Theodoros Papaloukas

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Teó Papaloukás
Papaloukas with Olympiacos Piraeus in February 2011.
Personal information
Born (1977-05-08) May 8, 1977 (age 39)
Athens, Greece
Nationality Greek
Listed height 6 ft 6.75 in (2.00 m)
Listed weight 225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
NBA draft 1999 / Undrafted
Playing career 1995–2013
Position Guard / Forward
Number 4, 44
Career history
1995–1997 Ampelokipoi
1997–1999 AO Dafni Athens
1999–2001 Panionios
2001–2002 Olympiacos
2002–2008 CSKA Moscow
2008–2011 Olympiacos
2011–2012 Maccabi Tel Aviv
2012–2013 CSKA Moscow
Career highlights and awards

Theódoros "Teó" Papaloukás (Greek: Θεόδωρος "Τεό" Παπαλουκάς; born May 8, 1977) is a retired Greek professional basketball player. He was a four-time All-EuroLeague selection, a member of the EuroLeague 2001–10 All-Decade Team and was named one of the 50 greatest EuroLeague contributors in 2008. A revolutionary figure in basketball, as illustrated by his unique ability to come off the bench and alter the course of an encounter,[1] and his uncanny feel for the game, symbolized the rise of European basketball in the new millennium.

Papaloukas started his career in 1995, with his local club of Ampelokipoi, before being transferred two years later to AO Dafni, and then to Panionios in 1999. His performances with the latter earned him a transfer to EuroLeague powerhouse Olympiacos, where in 2002, he won his first title, the Greek Cup. A year later, he moved to Moscow for CSKA, the club that he would help to regain its past glory. After making a minimal impact during his first two seasons in the Russian capital, he evolved into a major contributor to CSKA's success, playing as a sixth man in the 2004–05 season, both in the EuroLeague and the Russian League.

In 2006, Papaloukas led CSKA to their first EuroLeague title in thirty-five years, and thus earning an All-EuroLeague First Team selection and the EuroLeague Final Four MVP award in the process. The following year, he cemented his status as a EuroLeague competition icon,[1] after being named the EuroLeague MVP, before falling short of a second straight EuroLeague title in the championship's final against Panathinaikos. In 2008, he won his second EuroLeague title with CSKA, in what would be his last year in Moscow. In the summer of 2008, Papaloukas returned to Olympiacos, and with them he reached another two EuroLeague Final Fours, thereby giving him a then record of eight consecutive EuroLeague Final Four appearances, a record he shared at the time with his former teammate J.R. Holden. On December 12, 2013, he was honored with a EuroLeague Basketball Legend Award.[2]

Papaloukas helped lead the Greek national team to a EuroBasket title, in 2005, as well as to a FIBA World Cup silver medal in 2006, while always coming off the bench of the Greek national team. He was elected to the All-Tournament Team in both competitions.[3] Papaloukas took part in two Olympic tournaments, in 2004 and 2008, with Greece finishing in their personal all-time best fifth position on both occasions. In 2006, he was named the FIBA Europe Men's Player of the Year.

Professional career[edit]


A native of Athens, Greece, Papaloukas began his big career at the small local Athens junior team Ethnikos Ellinoroson. He then played for another small, but at the time rising club, called Ampelokipoi, with whom he began his pro career in 1995. He then transferred to Dafni of the Greek 2nd Division in 1997, and transferred again two years later to Panionios, a traditional basketball club of the top-tier level Greek A1 League. With Dafni, Papaloukas won the Greek 2nd Division title, and the Greek 2nd Division Player of the Year award, in the 1998–99 season.

In 2001, Papaloukas finally moved to Olympiacos, a long-time Greek League power, as well as one of the perennial contenders in the EuroLeague. With Olympiacos, he led the Greek A1 League in assists in the 2000–01 and 2001–02 seasons. After the 2001–02 season, he left Olympiacos, and moved to another EuroLeague powerhouse, the Russian Superleague club CSKA Moscow, in 2002.

CSKA Moscow[edit]

After three disappointing years, in the team level, Papaloukas was a main factor helping the team win the 2005-06 Euroleague title for the first time in 35 years with a clutch performance in the final four - 19 points in the semifinal against FC Barcelona, and another 18 points at the final against back-to-back European champion Maccabi Tel Aviv, which beautifully awarded him the Final Four MVP award, having also been named the best PG of the Euroleague for that season.[4] Alongside him on the first team were the best shooting guard Juan Carlos Navarro of Barça, best small forward Anthony Parker of Maccabi (the Euroleague 2005-06 MVP), best power forward Luis Scola of TAU Cerámica, and best center Nikola Vujčić of Maccabi.

