were prepared to return to the top. It was at the last game of the finals that Panathinaikos achieved one of the most decisive away victories against Olympiakos, capturing the title.
Obradović era: Golden years in Greece and Europe (1999–2012)
The arrival of Željko Obradović to Panathinaikos during summer 1999 marked the beginning of an extraordinary period for the club, with many major successes and the establishment of the team as one of the strongest in Europe.
The first thing that Obradovic did was to adapt the whole team on Dejan Bodiroga, who was the absolute leader of Panathinaikos. As a result of the success of this strategy, PAO managed to capture 2 Euroleague titles (2000, 2002) after 3 consecutive Euroleague finals appearances (2000–2002) and also won 3 consecutive Greek championships (1999–2001). Nevertheless, they failed to conquer the Greek Cup, even though they played in two finals. Rebrača, Gentile, Middleton, Alvertis, Kattash, Kutluay and Fotsis were some of the players who excelled in this area. The dominance in the Greek league was finally interrupted in 2002, the year that PAO won their 3rd European Championships. Also at the end of the year, there were many significant changes, starting with the withdrawal of Bodiroga, making a renewal imperative.
2002–03 was the year that Obradovic used to restructure Panathinaikos and return them to the top of Greece. He emphatically achieved this objective by leading the team to 4 doubles and 2 triple crowns (i.e. double plus Euroleague champions) in the next 7 years, thus creating an empire. Panathinaikos had radically changed the style of their game after replacing Bodiroga. The game contribution of the Serbian player was replaced by an unprecedented model of teamwork that proved that a super star was unnecessary. Players such as Lakovic, Alvertis, Diamantidis, Fotsis, Tsartsaris, Batiste and later Spanoulis, Siskauskas and Jasikevicius, who played not for themselves but for the maximum success of the team led to the transformation of PAO into a title-winning machine that was not hampered by irreplaceable players and this quality was widely recognized.
At the 2007 Euroleague Final Four, which was held on their home court of OAKA in Athens, Panathinaikos became European Champions for the fourth time, beating the defending champions CSKA Moscow 93–91 in the final.
The same teams (PAO and CSKA) competed in the final of the 2009 Euroleague Final Four Berlin, where Panathinaikos won the trophy again, for the fifth time in their history. The score was 73–71. On December 14, 2009, Panathinaikos was voted top Greek team of 2009 by the Sports Journalists Association, with 1,291 votes. In addition, coach Zelimir Obradovic was voted the top coach, with 1,399 votes.
At the 2011 Euroleague Final Four, Panathinaikos, after a great performance of Calathes, in the semifinal against Siena (17 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals) won 77–69, and reached the Euroleague Final against Maccabi Tel Aviv. In the Final, Panathinaikos won its sixth Euroleague title, by holding off MaccabiTel Aviv by a score of 78-70.
After the departure of Obradović, the current Panathinaikos' head coach, Argiris Pedoulakis, was forced to make massive changes to the team with 12 new players being added to the roster, including NBA players Jason Kapono and Marcus Banks. Team captains Dimitris Diamantidis and Kostas Tsartsaris led the rebuilding effort for the Greens, who reached the Euroleague quarterfinals, only to fall to FC Barcelona in a 5 game series. Panathinaikos won their 14th Greek Cup, by beating Olympiacos in the final, with a three point difference (81-78). During the same year, Panathinaikos was able to break Olympiacos' home court twice in the finals, conquering the Greek A1 Championship for the 33rd time in the club's history. The club proved that it had moved on from the glorious Obradović era, towards a fresh new start, under new ownership and a new coaching staff, and that it was ready to contend once again for the Euroleague crown in the 2013-14 season.
Since Dimitris Giannakopoulos first became the chairman of Panathinaikos, he repeatedly attempted to secure marketing deals with Asian corporations. The first step was made when Panathinaikos announced that they had signed Chinese basketball player Shang Ping. This deal made Panathinaikos the first European club to have a Chinese player on its roster.
On 12 September 2013, Panathinaikos landed on the airport of Guangzhou, becoming the first European team to make a trip to China via airline. On 13 September 2013, Panathinaikos wrote European history once again in less than two days, becoming the fist European team to ever face a Chinese team. In addition, Panathinaikos became the first European team to win against the Chinese team Foshan Dralions with a score of 66-67.
On 8 March 2014, due to the fans' dissatisfaction for the bad record in Euroleague and bad rotation, it was announced that team's Head Coach Argiris Pedoulakis had been fired. It was also announced that the team would practise under the guidance of the club's legend Fragiskos Alvertis.
After the conquest of another double, Panathinaikos announces the recruitment of Duško Ivanović, on 10 June 2014. On the following day, Dimitris Giannakopoulos said at his press conference that a new plan has been created for the future of the club. The team would be totally based on young, Greek players. Also, he said that he would continue being the president of Panathinaikos only typically. Manos Papadopoulos would take over president's debts. On 12 June 2014, the plan is put underway, with 5 players leaving the club, including starting center Stephane Lasme and small forward Jonas Mačiulis.
Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.
Panathinaikos B.C. roster
|Panathinaikos BC retired numbers|
- Greek Championship
- Winners (34) (record): 1946, 1947, 1950, 1951, 1954, 1961, 1962, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014
- Greek Basketball Cup
- Winners (15) (record): 1979, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1993, 1996, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014
- Double (unofficial)
- Winners (9) (record): 1982, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014
- Triple Crown (unofficial)
- Winners (2): 2007, 2009
Matches against NBA teams
On October 11, 2007, Panathinaikos played against the Houston Rockets, and on October 18, 2007, Panathinaikos played against the then defending NBA champions, the San Antonio Spurs Before that, they played against the Toronto Raptors.
- Scroll down to see more.
The team, which is famous for its fans' passionate support, also set a record (broken in 2009) for the highest home game attendance in the history of the Euroleague, which is 20,000 fans, achieved at a home match in OAKA against Benetton Treviso on March 29, 2006, for the second phase of the Euroleague 2005-06. An attendance of 18,900 fans has also been achieved three times in home matches of the Greens, against Efes Pilsen in 2005 and TAU Cerámica (twice) in 2006. While PAO no longer holds the record for largest Euroleague home crowd, it still holds the honor of being involved in the record match—PAO was the opponent for Partizan Belgrade when it drew 22,567 to Belgrade Arena for a 2009 match. Τhe record was broken again on April 18, 2013 on 4th Euroleague Game, 2012–13 Euroleague Quarter-finals Euroleague 2012-13 against FC Barcelona Bàsquet.It was estimated that the number of viewers reached 30,000 (over 25.000 officially).A match for which Panathinaikos was called to pay a fine of 30.000 Euros for overcrowding the arena.
|1971–72||Semi-finals||eliminated by Ignis Varèse, 78–70 (W) in Athens, 55–69 (L) in Varese|
|1981–82||Semi-final group stage||6th place in a group with Maccabi Tel Aviv, Squibb Cantù, Partizan Belgrade, FC Barcelona and Nashua Den Bosch|
|1993-94||Final four||3rd place in Tel Aviv, lost to Olympiacos 72–77 in the semi-final, defeated FC Barcelona 100–83 in the 3rd place game|
|1994-95||Final four||3rd place in Zaragoza, lost to Olympiacos 52–58 in the semi-final, defeated Limoges CSP 91–77 in the 3rd place game|
|1995-96||European Champions||defeated CSKA Moscow 81–71 in the semi-final, defeated FC Barcelona 67–66 in the final of the Final Four in Paris|
|1996-97||Quarter-finals||eliminated 2–0 by Olympiacos, 49–69 (L) in Athens, 57–65 (L) in Piraeus|
|1998-99||Quarter-finals||eliminated 2–0 by Teamsystem Bologna, 58–63 (L) in Athens, 64–88 (L) in Bologna|
|1999–00||European Champions||defeated Efes Pilsen 81-71 in the semi-final, defeated Maccabi Tel Aviv 73–67 in the final of the Final Four in Thessaloniki|
|2000–01||Final||defeated Efes Pilsen 74-66 in the semi-final, lost to Maccabi Tel Aviv 67-81 in the Final Paris|
|2001–02||European Champions||defeated Maccabi Tel Aviv 83-75 in the semi-final, defeated Kinder Bologna 89–83 in the final of the Final Four in Bologna|
|2004–05||Final four||3rd place in Moscow, lost to Maccabi Tel Aviv 82-91 in the semi-final, defeated CSKA Moscow 94-91 in the 3rd place game|
|2005–06||Quarter-finals||eliminated 2-1 by Tau Cerámica, 84–72 (W) in Athens, 79–85 (L) in Vitoria-Gasteiz, 71–74 (L) in Athens|
|2006–07||European Champions||defeated Tau Cerámica 67-53 in the semi-final, defeated CSKA Moscow 93–91 in the final of the Final Four in Athens|
