|History||Aris BC (1922–present)|
(Nick Galis Hall)
|Team colors||Yellow, Black
|Team manager||Vasilis Vourtzoumis|
|Head coach||Dimitris Priftis|
|Championships||10 Greek Championships
8 Greek Cups
1 Saporta Cup
1 Korać Cup
1 EuroCup Challenge
|Retired numbers||6 Nikos Galis|
|Active departments of
|Football (Men's)||Football (Women's)||Basketball (Men's)|
|Basketball (Women's)||Wheelchair basketball||Volleyball (Men's)|
|Volleyball (Women's)||Handball (Men's)||Handball (Women's)|
Aris Basketball Club (Greek: Άρης K.A.E., transliterated into English Aris B.S.A.) known in European competitions as Aris Thessaloniki, is the professional basketball team of the major Thessaloniki-based Greek multi-sport club A.C. Aris Thessaloniki. Aris BC was founded in 1922, eight years after the founding of the club and the football team. Their traditional home ground is Alexandreio Melathron (Nick Galis Hall).
Aris BC is one of the most successful Greek basketball clubs of all time, tallying 10 Greek Championships, 8 Greek Cups making four times the Double (1986–87, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1989–90). They have won also three European titles: the FIBA Saporta Cup (1992–93), the FIBA Korać Cup (1996-97) and the FIBA EuroCup Challenge (2002–03). They are also the only unrelegated team with participation in every First Division Championship until today (together with Panathinaikos BC). Aris holds the record for the most straight wins, an amazing 80 wins to 0 defeats. Before the arrival of Nikos Galis in Aris and the first European successes of the team, Greek basketball wasn't as competitive as it was in other European countries So, in a way Aris helped to establish basketball in Greece and make it known to the Greek people.
Under the leadership of the legendary duo of Nikos Galis and Panagiotis Giannakis, Aris was the dominant force in Greek basketball during the 1980s and early 1990s. It is for this period of dominance that Aris BC has been nicknamed "The Emperor" and voted the most successful Greek sporting club of the 20th century. Aris is also one of the most renown Greek clubs in European basketball, participating in three consecutive Euroleague Final Fours, and later on winning three lower tier European titles. The historic win of the 1997 Korać Cup, in particular, bolstered the notion that Aris has a unique place in the history of Greek basketball and generally in the history of Greek sports.
Well-known notable players that have played with the club over the years, amongst others include Nikos Galis, Panagiotis Giannakis, Nikos Filippou, Lefteris Subotić, Miroslav Pecarski, Reggie Theus, Walter "The Truth" Berry, Roy Tarpley, Stojko Vranković, Žarko Paspalj, Edgar Jones, Tiit Sokk, Panagiotis Liadelis, Harold Ellis, Joe Arlauckas, Giorgos Sigalas, José Ortiz, Andrew Betts, Nikos Chatzivrettas, Nestoras Kommatos, Will Solomon, Smush Parker, Michalis Kakiouzis, Dimos Dikoudis, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Jeremiah Massey, Kostas Papanikolaou, Kostas Sloukas, Bryant Dunston and Aleksandar Vezenkov.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Early history
- 1.2 Legendary years: Galis, Giannakis and Ioannidis era (1978–1993)
- 1.2.1 1978–79 Greek Champions
- 1.2.2 Nikos Galis arrives (1979)
- 1.2.3 1982–83 Greek Champions
- 1.2.4 The coming of Giannakis and the domination in Greece
- 1.2.5 1985–1991: 7 consecutive Greek Championships (5 Doubles)
- 1.2.6 European distinction
- 1.2.7 Favourite team in Greece
- 1.2.8 The Aris–PAOK rivalry
- 1.2.9 1992–93 FIBA European Cup Winners
- 1.3 Years of crisis and mismanagement (1993–2003)
- 2 Recent history
- 3 Roster
- 4 Honours
- 5 Individual honours
- 6 Records and statistics
- 7 Sponsors and Manufacturers
- 8 Arena
- 9 Nick Galis Cup
- 10 Top performances in European & Worldwide competitions
- 11 The road to the three European Cup victories
- 12 The road to the Great European Journeys
- 13 Season-by-season
- 14 Aris coaches by season
- 15 Notable players
- 16 Management
- 17 See also
- 18 References
- 19 External links
Aris BC, the basketball branch of Aris Thessaloniki was founded in 1922, 8 years after the founding of Aris AC. The sport was still new to Greece, having been introduced in the country in 1919. In those days, the teams shared a single open-air court, and Aris competed in the local Thessaoloniki championship, which it won 5 times in the years 1926–30. The first national Greek Championship was held in 1927–28, and Aris BC won its first Greek championship title on 23 April 1930, beating ΧΑΝΘ with a score of 32–22. Aris quickly created a remarkable tradition in basketball with notable figures, like Faidon Matthaiou (considered the Patriarch of the Greek basketball) and Anestis Petalidis who was coach of the team for alomost two decades.