In 2007, Papaloukas was voted the Euroleague MVP of 2006-07 Euroleague season.[5] CSKA advanced to the final against Panathinaikos, held on the Greens' home court, the Athens Olympic Indoor Hall (which had been chosen as the site more than a year in advance). Panathinaikos won the game by a score of 93–91 in a very exciting game. Papaloukas scored 23 points and dished out 8 assists, but a number of sportswriters intimated that he did not receive adequate support from his CSKA teammates and thus his team lost the final. Papaloukas was also a key member of CSKA's Euroleague 2007-08 championship team.

Papaloukas was then pursued by the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, and the Miami Heat to fill their point guard spot. On July 7, 2007, Greek newspapers reported that Papaloukas agreed to a newly structured 3-year contract with CSKA, worth 10.5 million euros net income.


On June 20, 2008, one year after his contract extension with CSKA, Papaloukas used an option to leave his contract with no buyout to sign a three-year contract with Olympiacos with an annual salary of 3.5 million net income.

In the first two years of his contract, he helped Olympiacos reach the Euroleague Final Four, averaging 8 points and 5.2 assists in the Euroleague 2008–09 season, and 7.4 points and 5.1 assists in the Euroleague 2009–10 season. In the third, and last, year of his contract, the team failed to advance to the Euroleague Final Four, losing 3 games to 1 to Montepaschi Siena in the Euroleague quarterfinal playoffs, despite having the home court advantage.

Maccabi Tel Aviv[edit]

On August 13, 2011, Papaloukas signed a contract with Israeli team Maccabi Tel Aviv, finalists of the 2011–12 Euroleague.[6] In Macccabi, Papaloukas didn't get much playing-time, averaging only 9.1 minutes per game in the Euroleague, and playing in only 8 Israeli Super League games. The shortage of playing-time led to his release, after only one disappointing season with the yellows.

Back to CSKA Moscow[edit]

In December 2012, Papaloukas was invited to participate with CSKA Moscow in a tryout. He returned to the court in a Euroleague game against Anadolu Efes, on December 28, 2012.[7] After the end of the Euroleague Final Four in London, he announced his retirement from professional basketball at the end of the season.

Greek national team[edit]

Papaloukas was part of the core element of the senior men's Greek National Basketball Team. He played at the following EuroBaskets: EuroBasket 2001 in Turkey, EuroBasket 2003 in Sweden, EuroBasket 2005 in Serbia and Montenegro, and EuroBasket 2007 in Spain.

Papaloukas, who was already well-established in European basketball as a result of appearances in three consecutive EuroLeague Final Fours with CSKA Moscow, achieved an acclaimed position among the elite of European basketball at the EuroBasket 2005 in Serbia and Montenegro. After a series of mediocre performances in the first round, he led Greece to a victory over the Russian National Basketball Team in the quarterfinals, and orchestrated a major comeback against the French National Basketball Team in the semifinal, when Greece was down 7 points with 47 seconds left on the clock.

In the final against the German National Basketball Team, led by the prodigious NBA All-Star Dirk Nowitzki, Papaloukas scored 22 points, leading Greece comfortably to its second European title, eighteen years after its first win at the EuroBasket 1987. As such, Papaloukas was selected to the All-Tournament Team of the EuroBasket 2005, along with fellow Greek team player Dimitris Diamantidis, Spanish National Basketball Team shooting guard Juan Carlos Navarro, French National Team swingman and NBA player Boris Diaw, and Nowitzki, who also claimed the MVP title.

Papaloukas also joined the elite club of players who have achieved the European title at both the national team and club levels during the same year, as he won the EuroLeague title with CSKA at the Final Four in Prague, April 28–30, 2006.

Papaloukas climbed to the second position of global basketball as he, along with his fellow Greek team players, drove Greece to the final of the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan, losing there in the final to the Spanish National Basketball Team. In Greece's win over Team USA in the semifinal, by a score of 101–95, Papaloukas had 12 assists, 8 points and 5 rebounds. He also earned a place on the All-Tournament Team, which also included the tournament MVP Pau Gasol of the Spanish team, Gasol's teammate Jorge Garbajosa, Team USA's Carmelo Anthony, and Manu Ginóbili of the Argentine National Basketball Team.

