Dimitris Diamantidis

Dimitris Diamantidis (Greek: Δημήτρης Διαμαντίδης; born May 6, 1980) is a retired Greek professional basketball player, who spent all twelve seasons of his EuroLeague career with Panathinaikos Athens, where he currently serves as the team's general manager, alongside Fragiskos Alvertis. Widely regarded as one of the greatest European players ever to grace the game,[a] he marked his era by being the most versatile player in the EuroLeague,[7] serving as an inspiration to a whole generation of young European stars.[b]

Dimitris Diamantidis
Diamantidis 11052013.JPG
Diamantidis playing against Apollon Patras, in 2013.
Panathinaikos
PositionGeneral manager
LeagueGreek Basket League
EuroLeague
Personal information
Born (1980-05-06) May 6, 1980 (age 40)
Kastoria, Greece
NationalityGreek
Listed height6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight195 lb (88 kg)
Career information
NBA draft2002 / Undrafted
Playing career1999–2016
PositionGuard / Small forward
Number13
Career history
1999–2004Iraklis Thessaloniki
2004–2016Panathinaikos
Career highlights and awards
As player

EuroLeague records

Professional Greek League career stats leaders

Career EuroLeague statistics
Points2,495 (9.0 ppg)
Rebounds969 (3.5 rpg)
Assists1,255 (4.5 apg)

At the age of fourteen, Diamantidis started his basketball career with the youth clubs of his hometown team, AS Kastoria. Five years later, he made his professional debut with Iraklis Thessaloniki, and by 2003, he had emerged as an all-around star in the Greek League. He became a member of Panathinaikos Athens in the summer of 2004, with whom he won three EuroLeague titles, in 2007, 2009, and 2011, with the last two coming as the team's captain. Diamantidis' numerous accolades in the premier European club competition include a EuroLeague MVP Award, two EuroLeague Final Four MVP Awards, four All-EuroLeague First Team selections, as well as a record six EuroLeague Best Defender Awards. He is the only player to have earned all four aforementioned EuroLeague end-of-season distinctions, even more so in a single year.[c] Diamantidis was the only Greek player who was voted to both the EuroLeague 2000–10 All-Decade Team[17] and the EuroLeague 2010–20 All-Decade Team.[18] He is the EuroLeague's all-time leader in steals[19] since the stat was first officially recognized starting with the 1991–92 season. On April 1, 2016, he was honored with a EuroLeague Basketball Legend Award.[20]

Amidst a long series of "derbies of the eternal enemies", opposing Panathinaikos and Olympiacos Piraeus, Diamantidis thrived, as he faced Olympiacos every year for twelve consecutive seasons, including in eleven Greek League Finals, six Greek Cup Finals, and a EuroLeague semifinal. He won nine Greek League and ten Greek Cup titles, alongside a record six Greek League Finals MVP and a record six Greek League MVP awards, as well as two Greek Cup MVP awards. Diamantidis' personal friendship and rivalry with Olympiacos star Vassilis Spanoulis, was at the center of attention throughout six Greek League Finals and three Greek Cup Finals encounters. Diamantidis' self-effacing psyche[21] helped relieve tension between the two powerhouses, when he retired in 2016.[22]

As a member of the senior Greek national team, Diamantidis won a EuroBasket gold medal in 2005; while anchoring a defense that allowed just 59.7 points per game. He also scored the three-pointer that sealed the fate of the semifinal game against France, just seconds before the game's final buzzer. He also led that tournament in assists,[23] and was a part of the All-EuroBasket Team. In 2006, he played a pivotal role in a FIBA World Cup silver medal campaign, with Greece stunning Team USA in the semifinals, and Diamantidis finishing as the competition's steals leader.[24] Diamantidis was also a two-time Olympian, as he donned the Greek colours in 2004 and 2008, and on both occasions earned the fifth place of the tournament, which is tied for the all-time best finish for Greece. On the basis of his myriad achievements, he was named the Mister Europa Player of the Year by Italian sports magazine Superbasket in 2007.[25]

Early yearsEdit

Diamantidis was born in Kastoria, Greece, on 6 May 1980. He began playing the sport of basketball with the youth teams of the local club AS Kastoria. The club would later go on to name its home arena, Dimitris Diamantidis Indoor Hall, after him in his honor.