The first appearance by Aris in an official international competition was during the 1967–68 season, when they participated in the European Cup Winner's Cup as the Greek runners-up. From that season onward, Aris acquired the Alexandreio Melathron as its home court, which it still is to this day.
Legendary years: Galis, Giannakis and Ioannidis era (1978–1993)
1978–79 Greek Champions
The post-war period was marked by the dominance of teams from Athens, but this all began to change in 1979. In that year, Aris won their first Greek Championship in the modern era, largely through the inspired play of Charis Papageorgiou and the coaching of Giannis Ioannidis, ex-player of the team. It helped provide the spark for the complete domination of Greek basketball by Aris during the second half of the 1980s and the early 1990s.
Nikos Galis arrives (1979)
If that first championship was the spark, then the fuel for Aris' brilliant stint at the top of the sport was undoubtedly Nikos Galis, thought by the vast majority of Greek basketball fans to be the best Greek basketball player of all time, and one of the best ever in Europe. Galis, the son of Rhodian immigrants from New Jersey, signed on in October 1979 and played his first game against Iraklis Thessaloniki in December of that year, scoring 30 points. Fred Develey, the former coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv who became later coach of Aris, was instrumental in convincing the management that Galis would not only change the Greek basketball, but he would change also the Greek basketball in Europe. The management was more concerned about his lack of height than his ability, until they saw him play.
1982–83 Greek Champions
It would take another four years for Aris to rise to the top again, winning the national championship in 1983, with Galis taking the game in Greece to new heights, showing coordination and creativity then (some would argue even now) unprecedented in Greek courts, and almost single handedly beating powerhouse rivals like Olympiacos and Panathinaikos. That year also marked the return of Giannis Ioannidis to the Aris bench.
A very successful 1983–1984 season had a bitter ending, as Aris battled for both the Greek Championship and the Greek Cup but lost the national cup final to crosstown rivals PAOK and the league championship game to Panathinaikos Athens under dubious circumstances. A taste of things to come, however, had been offered during Aris' games against Maccabi Tel Aviv in the qualifying round for the Euroleague in the fall of 1983. Aris was narrowly eliminated by the very powerful Israeli League team, but not before posting an away win at Tel Aviv, something that no other European team had managed to do for many years.
The coming of Giannakis and the domination in Greece
1985–1991: 7 consecutive Greek Championships (5 Doubles)
Disappointment did not get much in the way of Aris' progress. With the financial support of Akis Michailides, a successful businessman and president of the team, probably the most crucial transfer in Greece occurred after the 1983–1984 season, bringing Panagiotis Giannakis to Aris from Ionikos Nikea. Nikos Galis now had a first-class partner. The result was a total carnage for other teams. The lethal back court blazed through the Greek League for seven consecutive years, with the help of players such as Nikos Filippou, Michalis Romanidis, Lefteris Subotic, Doxakis, Vassilis Lipiridis and others, winning 7 championships, and 5 cups (and one cup being memorably lost to Panathinaikos in 1986, with Galis performing surprisingly poorly in a single-elimination game in Athens). Especially between 1985–1988, the question was not who the champion would be, but if Aris would go undefeated or not, as the club won an unparalleled 81 games in a row at one point.
In 1984–1985 came Aris' first significant European success: Aris reached the semifinals of the Korać Cup, eventually losing to Pallacanestro Varese of the Italian League and without the services of Galis for the first game in Thessaloniki (he was injured in practice 3 days before the game).
Aris formed the backbone of the Greek national team, sending Galis, Giannakis, Filippou, Romanidis, and Lipiridis (to help Greece win the gold medal in EuroBasket 1987 and the silver medal in EuroBasket 1989). The back court of Galis-Giannakis first came to European prominence in the 1986 FIBA World Championship in Spain, where upstarts Greece performed surprisingly well, while Galis won the top-scorer award.