His most formidable personal recognition came on January 26, 2007, when he was voted by fans and journalists as the FIBA Europe Men's Player of the Year for 2006, topping the likes of Nowitzki, Gasol, and Tony Parker. In the summer of 2008, Papaloukas became the captain of Greece's national team for the 2008 Olympic Games. It was also the last time he ever played for Greece's national team.

Player profile[edit]

Papaloukas was a 2.00 m[8] (6 ft 7 in) tall (102 kg (225 lb.)[9] player who could play as either a point guard, shooting guard, or point forward on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court. He was a pass-first play maker with a distinctive style of play. His play making ability and pass first point guard skills at his height, combined with his versatility to play multiple positions on the basketball court on both ends of the floor made him an extraordinary player.

Papaloukas was selected to the EuroLeague's 50th anniversary 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors list in 2008. Papaloukas is widely known by the nicknames of Teó and Thodoris. As a player, he was also sometimes given other much less used nicknames, such as The Computer, due to his ability to analyze the court, The Thread, because of his unique ability to complete passes through opposing defenses, like threading a needle, and other nicknames like Paps, Pappas, and The Tsar.

Post playing career[edit]

After he retired from playing professional basketball, Papaloukas took a job with the EuroLeague, working as an analyst for EuroLeague TV.

EuroLeague career statistics[edit]

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  PIR  Performance Index Rating
 Bold  Career high

Note: The EuroLeague is not the only competition in which the player participated for the team during the season. He also played in domestic competition, and regional competition if applicable.

Denotes seasons in which Papaloukas' team won the EuroLeague
Led the league
2001–02 Olympiacos 19 13 26.9 .468 .333 .671 2.9 4.0 2.0 .2 8.4 10.2
2002–03 CSKA 21 1 16.4 .453 .280 .630 2.0 3.4 1.1 .0 4.7 8.0
2003–04 CSKA 21 0 17.4 .453 .172 .782 1.7 2.7 1.5 .1 6.3 8.5
2004–05 CSKA 23 0 18.5 .611 .412 .679 2.3 3.8 1.3 .1 7.6 11.3
2005–06 CSKA 24 0 22.7 .549 .275 .736 3.1 4.0 1.8 .3 9.3 13.9
2006–07 CSKA 25 3 24.4 .578 .341 .716 3.2 5.4 1.7 .2 9.8 15.3
2007–08 CSKA 23 0 21.8 .500 .242 .690 2.7 4.6 1.2 .0 7.7 11.2
2008–09 Olympiacos 22 2 25.1 .612 .368 .636 2.7 5.2 1.1 .0 8.0 11.5
2009–10 Olympiacos 19 0 24.4 .561 .351 .643 2.1 5.1 1.3 .1 7.4 10.4
2010–11 Olympiacos 18 0 21.4 .470 .214 .609 2.6 3.8 1.6 .0 5.4 8.1
2011–12 Maccabi 20 1 9.6 .435 .333 .720 1.1 1.6 .6 .0 3.0 3.5
2012–13 CSKA 17 0 11.1 .379 .333 .786 1.5 2.3 .5 .1 2.2 3.5
Career 252 20 20.1 .526 .300 .694 2.4 3.9 1.3 .1 6.8 9.9

Awards and accomplishments[edit]

Pro clubs[edit]

Greek national team[edit]


  1. ^ a b Stankovic, Vladimir (March 10, 2014). "Theodoros Papaloukas, Euroleague icon". 
  2. ^ "CSKA Moscow, Euroleague Basketball honor basketball legend Theo Papaloukas". Retrieved 10 September 2016. 
  3. ^ " Players". Retrieved 10 September 2016. 
  4. ^ All-Euroleague team, MVP announced in Prague
  5. ^ All-Euroleague team, MVP announced
  6. ^ "Maccabi signs former MVP Papaloukas". Retrieved 10 September 2016. 
  7. ^ Papaloukas to dress for CSKA again
  8. ^ "PAPALOUKAS, THEODOROS". Retrieved September 30, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Theo Papaloukas—Olympiacos—Greece". August 2, 2009. Retrieved September 30, 2011. 

External links[edit]