Panagiotis Giannakis: Wikis

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Panagiotis Giannakis
Παναγιώτης Γιαννάκης
Giannakis on the left.
Giannakis on the left.
Nickname The Dragon
Position Manager (former Point Guard)
Height 6 ft 3.75 in (1.92 m)
Weight 216 lb (98 kg)
League Greek League
Euroleague
Team Olympiacos Piraeus
Number 5 (player)
Born January 1, 1959 (1959-01-01) (age 51)
Nikaia, Attica, Athens, Greece
Nationality  Greece
Draft 9th round, 207thth overall, 1982
Boston Celtics
Pro career 1972–1996
Former teams Ionikos Nikaias (1972–84)
Aris Thessaloniki (1984–93)
Panionios (1993–94)
Panathinaikos (1994–96)
Awards Greek League Scoring Leader 1980
2x Greek Cup MVP 1985, 1988
Greek Basketball Hall of Fame
35 Greatest Euroleague Players 2008

Panagiotis Giannakis (Greek: Παναγιώτης Γιαννάκης, pronounced [ˌpanaˈʝo̞tis ʝaˈnacis], alternate spellings include: Panayiotis Yiannakis, Panagiotis Yiannakis, and Panayiotis Yannakis) (born January 1, 1959 in Nikaia, Attica, Athens, Greece), nicknamed "The Dragon", is an important figure in European basketball, with a brilliant career as both player and coach under his belt. Currently, he coaches the pro Euroleague club Olympiacos and he also formerly coached the Greek National Basketball Team. Under Giannakis' guidance, the Greek National team won the FIBA European Championship of 2005 and the silver medal at the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan. Giannakis also coached an Athenian professional team, Maroussi, which he led to the forefront of Greek basketball.

Giannakis, along with Nikos Galis, was one of the stars of the legendary 1987 Greek National Team. Giannakis was the captain of the team that won the 1987 FIBA European Championship, and were the silver-medalists at the same championship two years later at the 1989 FIBA European Championship. His playing position was point guard and he was the play maker for both the Greek national team and for the Greek pro club Aris. He began his pro career in Greece with Ionikos Nikaias, then he moved to Aris, then to Panionios and finally to Panathinaikos, with whom he won a Euroleague championship in 1996.

Contents

First steps

Giannakis began his professional career with Ionikos Nikaias. His first coach, Giorgos Vassilakopoulos (currently the FIBA Europe President), moved him up to the sporting club's men's first team from the youth squad at the age of just 13. His exceptional play at such a young age drew the eyes of pro basketball experts on him.

Greek League

On 3 August 1984, Giannakis transferred to the Greek club Aris Thessaloniki, for a huge amount of money (for the time). There, he teamed up with Nick Galis, to form one half of an historic "tag-team" that took Greek and European basketball by storm for years to come.

His first season with Aris, the 1984-85 season was a great success. He won the Greek Championship with the team, and in the Greek Cup championship final game he made 8 out of 12 3-pointers, leading his team to victory over Panathinaikos. And this was only the beginning, as 6 more consecutive Greek Championships and 5 more Greek Cup championships with Aris were to follow.

After 9 years with Aris, Giannakis moved to the Greek club Panionios for the 1993-94 season. He stayed there for a year, and then moved again to the Greek club Panathinaikos, where he played from 1994-96 and he finished his career there as a player.

European cup competitions

With Aris, he took part in 3 consecutive final fours of the Euroleague: Ghent (1988), Munich (1989), Saragosa (1990). Aris joined the elite of European basketball clubs, but a European title did not come for Giannakis until much later, in 1993, when he won the Cup Winners' Cup, in Torino. By then, Nick Galis had left Aris and joined Panathinaikos, and Giannakis had become the de facto leader and franchise player of Aris.

In 1995, Giannakis moved to Panathinaikos, where he finally won the Euroleague in 1996, in Paris. He also won the Greek Cup championship with Panathinaikos that same year, making it the 7th Greek Cup championship he won in his playing career to go along with his 7 Greek League championships. He ended his pro career having competed in 5 Euroleague final fours (3 with Aris and 2 with Panathinaikos).

Greek national team

Olympic medal record
Competitor for Greece
Men's 1996 Olympics
FIBA European Championship
Gold 1987 Greece Greece
Silver 1989 Yugoslavia Greece

In 1975, he led the Greek junior national team to the second place in the junior European championship. A year later he debuted with the senior men's Greek national basketball team as a 16 year old versus the Czechoslovakian national basketball team

He won in 1979 the gold medal in Mediterranean Games. He was the captain of the Greek national squad that won the gold medal at the 1987 FIBA European Championship and the silver medal at the 1989 FIBA European Championship. During his playing time with the national team, Greece participated in 27 international competitions. He retired from the national team as a player on August 2, 1996, after taking part in the 1996 Olympic Basketball Tournament at Atlanta.

Giannakis is also a member of the Greek Basketball Hall of Fame, inducted as a player.

Career as a head coach

Unconventionally, the very next year he started his coaching career as the head coach of the Greek National Team in 1997. He stayed the head coach of the national team for 2 years, leading the team to a 4th place finish at the 1997 FIBA European Championship and a 4th place finish at the 1998 FIBA World Championship.

He then moved to the professional club level, and coached Panionios, until 2002 when he was then named the head coach of Maroussi. He stayed with Maroussi until 2006, having taken over the team in relative obscurity and having turned it into the 3rd most prominent team in the Greek League, along with the help of his star point guard Vassilis Spanoulis, whose playing style and player attributes are often compared to Giannakis'.

He returned to coach the national team in 2004, for the 2004 Olympics Basketball Tournament, where he led the Greek team to a 5th place finish. The next year, under his coaching, Greece won the 2005 FIBA European Championship competition for the second time in its history. After 2006, he no longer simultaneously coached on the professional club level and national team level, as he decided to focus his full attention on the Greek national team only. In 2006, he coached the national team of Greece to a second place finish at the 2006 FIBA World Championship. In the World Championship's semi-final game, held on September 1, 2006, Giannakis' Greek team beat the heavily favored United States national basketball team for the first time by a score of 101-95.

On the 3rd of February 2008, Giannakis signed on to coach the Euroleague power Olympiacos with a 2-and-a-half year contract at an annual salary of €1.1 million euros net income. Giannakis also made an additional annual salary of €1.2 million euros net income while coaching the Greek national basketball team. In December 2008, he ended his tenure as the head coach of Greece's national team. [1]

Awards and accomplishments

(As a player):

(As a head coach):

Notes

External links

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