It was during that year, 1986, that Aris made the news in Europe in the Euroleague qualifying round. Having been unceremoniously eliminated by Limoges of The French League in 1985 (1985–86 season), Aris was arbitrarily paired against Olimpia Milano in the qualifying round. An insurmountable task, considering that Olimpia were arguably the best team in Europe and furthermore had acquired Bob McAdoo, possibly the best American player (still) to ever play in Europe. Aris, sporting Nikos Galis, Panagiotis Giannakis, Lefteris Subotić, and a third rate American player, Jackson, managed an unbelievable win in Thessaloniki by 31 points, almost assuring the elimination of Olimpia and advancing into the final group of the 6 best European teams. However, the return leg saw Olimpia winning by 34 points and eliminating Aris, since Galis was absent due to an injury problem.
Aris had to wait for another year to compete in Europe again, but their strength had been established. In 1987 Aris was not paired against an established team and thus advanced to the final round of the 8 best European champions. The same was achieved in the next four years, and while Aris did not win the Champions' Cup they were very successful in the tournaments, reaching the final-four in 1988, 1989, and 1990. By then Aris had become a household name in basketball in Europe.
Favourite team in Greece
The most important contribution of Aris to the Greek basketball was the establishment of the sport in Greece as an almost pure spectacle. Aris (chiefly through the play of Nikos Galis) elevated the measly standards that existed among teams to heights that demanded the attention of the sports fans. It was a team that mesmerized audiences used to boring styles of play, and showed flashes of brilliance night in and night out. The fervent desire to see the team they supported win, quite evident in Greek people, succumbed to the enjoyment that the fans received from watching a team perform in such an entertaining fashion while dismantling their opponents.
Arenas were completely sold out wherever Aris was playing, opponents' fans were applauding Aris for their performance, and streets were empty when Aris played European games, as Greeks throughout the country were glued to their TV sets to watch the inspired play of Galis and company. Such was the impact that basketball overtook football as the most popular sport in Greece. For example: Aris was playing basketball with other European teams every Thursday night. Since then and up to 2003, every Thursday night cinemas in Greece offered tickets at reduced prices.
The Aris–PAOK rivalry
Special reference must be made to the rivalry between Aris and PAOK. Fierce rivals in all sports, the Aris and PAOK basketball face-offs had a distinct flavor between 1985 and 1992, as those were the two top teams in Greece. In games where a defeat is more than a lost game, the mood of most of the fans of either Aris or PAOK is quite seriously affected for some time following a defeat to their opponents.
The most memorable game was the third playoff game between the two teams in 1991. Aris had a 2-game lead from the regular season, but PAOK managed to even the score with 2 victories in the first 2 playoff games, so, naturally, they had the momentum going into the 5th game of the best-of-seven series. PAOK was up by 4 points almost 10 seconds before the end of that 5th game. What followed left scars in many PAOK fans: Panagiotis Giannakis scored a quick 2-point basket, reducing the deficit to 2 points. A sloppy inbounds pass was stolen by Dinos Angelidis, who passed the ball to Nikos Galis, who (guarded by a frenzied John Korfas) started to penetrate, but then passed the ball to Giannakis, who drilled a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Aris went on to win the next playoff game and thus the 1991 championship.
1992–93 FIBA European Cup Winners
In 1992 Aris won the Greek Cup, versus AEK Athens. That final was quite significant since it marked Galis' last game for Aris. The player who almost by himself made basketball hugely popular in Greece had won 8 Greek Championships and 6 Greek Cups with Aris in 13 years.
The team management made what was proven to be a mistake in their plans for the 1992–93 season. The president (Mitroudis) in cooperation with Steve Giatzoglou (the new coach) decided to build the new team around Giannakis instead of Galis. Even though Roy Tarpley was signed and Aris was dominating in the start, things fell apart and irresponsible management in conjunction with lack of discipline led to the 5th spot in the final standings of the Greek League. However, a European success came for the team as Aris won the European Cup, beating Efes Pilsen 48–50 in a very dramatic game and winning their first European title.
Years of crisis and mismanagement (1993–2003)
With the departure of MIchailides from the presidency (1992), a long period of financial mismanagement began with result the indebtedness of the club and the team's decline, especially in the Greek Championship.
With the exception of advancing to the semifinals of Cup Winners' Cup of 1994, those two seasons are marked by players (Panagiotis Giannakis, Vangelis Vourtzoumis, Miroslav Pecarski, Vassilis Lipiridis, Michail Misunov) filing suit against the team for not receiving their salary and incentives. Repeated wrong choices for foreign players, changing of coaches, as well as inept management by the ownership were the highlights rather than success on court. Well-known Terry Catledge fled the team, Sam Vincent and Sean Higgins were released, while other inappropriate choices such as Frederick and King were made. Despite all this, the usual support of the fans combined with the rise of some Greek players (Dinos Angelidis, Panagiotis Liadelis) held Aris, and the team managed to qualify for the Korać Cup of next year.
1996–97 FIBA Korać Cup Winners
The 1995–96 season can be considered the messenger of a change in Aris' fate. With Soulis Markopoulos as coach, Aris played disciplined basketball with extra emphasis on defense (perhaps for the first time in Aris' history). Panagiotis Liadelis and Dinos Angelidis, along with the unexpectedly good Harold Ellis started to draw the crowd back into Alexandreio Melathron. That Aris team beat PAOK once during the regular season, while advancing to a 4-team group in Korać Cup, and almost getting first place in that group. It was clear that things were on the upswing.
In the summer of 1996 something extraordinary for Aris happened. The team main sponsor, Zafiris Samoladas, spent a huge amount of money and revitalized the team. José Ortíz, Charles Shackleford, Tzanis Stavrakopoulos, Floros, Mario Boni, Papadatos, Holopoulos joined the team, which, all of a sudden, appeared very strong and with exceptional depth at every position. The team started well by beating PAOK and Panathinaikos, but faltered against Olympiacos both for the Greek Championship and for the Greek Cup, losing both games in Thessaloniki and prompting the firing of Markopoulos.
Subotić, from the 1987–1992 era, took over as coach and produced some satisfactory results, but Aris still displayed a lot of the disadvantages of a newly formed team. Aris, though, had a spectacular run to the Korać Cup, Beşiktaş of the Turkish League, Beobanka of the Yugoslavian League, Peristeri of the Greek League, and Benetton Treviso of the Italian League were all eliminated in dramatic fashion, with the overtime return leg game in Italy reminding many of the old glory of Aris in Europe.
The final was against Tofaş Bursa of the Turkish League and there couldn't be a more satisfying way of winning the Korać Cup: Aris, the heavy favorites, lost in shocking fashion by 11 points in the first game in Thessaloniki. Centuries old passions and nationalistic enmity resurfaced, as the Turks, assured of the Korać Cup win at that stage, were waiting to give the final blow in Bursa. Fortunately for Aris' and Greek fans, the difference in talent and coaching showed in the game in Bursa, where Aris dramatically won by 18 points (70–88), in an arena filled with fanatic spectators who finally broke down and started hurling debris towards the court, when the outcome was evident.
It was a remarkable moment as Panagiotis Liadelis, Dinos Angelidis, Giannis Sioutis and the other Greek players, lifted the Korać Cup inside the Turkish arena, and filled millions of Greeks with pride. That was proven to be the high point of the season. Aris returned to the Greek Championship games and in idiotic fashion lost three games against inferior opponents Panionios, Papagou, and Peiraikos.
In the 1997–98 season, which was yet to start, Aris was sort of an enigma. Having retained all but one (Charles Shackleford) of its main players, and having signed Žarko Paspalj, Tiit Sokk, and Nasos Galakteros, the talent was still there, although rebounding problems were sure to appear. The hiring of Efthimis Kioumourtzoglou as coach was viewed skeptically by many, as he was regarded as an old-fashioned coach who employed aged and predictable tactics for his teams' play. Samoladas had stepped down from the sponsor position, and the team still did not have a wealthy sponsor or a certain source of revenue to pay for players' high salaries. Qualification for the Euroleague was critical that season, but not many of Aris' fans believed it was a realistic goal, as Olympiacos, AEK Athens, and Panathinaikos seemed to be way ahead in terms of personnel and financial status. Still, miracles can happen.
Miracles can happen, and this sentence was perfectly understood by the club players. Suddenly, José Ortíz left in mid-January 1998, due to the fact that the team didn't have the money to pay him. Tiit Sokk followed him on his way out as well. The leadership of Lefteris Hatzopoulos ended, Efthimis Kioumourtzoglou was no longer the coach, and Aris was in God's hands, while some of the most dramatic moments in the club's history were taking place. The club had no money, but they had plenty of soul. Within two weeks, they beat all of the considered to be big teams of Greece (Olympiacos, PAOK, Panathinaiks, and AEK), beating the two last in the Final Four of the Greek Cup, and they became winners of the 1997–98 Greek Cup. Mario Boni was about to leave the team too before the Final Four, but he stayed because he loved the team and its fans, and he helped the team a lot in this tremendous effort. Then he moved on to join Virtus Roma, as he couldn't stand it anymore either. Brave heart Aris continued with just 8 players thereafter in the season. Nonetheless, the downfall of Aris continued during the next years.
