Giannakis crowns Giannis Antetokounmpo the best Greek player ever


Legendary Greek basketball player and FIBA Hall of Famer Panagiotis Giannakis declared Giannis Antetokounmpo the best Greek player ever during a media discussion about the 2022 EuroBasket reported Johnny Askounis for Eurohoops.

“He is [the best Greek player ever] since being named NBA MVP and capturing the NBA championship. An entire franchise trusted and relied on him. That alone is proof enough,” he replied to an inquiry on where he personally ranks the Greek Freak, “We must be patient to enjoy his immediate contribution on our side (Ed. Greek national team). This kid has helped kids all around the world dream of a better future. This is a title he deserves, despite not being so successful at the international level so far.” Giannakis reportedly said.

When the Greek national team beat the Soviet Union 103-101 to take out the FIBA EuroBasket 1987 championship.

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Giannakis was, along with Nikos Galis, Panagiotis Fasoulas, and Fanis Christodoulou, one of the four main stars of the legendary late 1980s Greece men's national basketball team that put Greece on the world basketball map. He was Greece's team captain, when they won the gold medal at the EuroBasket of 1987, and were the silver-medalists at the same championship two years later. Furthermore, Giannakis was also an important member of the Greece men's national team, when they reached the EuroBasket's semifinals in 1993 and 1995, as well as the FIBA World Cup's semifinals in 1994.

“Giannis always aims to get better. Compared to his previous appearance in a major international tournament, his progress is obvious, especially after winning the NBA championship and becoming NBA MVP. He is more experienced and of course stronger. He knows what is necessary to be effective,” explained Giannakis in an interview with the Greek state-owned television channel ERT.

“He is a kid looking to improve every single day. That is the reason behind his success and why he is also comfortable playing in Europe and elsewhere (Ed. FIBA international competitions), besides the USA.”

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Giannakis and Nikos Galis were both inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame.