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^ For the last few years ive been watching the odd euroleague game for osfp. But like you said drakos im starting to really get into our ethniki for basket. Im strating to be really into greek basketball in general to say the least. For some reason i just got into international basketball. I guess its the combination of being in greece while the qualifiers for Beijing were yeld in greece, the success of the u18, the signing of Josh Childress to olympiakos, Rumors of big NBA stars moving to europe, and the olympics. Put all those together and im really excited to see the future of greek basketball in general.

Also, all the crap results that have been going on with football latly (euro 08, olympiakos-anorthosis, aek-omonia) why shouldnt greek fans turn their attention to some basket. With the amount of money we put into basketball, the euroleague could someday be on par with the NBA. This year ive learn alot about international bball and im going to try to follow as close as possible :gr:

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I have to agree that team chemistry has been the Ethniki's strength for the past few years. If there's one thing that Giannakis has achieved more than anything else, it's getting this team to play amazingly well as a unit, putting egos aside and without having one standout superstar among the group, or any wannabe superstars.

However, I do agree with AEK that what the team as been missing since the late 80's is a go-to guy. While we have quality players and a quality roster, there isn't really a player that can carry the team night in and night out, be a lock to score 20+ points in every game, and so forth. I feel that with the talent and chemistry the team has, having such a star on the team would make Greece an absolutely dangerous opponent for anyone, even more so than they are today, and many of the big games which we have lost would have been won. Someone that would be a threat to score 20-30 a game, someone that would be the go-to guy in the clutch, someone that would also attract the weight of the opposition's defense, giving the rest of the team's quality players more open looks, would just be absolutely lethal.

A superstar with almost nothing surrounding him won't lead to success (look at Germany with Nowitski), but a team like Argentina, with a superstar like Ginobili, or Spain with Gasol and Calderon, are examples of teams that have a superstar, along with many many other quality players that know their roles within the team. We were so close to defeating Argentina two Olympics in a row without such a star...I feel we would have two wins instead of two losses, and two medals, with such a go-to guy.

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So true, we desperately need a superstar to bring us to the top and compete with any team.

I guess we have to wait at least a few years for that and see if one comes up from our youth, cause no one on this current NT is going to pop up out of nowhere and become a star. I don't follow the youth of Greek Basketball, do you guys know of any potential superstars? Not just really good players like Spanoulis, but a guy that can be on the level of a Ginobili, Nowitzki, Gasol, etc.?

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Gasol??? Nowitzki...definitly nothing that big.

Koufos is our biggest prospect, but he wont be that big like them i don think..

who knows maybe Sarikopoulos will thrive in the NCAA and then from there NBA... B)

but some just take time to develop....Spanoulis took some time and every season is developing - same with Bouroussis...even Peja Stojakovic took some time before he was NBA superstar...

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You all made good points about the way forward for the Ethniki. I think we all agree that the days of having a Galis type player where the team lived and died by him every night, those days are long gone, and will never return...and fortunately so. As other posters have mentioned, teams with studs like Germany with Nowitzki, and almost no supporting cast, are doomed from the opening tipoff of any tournament.

I loved what we did in 2005, between every team that had an NBA player and many of them stars or at least quality (France with Parker and Diaw, Germany with big Dirk, Lithuania with Ilgauskas...). It was a Greek NT where any given night somebody new would step up, one day Papaloukas, the next Diamantidis, the next Kakiouzis. But it was a team without heaps of expectations on them, who played without fear and with nothing to lose, especially following a string of pretty dismal performances in the big tournaments since Christodoulou.

Personally I could care less if no Greek ever makes it or shines in the NBA. And I think the players care even less. They can make some serious money playing in Europe (anywhere in Europe), at or close to home, beautiful countries and cultures, women, basically a quality lifestyle that let's be honest they couldn't match in North America. Plus they're treated like gods back home, I'm sure their Euros are no good anywhere. These guys live the dream and don't need to be playing in the so-called best league in the world. The NBA I'll give it one thing, it's the best brand in the world, the best corporation, but can anybody here actually put themselves through the torture of watching the full 48 minutes? I've watched countless international matches and some Greek league games from tipoff to final whistle. Excitement.

Anyway, maybe Spanoulis can be our game-changer and difference-maker. I hope so, but I wouldn't mind giving him quality backup. Paps has to go, Sofo probably too, I agree he needs to lose some weight is he has a hope to be invited back, he needs to use his size more and he will be able to do this with more quickness. The guy is slo-mo, by the time he comes down with the ball and makes his move, the defender is planted and he gets called for a charge. Goodbye Fotsis too, weak player. Zisis gone, useless all tournament (I can't hate the guy for the clutch 3 free throws he drained vs. France in 2005 when fouled beyond the arc, just like I'll never hate Diam and Paps) Diamantidis stays, Tsartsaris too, he's solid, poised and fearless. I think Pelekanos has a future, saw nothing from the other youngters Vasilopoulos, Printezis and Glyniadakis (is it just me or are the names of Greeks in Greece unusual? lol)

Onward and upward Hellas for next year's Eurobasket!

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Did anybody watch the USA-Spain game? I randomly woke up after 3 this a.m. started flipping channels and what do you know the game's on, 2nd quarter 60-something to 50-something US. I'm thinking no defence whatsoever on either side.

I continue watching, Spain would make it close then US would pull away with a key three, basically hovering between a 6-7-point deficit and double-digits when USA would drain a three or get a basket and the foul. Spain pulled to within two, then at one point in the 4th, Kobe drains a three while being fouled by some m*****. 4-pt play, USA up by 8 or 9 at this juncture. Kobe makes a silencing gesture right after the shot, and I gotta say I loved it.

No love lost from me for USA basketball in general and for Kobe in particular, but guys, if there is any team more detestable in this world than Spain, please tell me. Besides their players looking like mutants, a bigger bunch of whiners and floppers I have never before seen on a basketball court. Every friggin call in the final (foul, ball out of bounds to USA, you name it), all the clowns on the Spanish bench get up in the face of the ref. Slightest contact on Navarro (OT but it looks like the bottom half of this guy's face has been chopped off) he drops like a stone on the parquet. Weak little reach-ins by an American player, a Spaniard would theatrically pretend the arms got tangled and gyrate wildly to get the officials' attention.

Say what you want about team USA, but from what I saw all tournament, the extent of their protests against bad calls (and there were tons of bad calls against them) was an ironical smile from Wade or Howard or the usual frown from Kobe. No flops, no badgering the officials, basically a class tournament for the NBA stars, I'll be the first to admit it, and a deserved gold. The number of violent contact I saw on their players down low in the Spain game alone, stuff that would be called flagrant fouls in the NBA, but the victims keeping their cool and not letting it deteriorate into a brawl. And then coolly draining the free throws to make Spain pay (except for Wade who was weak at the line).

From the opening tipoff of the first game, I was in my anybody-but-Spain mode, the way I am in my anybody-but-Brazil mode in WC soccer. It would have been a huge shame if Spain had won this morning the way they play. Something has to be done about these clowns, if I see the same crap at next year's Eurobasket and no technicals being called, I'm gonna lose it.

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Yeah the Us looked were amazing this tournament. Theyve really turned things around on the international level. It seems now after years of failing, there finally getting used to the international play. And yeah, like you said nick, this was a disiplined us team, that was determined. Nothing was going to stop them

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dude....giannakis was not a "difference maker"

the generation of these players now, is actually much better than Fassoulas and Giannakis. Just because theyre old and put in gold image dont really make them better. Giannakis was overrated...He made his own stupid mistakes, bricking shots, couldnt hit a free throw... And clearly, he doesnt care when his own players do the same Fassoulas was a good player, but its not like Greece have not been able to recover from his departure by any means. 

We have one of the top leagues in Europe, IMO with Russia and Spain. I think even theres a great

Giannakis was overrated? I beg to differ.

(From Wikipedia)

Awards and accomplishments

(As a player):

*Greek Cup MVP 1985.

*Greek League MVP 1987.

*Along with Nick Galis he led Aris BC to an 80 game winning streak in the 1980s.

*He holds the record for national team caps with 351 with the Greek National Basketball Team, which is also a record for any European player.

*He scored 9,291 points in Greek League competitions (3rd all-time) and 5,307 points with the Greek national team (the record holder).

*When he retired from his playing career he held the records for the most games played in the Greek Championship (493) and the most games played in the Euroleague (163).

*Member of the Greek Basketball Hall of Fame, inducted as a player.

*Selected to the Euroleague 50th anniversary 50 Greatest Euroleague Players

*Contributors list as one of the Euroleague's 35 greatest all time players in 2008.

Greece have not a quality center since Fasoulas and he himself is a Greek Basketball Hall of Famer. Not that he was a superstar, but no Greek center has been better than him since, although Koufos could be.

The reason the Greek NT teams of 1987 and 1989 are regarded as legendary and better than the current team in Greece is because they defeated the Soviet Union (twice) and Yugoslavia (once), 2 teams that were the best teams in the world after the USA then, dominant in Europe for a long time, and better than the current teams of Spain and Argentina. Players like Giannakis and Fasoulas were difference makers, but not like Galis, yet those 3 players had to carry the team because the bench wasnt so great.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Edited by plato-ny
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yeah i do not beleive that......

Giannakis was overated....he had his brilliance like Papaloukas, then in the 90's he played much like papaloukas did n the last 2 tournaments ........bricked shots, clumsy, thrown passes, and riding on a name pretty much. he was overrated. i only saw him in the 90's though.

quuality wise Fassoulas is not missed. I would not rush to say Tsartsaris or Bourousssis arent as good. bouroussis basically just got started with the ethniki this year.

the teams of the 80's arent as good as this generation. this generation breezed through a euro and took a silver at wc... the competition we faced in Lithuania, USA, etc is simply tougher and we did better. Silver at the WC is our biggest accomplishment arguably. nt to mention that in all our last 4 tournaments weve been in top 5...

Yugoslavia and CCCP better than argentina or SPAIN?!? sorry, bullshit. Spain is a much better team than the USSR. We saw pretty much a team USA which would pound the livign hell out of USSR have to face Spain in a final and it was no easy task. how many USSR and Yugoslav players were in the NBA back then? im sorry sometimes when something gets old enough, it becomes legendary and then suff like "USSR is better than Spain" comes out.....thats just nonsense. USSR wasnt even the best in the world after USA in the 80's - didnt they not even have their NBA players in the 80's ? A spain that kept up with one of the best USAs of all time?

no disrespect to Galis' era, but basketball in greece and the world is much better and competitive today . looking to the 80's for guidance and inspriation in basket - waste of time. The game is way more competitive out there now.

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According to Wikipedia, these were the team rosters for the top 4 teams at the Eurobasket '87:

1.Greece: Nikos Galis, Panagiotis Giannakis, Panagiotis Fasoulas, Fanis Christodoulou, Michalis Romanidis, Nikos Filippou, Nikos Stavropoulos, Memos Ioannou, Argiris Kambouris, Panagiotis Karatzas, Liveris Andritsos, Nikos Linardos (Coach: Kostas Politis)

2.Soviet Union: Alexander Volkov, Valdis Valters, Šarūnas Marčiulionis, Valeri Tikhonenko, Vladimir Tkachenko, Sergėjus Jovaiša, Valdemaras Chomičius, Heino Enden, Sergei Babenko, Sergei Tarakanov, Viktor Pankrashkin, Valeri Goborov (Coach: Alexander Gomelsky)