In 2003, the old company was dissolved, due to the large amount of debts and a new K.A.E (basketball club) was created. A group of local businessmen from Thessaloniki, through the "Genesis Association", decided to take the majority stake.
In October 2002, Aris beat Peristeri at the eighth-finals of the Greek Cup and proceeded to the Greek Cup Final Four for the first time since 1999. Aris fans realized that the best was yet to come, as together with the qualification Aris was a very competitive team that was among the top teams in FIBA's FIBA Europe Cup. Among others, Aris had in its squad, players such as Willie Solomon, Ryan Stack, Fedor Likholitov, Miroslav Raičević, Ivan Grgat.
However, the first attempt to re-gain the throne of the Greek Cup was unsuccessful. The final four of the competition, held in Larissa, was the great rendezvous for all Aris fans around Greece. There were 3,500 crazy Aris fans in the sold out 5,500 capacity stadium of Larissa Neapolis Arena and they did their best to support the team, in order to win the first Aris title since 1998. In the semi-final, Aris came back from a −24 point deficit and finally beat Makedonikos 92–86, proceeding to the great final against rival Panathinaikos, whose task was much easier, as it needed only to overcome Iraklio in the other semi-final.
The great final, held the next day, was a very tight and competitive game, but at the end, some critical and partial decisions of the referees in favor of Panathinaikos, as well as the fatigue of Aris players from the previous day's semi-final, were the decisive factors that gave Panathinaikos the title. However, Aris fans renewed their rendezvous for the upcoming final four of EuroCup, that was going to take place in Alexandreio, at Thessaloniki.
2002–03 FIBA EuroCup Challenge Winners
In front of 6,000 fans, that filled the Alexandreio Melathron stadium as early as 2 hours before the starting jump-ball, Aris hosted KK Hemofarm of the Serbian League for the semi-final game of the competition, on 2 May 2003. Aris was very nervous and needed a sudden wake-up in the second half to overcome the difficulties of the game and overcome the Serbian rivals. Aris was back in a European final. After 6 difficult and unbearable years. Now, there was only one game left to win a championship. The game would be against Prokom Trefl Sopot of the Polish League. Aris fans were again at their positions and created a unique atmosphere that remained the trademark of the competition. So on 5 May 2003, Aris and Prokom battled for the title. The game was almost the same as the previous one for Aris, and although a second-halftime wake-up call gave the impression that Aris had won the game, Prokom made an unexpected return and was in the lead 83–81, after a successful 3-point shot by Tomas Masiulis, with only 6 seconds left in the game. At that time, the "ghost" of "the Empire", the one that "led" Aris to its great 7-year reign during the late 1980s, appeared once again in the Alexandreio Melathron. Willie Solomon drew a foul for Aris against Prokom. He made the first free throw, then missed the second free throw, but Miroslav Raičević grabbed the rebound and put the ball in the basket and Aris won the game at the very end by a score of 84–83.
The beginning of the 2003–2004 season found Aris as a nomad inside its own city. Alexandreio Melathron was closed down in order to get renovated for the 2004 Olympic Games, and Aris was obliged to play its home games in the 2,443 seat Ivanofio Indoor Hall, the home court of Iraklis. The season tickets were sold-out and available tickets for each game were out of sight at each occasion. The constant packed atmosphere helped to lead Aris to great moments.
Aris was lucky enough that season to have probably its strongest team in a decade, as the club had well-known players that season like Smush Parker, Toby Bailey, Nestoras Kommatos, Ryan Stack, Fedor Likholitov, and Miroslav Raičević. Aris eliminated Iraklis during the Greek Cup and proceeded to the Greek Cup Final Four for the second consecutive season. The Cup's Final Four that year was held at Lamia Indoor Hall Chalkiopoulio in March.
2,600 Aris fans cheered the team on as they overcame Apollon Patras in the Cup semi-final game and proceeded to the final game against rival Olympiacos. During the Cup final game against Olympiacos, some Olympiacos fans acted out with some serious violent behavior, throwing fire rockets into the stands where the Aris fans were seated and both teams' fans were subsequently forced by the referees to evacuate the arena. Because of the delay caused by this, the game lasted more than 4 hours.