|2008–09||European Champions||defeated Olympiacos 84-82 in the semi-final, defeated CSKA Moscow 73–71 in the final of the Final Four in Berlin|
|2010–11||European Champions||defeated Montepaschi Siena 77-69 in the semi-final, defeated Maccabi Tel Aviv 70–78 in the final of the Final Four in Barcelona|
|2011–12||Final four||4th place in Istanbul, lost to CSKA Moscow 64-66 in the semi-final, lost to FC Barcelona 69-74 in the 3rd place game|
|2012–13||Quarter-finals||eliminated 3-2 by FC Barcelona, 70–72 (L) & 66-65 (W) in Barcelona, 65–63 (W) & 60-70 (L) in Athens and 53–63 (L) in ...|
|2013–14||Quarter-finals||eliminated 3-2 by CSKA Moscow, 74-77 (L) & 51-77 (L) in Moscow, 65-59 (W) & 73-72 (W) in Athens and 44-74 (L) in Moscow|
|1968–69||Semi-final||eliminated by Dinamo Tbilisi, 81–67 (W) in Athens, 71–103 (L) in Tbilisi|
|1979–80||Quarter-final group stage||3rd place in a group with Gabetti Cantù, Parker Leiden and Caen|
|1983–84||Quarter-final group stage||3rd place in a group with Real Madrid, Scavolini Pesaro and Rudá hvězda Pardubice|
|1997–98||Semi-final||eliminated by Stefanel Milano, 77–58 (W) in Athens, 61–86 (L) in Milan|
|1996||Intercontinental Champions||defeated 2–1 Olimpia Venado Tuerto, 83-89 (L) in Venado Tuerto, 83-78 (W) and 101-76 (W) in Athens|
The road to the six Euroleague victories
Less significant European successes
Panathinaikos has advanced to the Final Four of the Euroleague (and its predecessor) another five times: Tel Aviv in 1994 (3rd), Zaragoza in 1995 (3rd), Paris in 2001 (2nd), Moscow in 2005 (3rd) and Istanbul in 2012 (4th). Other significant successes are: the two participations in the semifinals of the Cup Winners' Cup (1969, 1998), as well as the road to the semi-finals of the Champions' Cup for the season 1971–72 (eliminated by Ignis Varese (78–70, 55–69). In the 1981–82 season, Panathinaikos participated in the finals of the Champions' Cup of that time, eliminating the teams of CSKA Moscow and Levski Sofia in that order.
- To appear in this section a player must have either:
- Played at least one season for the club.
- Set a club record or won an individual award while at the club.
- Played at least one official international match for their national team at any time.
- To perform very successfully during period in the club or at later/previous stages of his career.
- Misas Pantazopoulos
- Kostas Mourouzis
- Kostas Politis
- Božidar Maljković
- Slobodan Subotić
- Željko Obradović
- Argyris Pedoulakis
- Fragiskos Alvertis
Top Panathinaikos players in games, points and rebounds in the A1 Division
- * Still active player.
- Last update: 14 July 2013
Rank Player Games 1 Fragiskos Alvertis 525 2 Dimitris Diamantidis* 366 3 Mike Batiste* 333 4 Kostas Tsartsaris 314 5 Antonis Fotsis* 283 6 Nikos Ekonomou 268 7 Giorgos Kalaitzis 221 8 Nikos Chatzivrettas 204 9 Argiris Papapetrou 169
Rank Player Points 1 Fragiskos Alvertis 4.698 2 Dimitris Diamantidis* 3.278 3 Mike Batiste 3.056 4 Dejan Bodiroga 2.285 5 Nikos Ekonomou 2.207 6 Kostas Tsartsaris 2.130 7 Liveris Andritsos 2.088 8 Antonis Fotsis* 2.066 9 Jaka Lakovič 1.596 10 Nikos Galis 1.586 11 Nikos Chatzivrettas 1.507 12 Stojan Vranković 1.497
Rank Player Rebounds 1 Stojan Vranković 1.871 2 Michael Batiste 1.544 3 Fragiskos Alvertis 1.400 4 Dimitris Diamantidis* 1.266 5 Kostas Tsartsaris 1.232 6 Antonis Fotsis* 1.205
- "Olympic Sports Center Indoor Basketball Arena". oaka.com.gr.
- Panathinaikos – Welcome to EUROLEAGUE BASKETBALL, euroleague.net, accessed 4 January 2011.
- "Greek Cup, Final: February 10, 2013". Euroleague.net. 10 February 2013.
- "Euroleague Titles By Team". euroleague.net. Retrieved 17 September 2012.
- NBA.com Rockets-PAO box score.
- NBA.com Spurs-PAO box score.
- Fragiskos Alvertis interview 20,000 fans at OAKA for PAO versus Benetton Treviso. (Greek)[dead link]
- "Partizan sets crowd record at Belgrade Arena!". Euroleague.net. 2009-03-05. Retrieved 2009-03-06.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Panathinaikos BC.|
- Official website (Greek) (English)
- Panathinaikos B.C. at Euroleague.net
- Panathinaikos B.C. at Eurobasket.com