3.Yugoslavia: Dražen Petrović, Aleksandar Petrović, Toni Kukoč, Vlade Divac, Dino Rađa, Žarko Paspalj, Stojan Vranković, Aleksandar Djordjevic, Danko Cvjetičanin, Ratko Radovanović, Zoran Radović, Goran Grbović (Coach: Krešimir Ćosić)

4.Spain: Juan Antonio San Epifanio, Jordi Villacampa, Candido "Chicho" Sibilio, Ignacio "Nacho" Solozabal, Andres Jimenez, Ferran Martinez, Fernando Romay, Jose Antonio Montero, Jose Maria Margall, Fernando Arcega, Francisco Javier Zapata, Jose Angel Arcega (Coach: Antonio Diaz Miguel)

Honestly, looking back, the Yugoslavia team which finished 3rd seems to be more formidable in terms of star power: the late Drazen Petrovic, Toni Kukoc, Vlade Divac, Dino Radja, Zarko Paspalj, Stojan Vrankovic, Aleksandar Djordjevic...these guys all played in the NBA or were drafted by NBA teams in an era where drafting Euros was relatively infrequent.

The USSR team had Volkov and Marciulionis from players that played in the NBA, though most of the Yugoslavians had more distinguished NBA careers and even some all-star appearances.

Of course, we finished 1st with no NBA players, though Galis and Fassoulas had been drafted by NBA teams and both had played NCAA basketball.

That said, I would equate Greece's success in 1987 at the same level with the team's success in 2005 and 2006, because they did get through the top two European powers at the time, including teams that had numerous legendary players. It was also our first real big success on a national team level since 1949, when, believe it or not, we finished in third place in that year's Eurobasket! I also believe it was the first time that the Ethniki defeated the USSR!

The 2005 and 2006 successes were arguably tougher though...the tournaments were not in Greece, and the level of play and especially the level of competition has really increased in 20 years, as more and more countries have developed very competitive national teams, plus the breakup of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia leading, on the one hand, to the destruction of basketball superpowers, but on the other hand giving rise to a number of competitive countries like Lithuania, Russia, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, etc.

Edited by PurelyAcademic
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Did anybody watch the USA-Spain game? I randomly woke up after 3 this a.m. started flipping channels and what do you know the game's on, 2nd quarter 60-something to 50-something US. I'm thinking no defence whatsoever on either side.

I continue watching, Spain would make it close then US would pull away with a key three, basically hovering between a 6-7-point deficit and double-digits when USA would drain a three or get a basket and the foul. Spain pulled to within two, then at one point in the 4th, Kobe drains a three while being fouled by some m*****. 4-pt play, USA up by 8 or 9 at this juncture. Kobe makes a silencing gesture right after the shot, and I gotta say I loved it.

No love lost from me for USA basketball in general and for Kobe in particular, but guys, if there is any team more detestable in this world than Spain, please tell me. Besides their players looking like mutants, a bigger bunch of whiners and floppers I have never before seen on a basketball court. Every friggin call in the final (foul, ball out of bounds to USA, you name it), all the clowns on the Spanish bench get up in the face of the ref. Slightest contact on Navarro (OT but it looks like the bottom half of this guy's face has been chopped off) he drops like a stone on the parquet. Weak little reach-ins by an American player, a Spaniard would theatrically pretend the arms got tangled and gyrate wildly to get the officials' attention.

Say what you want about team USA, but from what I saw all tournament, the extent of their protests against bad calls (and there were tons of bad calls against them) was an ironical smile from Wade or Howard or the usual frown from Kobe. No flops, no badgering the officials, basically a class tournament for the NBA stars, I'll be the first to admit it, and a deserved gold. The number of violent contact I saw on their players down low in the Spain game alone, stuff that would be called flagrant fouls in the NBA, but the victims keeping their cool and not letting it deteriorate into a brawl. And then coolly draining the free throws to make Spain pay (except for Wade who was weak at the line).