The game continued after the fans were escorted out. Aris' players were able to remain concentrated on the game and were able to pull out the victory by a score of 73–70, giving the club its 8th Greek Cup Championship. The Aris fans that had evacuated the stadium, had remained in their cars to listen to the radio broadcast of the game and had also gathered at roadside cafes and bars in order to be able watch the rest of the game on television.
After the victory, the fans rushed out into the streets to celebrate and were soon joined by the team itself in the street celebration that eventually formed into a celebration convoy that head back to Thessaloniki. At Thessaloniki, Aris' supporters gathered at the White Tower of Thessaloniki, which is the symbol of the city. The team's players climbed up to the top of the White Tower to watch the crowd below them and to celebrate with them.
On the other hand, though, that same season Aris was eliminated in the FIBA EuroCup by fellow Greek League club Maroussi and it's rising star player Vassilis Spanoulis. Aris lost the best of 3 games series 2 games to 1 in the final eight round versus Maroussi. That same season Aris was eliminated in the Greek Championship playoffs by AEK Athens, who managed to beat Aris at Ivanofio in the quarterfinals. The Greek League playoff loss to AEK knocked Aris out of a Euroleague position for the next season.
The next season Aris returned to its home arena, the newly renovated Alexandreio. Aris changed almost its entire squad that year, and added the young and talented player Sofoklis Schortsanitis. In October, Aris drew a bracket match up to play against Makedonikos in the Greek Cup semifinals. That season there was no Final Four system, and the semifinal match up was a 2-game series, rather than a single-elimination game.
Aris had to play its "home" game in the match up at the Larissa Neapolis Arena instead of at Alexandreio Melathron as a punishment for what had happened at the previous Greek Cup final game against Olympiacos where the fans of both clubs had gotten out of control. Aris lost the game in Larissa, the first in the 2 game series 73–74. The second game was held in Kozani at Makedonikos' home.
Makedonikos decided to make tickets for the game unavailable to Aris supporters. Nonetheless, about 500 Aris fans went to Kozani and were able to secure tickets. They cheered the club on as it won the second game by a score of 89–78 and Aris advanced to the Greek Cup final game as it had outscored Makedonikos by 10 points over the 2 games and thus won the tie breaker. Aris had to play the Euroleague powerhouse Panathinaikos in the final.
The Cup final took place at Irakleio, on Crete and the Hellenic Basketball Federation decided not to allow any tickets to the game to be sold to the fans of the two teams, but instead only to the local people of the Irakleio area. However, about 150 Aris fans were able to manage their way into the arena to help support the club. The Cup final was a tough and hard fought game. Aris played well but lost to Panathinaikos by a 72–68 margin. The Aris players complained during the game (fairly in all of the cases) about the refereeing.
That same season Aris participated in a ULEB competition for the first time as it was a part of the ULEB Cup that year. The club's goal was of course to win the ULEB Cup so that the team would secure a berth in the Euroleague competition the following season. Aris proceeded to the Top-16 round of the ULEB Cup, where it was matched up against Lietuvos Rytas of the Baltic League (Lietuvos Rytas would be the team that would eventually go on to win the ULEB Cup championship) in a 2-game series.
Aris split the two games with Rytas but lost the series on the points aggregate differential −2 points. That same season Aris was also eliminated from the Greek Championship without taking home the national championship. The club was eliminated in a fashion that at the time the worst possible scenario for both the team's players and fans as Aris lost in the playoffs once again to AEK Athens. But what made the loss even more painful was that AEK managed to secure the clinching series victory at Aris' home arena the Alexandreio Melathron.
Aris finished the regular season of the Greek A1 league in 4th place, with a 15–11 win-loss record. Aris lost to Panathinikos during the play-off semifinals, and had to face Marousi in a best-of-5 series for third place. With the series tied at 2–2, Aris went on to beat Maroussi 59–63 in a dramatic game 5 in Athens. This earned Aris a return to the Euroleague after a 14-year absence, to the delight of its fans.
Although Aris was eliminated from the Greek Cup, they managed to reach the ULEB Cup final game, which was held at the Spiroudome in Charleroi, Belgium. Aris proceeded from the group phase to the Top 16 stage, where the team eliminated fellow Greek club Panionios in a 2-game series. Aris won the first game in the series by a score of 72–70 in Athens. In the second game at Alexandreio, Aris defeated Panionios 112–105 in double overtime. Aris then eliminated the French Pro A League club ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne with 2 victories by scores of 67–60 and 77–67.