Professional careerEdit

Iraklis ThessalonikiEdit

In the summer of 1999, at the age of 19, Diamantidis began his professional career, when he signed with the Greek Basket League club Iraklis Thessaloniki. In his first pro season, in the 1999–00 Greek League season, he averaged 1.5 points, 1.6 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.3 blocks per game.[26] In his first season with the club, Diamantidis also played in the European-wide secondary league, the FIBA Saporta Cup. Diamantidis averaged 1.8 points, 1.2 rebounds, 0.4 assists, and 1.2 steals per game, during the Saporta Cup 1999–00 season.[27]

In his second season with the club, in the 2000–01 Greek League season, he upped his averages to 3.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.3 blocks per game.[28] Diamantidis also played in what was one of the two premier European-wide club competitions at that time, the FIBA SuproLeague. He averaged 2.2 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.4 steals, and 0.6 blocks per game, during the SuproLeague's 2000–01 season.[29]

In his third season with Iraklis, he continued to up his numbers in the Greek League, as he averaged 6.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.5 steals, and 0.4 blocks per game, during the 2001–02 Greek League season.[30] He was selected to the Greek League's All-Star Game, for the first time that season. Diamantidis also once again played in the Pan-European secondary league, in which he averaged 7.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.7 steals, and 0.8 blocks per game, during the Saporta Cup's 2001–02 season.[31]

In his fourth season with Iraklis, Diamantidis only played in the national domestic Greek Basket League. He continued to improve his individual numbers and performances, as he averaged 11.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5.0 assists, a league-leading 2.5 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game, during the 2002–03 Greek League season.[32] He was also once again voted to the Greek League's All-Star Game.

In his fifth and final season with Iraklis, Diamantidis had his best year with the club. He averaged 14.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists, a league-leading 2.5 steals, and 0.7 blocks per game, during the 2003–04 Greek League season.[33] Due to his play, he was again voted to the Greek League's All-Star Game, and at the end of the season, he was also named the Greek League's MVP for the season. During his five seasons with Iraklis, one of the oldest Greek clubs, Diamantidis managed to help bring the team back into prominence in Greek competitions, after the club had been struggling in previous years.

Panathinaikos AthensEdit

 
Diamantidis in 2007

After his continued improvement and success with Iraklis, Diamantidis made a big step up in his career, with his move to Panathinaikos of Athens, in 2004; a basketball powerhouse of the Greek Basket League, and also of the EuroLeague. During his career with Panathinaikos, Diamantidis was given the nickname of "3-D", which stood for "Dimitris Diamantidis Defense" by the club's fans. Due to great individual and team successes, the late pharmaceutical magnate Pavlos Giannakopoulos, who was at that time the President of Panathinaikos, signed Diamantidis in 2008, to a 3-year 5.7 million euros net income contract extension. In 2010, Diamantidis again renewed his contract with Panathinaikos for another 3 years, at 10.8 million euros gross income (€6 million euros net income).[34] On February 21, 2013, Diamantidis became the EuroLeague's career leader in steals.[35]

On July 4, 2013, Diamantidis renewed his contract with Panathinaikos for another 2 years, at a salary of €1.9 million euros net income per year. On October 30, 2014, Diamantidis became the first player in EuroLeague history to have dished out at least 1,000 career assists.[36] On September 2, 2015, Diamantidis announced his retirement from playing professional club basketball, effective at the end of the 2015–16 Greek League season.[37] In his last season with Panathinaikos, he was voted the Greek League Most Popular Player.[38] Diamantidis retired as the all-time career leader in both assists and Performance Index Rating (PIR) in the entire history of the EuroLeague. Those records were eventually broken.

While he was a member of Panathinaikos, Diamantidis and Željko Obradović shared one of the most successful collaborations between a player and his head coach in the history of European club basketball. During his time with Panathinaikos, Diamantidis won the EuroLeague championship three times (2007, 2009, 2011), the Greek League championship nine times (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014), and the Greek Cup title ten times (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016). He also won the Triple Crown in 2007 and 2009.

Diamantidis also won several individual trophies with Panathinaikos, such as: the EuroLeague MVP in 2011,[39] the EuroLeague Final Four MVP twice (2007, 2011), the EuroLeague Best Defender six times (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011),[40] five of his six total Greek League MVP awards (2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2014), the Greek League Finals MVP six times (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2014), and the MVP of the Greek Cup in 2009 and 2016. While he was a member of Panathinaikos, Diamantidis was also named the 2007 Mister Europa, and the 2007 Greek Athlete of the Year.

After he ended his playing career, Diamantidis had his #13 playing jersey officially retired by Panathinaikos.[41] In 2020, Diamantidis was named "The Best Greek Professional Basketball Player of The 2010s Decade", by the readers of the Greek website Gazzetta.gr.[42]

National team careerEdit

Diamantidis was a member of the Greek under-20 junior national team. He played with Greece's under-20 junior national team at the 2000 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship, where Greece finished in seventh place. He averaged 3.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 2.5 steals per game at the tournament.[43] As a part of the Greek under-26 national selection, Diamantidis won the silver medal at the 2001 Mediterranean Games.

