The singular success of Panathinaikos Athens great Dimitris Diamantidis, who has collected more team and individual trophies during his 12-year career than any other player in the continent’s top competition, will be celebrated before his team’s last home game of the Top 16 on Friday when he is officially named a Euroleague Basketball Legend.
His adoring fans at Olympic Sports Center Athens will share the moment with Diamantidis before the Greens face Cedevita Zagreb with a chance to reach the Turkish Airlines Euroleague playoffs if they win the game.
The long-time Panathinaikos point guard and captain boasts some of the most impressive achievements in European club basketball history, starting with the three Euroleague trophies that he led the Greens to lift in 2007, 2009 and 2011. For the first and last of those, he was voted Final Four MVP.
A rarity at this elite level, Diamantidis has played his entire Euroleague career with one club, Panathinaikos. Upon arriving to the Greens in 2004, he immediately became a star under head coach Zeljko Obradovic, for whom Diamantidis played eight seasons. In that period, he was chosen by fans and media to the All-Euroleague First Team four times and was voted by the competition’s head coaches as the Best Defender Trophy winner six times.
Diamantidis, who has announced that this will be his last season, already sits at or near the top of the majority of Euroleague statistical categories and continues to add to that every game. He is the Euroleague’s career leader in games started (228), assists (1,237), steals (431) and performance index rating (3,737). He also ranks second in games played (273), sixth in scoring (2,450 points) and three-pointers made (363), 11th in rebounds (952) and 14th in blocked shots (117). Diamantidis is the highest-ranked guard in both rebounding and blocks.
He has led Panathinaikos to nine Greek League titles as well as 10 Greek Cups. And while wearing the uniform of the Greek national team, Diamantidis helped lead his country win the EuroBasket 2005 crown and the 2006 World Championships silver medal.
Diamantidis becomes the fifth player to receive the Euroleague Basketball Legend designation and first since Sarunas Jasikevicius was honored in February 2015. The other honorees were Juan Carlos Navarro, Ramunas Siskauskas and Theodoros Papaloukas.