In the semifinals, Aris then faced Hemofarm in a repeat of the semifinal of the 2003 Champion's Cup. Aris lost by a score of 74–71 in the game in Serbia and needed a late victory in the game in Thessaloniki to make it to the final against Dynamo Moscow. On 11 April, Dynamo Moscow defeated Aris 73–60 in the final and won the ULEB Cup championship.
Aris performed outstandingly during the 2006–07 season of the Greek A1 League, finishing the regular season in second place with a 21–5 win-loss record. Although this gave Aris a home court-advantage in the Best-of-5 playoff semi-final against Olympiakos, Aris lost game five in 75–83 and had to face Panionios for the 3rd place series and a renewed Euroleague berth. Aris defeated Panionios 73–60 in game 5, securing their second consecutive Euroleague appearance.
The 2006–07 season also marked the return of Aris to the Euroleague for the first time since the 1988–1989 season, an 18-year absence. Aris was placed in Group C, with CSKA Moscow, FC Barcelona, Benetton Treviso, Pau Orthez, Eldo Napoli, Fenerbahçe, and Žalgiris Kaunas. With a 6–8 win-loss record, Aris managed to clinch 5th place in the group and thus qualify to the Top 16. Aris was then placed in Group D, alongside Unicaja Málaga, Dynamo Moscow, and Benetton Treviso. Aris was eliminated from the competition, only managing a 1–5 win-loss record and finishing at the bottom of the group.
During the following years of this era, Aris continued to have just moderately successful seasons. Their best season was in 2010–2011, when they finished in fourth place in the Greek League. During these years the club continued to promote young talented players, such as Kostas Papanikolaou, Kostas Sloukas, Aleksandar Vezenkov, and others.
In 2015, a new era started for the club, as Nikolaos Laskaris became the club's new major shareholder. With head coach Dimitris Priftis, and new players in the team, Aris B.C. once again is aspiring to be competitive, and to return to the Euroleague during the upcoming years.
Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.
|Aris B.C. roster|
|Pos.||Starting 5||Bench 1||Bench 2||Bench 3|
|C||Eric Buckner||Vassilis Kavvadas||Vassilis Symtsak||Vassilis Christidis|
|PF||Viktor Sanikidze||Michalis Tsairelis|
|SF||Devyn Marble||Spyros Mourtos|
|SG||Michael Jenkins||Theodoros Zaras|
|PG||Will Cummings||Vassilis Xanthopoulos||Dimitris Flionis||Nikos Diplaros|
|Aris B.C. retired numbers|
- Winners (10): 1929–30, 1978–79, 1982–83, 1984–85, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1989–90, 1990–91
- Winners (8): 1984–85, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1989–90, 1991–92, 1997–98, 2003-04
- Runners-up (5): 1983–84, 1992–93, 2002–03, 2004–05, 2013–14
- Winners (5): 1984-85, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1989–90
- Winners (6): 1925–26, 1926–27, 1927–28, 1928–29, 1929–30, 1957–58
- Winners (1): 1992–93
- Winners (1): 1996–97
- Runners-up (1): 2005–06
- Winners (1): 2002–03
- Nikos Galis (1987)
- Nikos Galis (1987)
- Nikos Galis (1991–92)
- Charis Papageorgiou (1975–76, 1978–79)
- Nikos Galis (1980–81, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1983–84, 1984–85, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1989–90, 1990–91)
- Nestoras Kommatos (2003–04)
- Keydren Clark (2008–09)
- Aleksandar Vezenkov (2014–15)
- Nikos Galis (1986–87, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1989–90, 1990–91)
- Dimitris Priftis (2015–16)
Records and statistics
Greek League records
|Champion without a loss in a row||3 times (1985–86, 1986–87, 1987–88)|
|Best regular season record||26-0 (1985–86)|
|Record win||153–62 (vs Near East, 1985–86)|
|Longest sequence of wins||80 (1984/85 – 1988/89)|
|Biggest win in A1 Finals||129–81 (48 points) against Panionios (1986–87)|
Sponsors and Manufacturers
Since 1980 Aris had a specific kit manufacturer and a kit sponsor. The following tables detail the shirt sponsors and kit suppliers of Aris by year:
|Period||Kit supplier||Shirt sponsor|
|1989–1990||National Bank of Greece|
|2015–||NG 6||Global Swiss Trade|
- Great Shirt Sponsor: Global Swiss Trade
- Official Sport Clothing Manufacturer: NG6
- Official Sponsor: ideaL
Aris long-time home court is the Alexandreio Melathron, with its main hall named Nikos Galis Hall in honour of Nikos Galis, with a capacity of 5,138 seats. The venue was completed in 1966 and renovated for the 2004 Summer Olympics.