Diamantidis was also a member of the senior Greek national team. With Greece's senior team, he won the gold medal at the 2006 Stanković Continental Champions' Cup, and seven Acropolis Tournaments, while also being named the tournament's MVP twice, in 2005 and 2006.

On September 4, 2010, after Greece's elimination in the Eighth-Finals of the 2010 FIBA World Cup, at the hands of Spain (by a score of 80–72), Diamantidis announced his immediate retirement from the senior Greek National Team. He had 16 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks in his last game with Greece's national team. He finished his career bearing the Greek flag, having played in 124 games, and having scored a total of 760 points, for a scoring average of 6.13 points per game.[44]

FIBA EuroBasketEdit

With the senior Greek NT, Diamantidis participated at the 2003 EuroBasket, where Greece finished in fifth place, after beating Serbia and Montenegro, by a score of 72–64. Diamantidis won the gold medal at the 2005 EuroBasket. During the FIBA EuroBasket that year, he led the tournament in assists, and was selected to the All-Tournament Team. In the tournament's semifinals against the French national team, Diamantidis hit a game-winning three-point shot, with Greece trailing by a score of 66–64, at the end of the game, to give Greece a 67–66 victory, and send them to the European Championship's final game.

Diamantidis was also a member of the Greek national team at the 2007 EuroBasket, where Greece took the fourth place, after losing to Lithuania in the bronze medal game, by a score of 78–69, in a game in which Diamantidis had 7 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 blocks.

FIBA World CupEdit

Diamantidis won the silver medal with Greece at the 2006 FIBA World Cup, which was held in Japan. In the tournament's semifinals, he was a key factor in Greece's historic 101–95 victory against Team USA, with 12 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals, while facing the likes of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Chris Paul, and Dwight Howard. The defeat suffered by the United States team was the only one during Mike Krzyzewski's second era as the team's head coach (2005–2016). Coach Krzyzewski, in a press conference during the 2014 FIBA World Cup, stated: "2006, that's a lesson we learned. The Greek Team taught us (Team USA) how to play internationally."[45]

Diamantidis also represented Greece at the 2010 FIBA World Cup. He averaged 10.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.5 steals, and 0.5 blocks per game at that tournament.[46]

Summer Olympic GamesEdit

Diamantidis was a member of Greece's senior national team that competed at the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics. He was also selected to play on Greece's senior national team for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. Greece finished in fifth place in both tournaments, losing both times to Argentina in the competition's quarterfinals.

Managerial careerEdit

Diamantidis retired from playing professional club basketball in 2016. Four years later, in 2020, he became the co-general manager of the Greek club Panathinaikos Athens, the same team that he had spent the last 12 seasons of his playing career with.

Player profileEdit

As a left-handed player, Diamantidis played as a point guard, shooting guard, and small forward. In the senior Greek national team, his primary position was small forward, with him often being utilized as a point forward. He was primarily a pass first play-maker with outstanding court vision, and an excellent three point shooter, both in spot up situations and off the dribble. He liked to post up smaller point guards. Gifted with a tremendous wingspan for his height (2.16 m or 7'1"), and a unique feel for positioning, he was generally considered to be one of the best defensive players ever to play in the EuroLeague,[47] having won the EuroLeague Best Defender award in five consecutive seasons, and once again, two years later.

As demonstrated by numerous game-changing actions in crucial situations, Diamantidis was considered to be one of the best decision makers and clutch players in European basketball history.[48]

Career statisticsEdit

Legend
  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 Diamantidis won the EuroLeague
Led the league

EuroLeagueEdit

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG PIR
FIBA SuproLeague
2000–01[49] Iraklis 13 14.2 .269 .200 .750 1.8 1.2 1.4 .6 2.2
Career 13 14.2 .269 .200 .750 1.8 1.2 1.4 .6 2.2
EuroLeague
2004–05 Panathinaikos 25 20 27.4 .544 .467 .709 3.7 3.1 2.0 .6 8.5 12.5
2005–06 23 22 30.1 .492 .269 .785 4.5 2.9 2.3 .8 8.7 13.1
2006–07 24 24 29.1 .489 .460 .780 3.9 3.9 2.2 .6 8.9 14.3
2007–08 19 19 30.9 .484 .435 .769 5.3 3.3 1.8 .7 8.5 15.1
2008–09 21 12 27.3 .486 .441 .863 4.4 3.1 1.5 .5 8.5 14.0
2009–10 12 9 26.7 .559 .516 .738 2.9 3.3 1.5 .3 9.4 13.7
2010–11 22 21 30.5 .433 .370 .872 3.9 6.2 1.6 .1 12.5 18.5
2011–12 23 21 30.0 .448 .425 .882 3.7 4.8 1.5 .5 11.5 16.4
2012–13 27 25 31.5 .368 .315 .712 3.4 5.8 1.4 .4 8.1 13.1
2013–14 29 27 100 .324 .283 .763 2.4 6.2 1.4 .1 8.9 12.8
2014–15 27 27 27.3 .410 .379 .814 2.3 5.9 .9 .3 8.0 12.1
2015–16 26 1 21.2 .459 .376 .827 2.3 4.2 .8 .2 7.2 10.3
Career 278 228 28.7 .442 .375 .795 3.5 4.5 1.6 .4 9.0 13.7