From the opening tipoff of the first game, I was in my anybody-but-Spain mode, the way I am in my anybody-but-Brazil mode in WC soccer. It would have been a huge shame if Spain had won this morning the way they play. Something has to be done about these clowns, if I see the same crap at next year's Eurobasket and no technicals being called, I'm gonna lose it.

Congrats to you for admitting the obvious.

I tip my hat to you, as well as paxiotis.

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yeah i do not beleive that......

Giannakis was overated....he had his brilliance like Papaloukas, then in the 90's he played much like papaloukas did n the last 2 tournaments ........bricked shots, clumsy, thrown passes, and riding on a name pretty much. he was overrated. i only saw him in the 90's though.

quuality wise Fassoulas is not missed. I would not rush to say Tsartsaris or Bourousssis arent as good. bouroussis basically just got started with the ethniki this year.

the teams of the 80's arent as good as this generation. this generation breezed through a euro and took a silver at wc... the competition we faced in Lithuania, USA, etc is simply tougher and we did better. Silver at the WC is our biggest accomplishment arguably. nt to mention that in all our last 4 tournaments weve been in top 5...

Yugoslavia and CCCP better than argentina or SPAIN?!? sorry, bullshit. Spain is a much better team than the USSR. We saw pretty much a team USA which would pound the livign hell out of USSR have to face Spain in a final and it was no easy task. how many USSR and Yugoslav players were in the NBA back then? im sorry sometimes when something gets old enough, it becomes legendary and then suff like "USSR is better than Spain" comes out.....thats just nonsense. USSR wasnt even the best in the world after USA in the 80's - didnt they not even have their NBA players in the 80's ? A spain that kept up with one of the best USAs of all time?

no disrespect to Galis' era, but basketball in greece and the world is much better and competitive today . looking to the 80's for guidance and inspriation in basket - waste of time. The game is way more competitive out there now.

Have to agree with drakos.

The quality of basketball today in Eurpoe is FAR superior to that 20 years ago.

Galis was a BIG star in Europe, but I believe would have struggled mightily in the NBA as a 6'1" shooting guard. He lasted until the fourth round of the NBA draft, for precisely that reason. Giannakis was a 9th round choice. Very limited player for a point guard. Fasoulas was a stiff. Couldn't start even at NC State.

IMO, Greece right now has at least 8 guys that could play in the NBA in a regular rotation. Not even close to being the case 20 years ago.

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Agree that today's Eur. play is much better. Wonder who the 8 Greek guys are as frankly I don't see it. Our players are not reliable shooters and we miss too many shots that should be automatic (Spanoulis at the end of the Arg game).

Aside from that, Basketball 101 says do not jump in the air unless you know what you are going to do. Too often our players would jump and then look to pass which facilitates steals/turnovers. Basketball 102, dunk the frigging ball instead of laying it up there for a block. In the Arg. game, if Fotsis dunked the ball on the breakaway it would have turned the game around; instead he layed it up, was blocked by Ginobli (I believe) and then we let the game slip away.

Fundemental mistakes and poor shooting are our weaknesses and have been for a while

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Spanoulis, Papaloukas, Diamantidis, Fotsis, Vasilopoulos, Tsartsaris, Bourousis, Printezis.

Basketball 101 and 102 are "fundamental skills" which aren't really European traits. The Americans have mastered both.

Euro players have mastered the penetrate and kick back, but that sometimes leaves them in mid air with nowhere to go.

Likewise, the dunk is thought of as American showboating.