Aris against Olympiacos basketball game (2007)
Nick Galis Cup
|Year||Final||Third and Fourth place|
|First Place||Score||Second Place||Third Place||Score||Fourth Place|
|60 - 59
|77 - 74
|84 - 74
|72 - 50
Top performances in European & Worldwide competitions
|1987–88||Final Four||4th place in Ghent, lost to Tracer Milano 82–87 in the semi-final, lost to Partizan 93–105 in the 3rd place game|
|1988–89||Final Four||3rd place in Munich, lost to Maccabi Elite 86–99 in the semi-final, defeated FC Barcelona 88–71 in the 3rd place game|
|1989–90||Final Four||4th place in Zaragoza, lost to FC Barcelona 83–104 in the semi-final, lost to Limoges 91–103 in the 3rd place game|
|1990–91||Quarter-finals||5th place in a group with FC Barcelona, Pop 84 Split, Scavolini Pesaro, Maccabi Elite, Bayer Leverkusen, Kingston Kings and Limoges|
|1992–93||Champions||defeated Efes Pilsen 50–48 in the final of the FIBA European Cup in Turin|
|1993–94||Semi-finals||eliminated 2-1 by Smelt Olimpija, 83–79 (W) in Thessaloniki, 78-84 (L) and 61-74 (L) in Ljubljana|
|1998–99||Semi-finals||eliminated by Pamesa Valencia, 64–70 (L) in Valencia and 50-58 (L) in Thessaloniki|
|1984–85||Semi-finals||eliminated by Ciao Crem Varèse, 80–77 (W) in Thessaloniki and 71-95 (L) in Varese|
|1996–97||Champions||defeated Tofaş, 66–77 (L) in Thessaloniki and 88-70 (W) in Bursa in the double finals of Korać Cup|
|1997–98||Quarter-finals||eliminated by Calze Pompea Roma, 79–80 (L) in Thessaloniki and 79-86 (L) in Rome|
|2005–06||Final||lost to Dynamo Moscow 60–73 in the final (Charleroi)|
|2009–10||Quarter-finals||eliminated by Power Electronics Valencia, 64–71 (L) in Thessaloniki and 67-85 (L) in Valencia|
|2003–04||Quarter-finals||eliminated 2-1 by TIM Maroussi, 76–85 (L) in Athens, 101-93 (W) in Thessaloniki and 90-99 (L) in Athens|
|2002–03||Champions||defeated Prokom Trefl Sopot 84–83 in the final of the FIBA EuroCup Challenge in Thessaloniki|
The road to the three European Cup victories
1992–93 FIBA European Cup
1996–97 FIBA Korać Cup
2002–03 FIBA EuroCup Challenge
The road to the Great European Journeys
1987–88 FIBA European Champions Cup
1988–89 FIBA European Champions Cup
1989–90 FIBA European Champions Cup
2005–06 ULEB Cup
|Group Stage||Alba Berlin||97–87||89–86|
- Scroll down to see more.
Aris coaches by season
Greek national team players
These players have played for both Aris and the Greek national basketball team:
Ownership & Current Board
|Deputy CEO||Emmanuel Laskaris|
|Board Member||Stathis Roussos|
|Board Member||Thomas Nikolos|
|Board Member||Spyridon Christoforidis|
|Board Member||Anastasios Oikonomou|
|Chief Marketing Officer||Ioannis Chatzopoulos|
|Press Officers||Antonis Gatzios - Jenny Gravia|
|Club's doctor||Nikolaos Koukoulias|
|Club's doctor||Thanos Milousis|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Aris BC.|
- Official Basketball Website (Greek) and (English)
- ΑΡΗΣ: Η ομάδα που έβαλε το μπάσκετ στα σπίτια των Ελλήνων
- Emperor Fans' Portal (Greek)
- Super3 Official Website (Greek)
- Official Website Of Members "Club Friends of Aris" (Greek)
- Galanis Sports Data
- All about Aris (Greek)