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According to Wikipedia, these were the team rosters for the top 4 teams at the Eurobasket '87:

1.Greece: Nikos Galis, Panagiotis Giannakis, Panagiotis Fasoulas, Fanis Christodoulou, Michalis Romanidis, Nikos Filippou, Nikos Stavropoulos, Memos Ioannou, Argiris Kambouris, Panagiotis Karatzas, Liveris Andritsos, Nikos Linardos (Coach: Kostas Politis)

2.Soviet Union: Alexander Volkov, Valdis Valters, Šarūnas Marčiulionis, Valeri Tikhonenko, Vladimir Tkachenko, Sergėjus Jovaiša, Valdemaras Chomičius, Heino Enden, Sergei Babenko, Sergei Tarakanov, Viktor Pankrashkin, Valeri Goborov (Coach: Alexander Gomelsky)

3.Yugoslavia: Dražen Petrović, Aleksandar Petrović, Toni Kukoč, Vlade Divac, Dino Rađa, Žarko Paspalj, Stojan Vranković, Aleksandar Djordjevic, Danko Cvjetičanin, Ratko Radovanović, Zoran Radović, Goran Grbović (Coach: Krešimir Ćosić)

4.Spain: Juan Antonio San Epifanio, Jordi Villacampa, Candido "Chicho" Sibilio, Ignacio "Nacho" Solozabal, Andres Jimenez, Ferran Martinez, Fernando Romay, Jose Antonio Montero, Jose Maria Margall, Fernando Arcega, Francisco Javier Zapata, Jose Angel Arcega (Coach: Antonio Diaz Miguel)

Honestly, looking back, the Yugoslavia team which finished 3rd seems to be more formidable in terms of star power: the late Drazen Petrovic, Toni Kukoc, Vlade Divac, Dino Radja, Zarko Paspalj, Stojan Vrankovic, Aleksandar Djordjevic...these guys all played in the NBA or were drafted by NBA teams in an era where drafting Euros was relatively infrequent.

The USSR team had Volkov and Marciulionis from players that played in the NBA, though most of the Yugoslavians had more distinguished NBA careers and even some all-star appearances.

Of course, we finished 1st with no NBA players, though Galis and Fassoulas had been drafted by NBA teams and both had played NCAA basketball.

That said, I would equate Greece's success in 1987 at the same level with the team's success in 2005 and 2006, because they did get through the top two European powers at the time, including teams that had numerous legendary players. It was also our first real big success on a national team level since 1949, when, believe it or not, we finished in third place in that year's Eurobasket! I also believe it was the first time that the Ethniki defeated the USSR!

The 2005 and 2006 successes were arguably tougher though...the tournaments were not in Greece, and the level of play and especially the level of competition has really increased in 20 years, as more and more countries have developed very competitive national teams, plus the breakup of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia leading, on the one hand, to the destruction of basketball superpowers, but on the other hand giving rise to a number of competitive countries like Lithuania, Russia, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, etc.

Giannakis and Christodoulou had also been drafted, although Fani may have been drafted after the fact. Can't remember off the top of my head.
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Showboating Americans I agree with, but it is a more assured scoring opportunity than laying it up for grabs. I just think that if you're going for it, make it count - or get the foul - rather than risk losing it to a block.

Not sure about any of the players mentioned as Spanoulis and Fotsis had their shot and did not produce. Diamantidis is too slow for US BB and is more suited to Intl. play. His shooting is terrible though.

Bourousis sound like a possibility though.

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Hey, I agree with you-the dunk is the highest percentage shot in basketball.

The world wide perception of it, however, is that it's the special province of the showboating Americans.

How taking the absolute highest percentage shot in the game is showboating is beyond me, but hey, that's a topic for another day.

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high percentage maybe, but that depends realy.

I mean, dropping the ball in the net or a finger roll would be even higher percentage. Sure the top NBA guys and dunks rarley miss but this is a whole other category. But at least for our players **COUGH** VASSILOPOULOS :angry:

theres no reason to ever do this slam-jam crap in a close game when your not trying to power over anybody (as in unmarked, when your going in hard against a defender the power is important, but not when your all alone)

rodoj

Diamantidis is not terrible shooting.. :unsure:

this tourney maybe, in general no tho...

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