International statisticsEdit

Denotes years in which Diamantidis won a Gold medal (first place)
Denotes years in which Diamantidis won a Silver medal (second place)
Led the competition
Year Competition GP MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2003 EuroBasket qualification 4 17.2 .571 .500 .000 3.2 1.8 0.5 0.5 2.2
2003 EuroBasket 6 16.0 .214 .200 .636 2.2 2.3 0.5 0.0 2.5
2004 Olympic Games 6 18.7 .381 .200 .692 3.8 2.5 0.8 0.5 4.5
2005 EuroBasket 7 31.4 .303 .214 .682 5.1 5.0 2.8 0.0 5.4
2006 FIBA World Cup 9 29.9 .511 .440 .708 3.9 2.9 3.3 0.6 8.4
2007 EuroBasket 9 32.8 .362 .350 .923 5.0 2.1 1.3 1.0 8.9
2008 Olympic Games qualification 4 26.8 .654 .600 .500 4.2 3.8 0.8 0.0 11.0
2008 Olympic Games 6 28.3 .421 .368 .833 3.5 2.3 1.3 0.3 7.3
2010 FIBA World Cup 6 29.2 .465 .353 .667 3.5 3.8 1.5 0.5 10.0

Awards and honorsEdit

Club careerEdit

Greek under-26 national teamEdit

Greek senior national teamEdit

Individual awardsEdit

Pro clubsEdit

Greek senior national teamEdit

NotesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Fibaeurope.com, David Blatt quotes following the 2011 Euroleague final
  2. ^ Euroleague.net, Diamantidis makes history with 1000 assists
  3. ^ Eurohoops.net, Milos Teodosic: So what if we didn’t speak to each other? He’s a huge player
  4. ^ Sdna.gr, Sergio Scariolo: Keep Diamantidis in basketball forever
  5. ^ Sdna.gr, James Gist: Diamantidis one of the greatest ever
  6. ^ "Ethnos.gr, European greats pay tribute to Diamantidis". Archived from the original on 2016-07-01. Retrieved 2016-05-27.
  7. ^ Euroleague.net, Lawlor, Frank - Anticipating a milestone in Munich
  8. ^ Giannis Antetokounmpo: "My idol growing up was Dimitris Diamantidis". Milwaukee: Milwaukee Bucks official Youtube channel. 25 July 2013. Event occurs at 0 min 35 sec. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  9. ^ Eurohoops.net, Thomas Heurtel: Hope I will manage to be like Diamantidis
  10. ^ Sdna.gr, Mindaugas Kuzminskas: Can't wait for last match against Diamantidis
  11. ^ Pamesports.gr, Joffrey Lauvergne: Diamantidis, my favorite player Archived 2016-06-05 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Sportando.com, Luigi Lamonica: Diamantidis deserves to be among the Euroleague legends
  13. ^ Euroleague.net, Interviews - Dimitris Diamantidis
  14. ^ Euroleague.net, MVP Diamantidis heads 2010-11 All-Euroleague First Team
  15. ^ Euroleague.net, Diamantidis is MVP of the Final Four
  16. ^ Euroleague.net, Dimitris Diamantidis wins sixth Best Defender Trophy
  17. ^ Euroleague.net profile as All-Decade Team member
  18. ^ "2010-20 All-Decade Team: Dimitris Diamantidis". Welcome to EUROLEAGUE BASKETBALL. Retrieved 2020-04-01.
  19. ^ Euroleague.net, Official statistics - All-time steals leaders
  20. ^ Euroleague.net, Diamantidis celebrated as Euroleague basketball legend.
  21. ^ Draftexpress.com, Euroleague: Who's hot
  22. ^ Eurohoops.net, Dimitris Diamantidis: I am blessed… thank you
  23. ^ FIBA.com, FIBA EuroBasket 2005 assists leaders
  24. ^ FIBA.com, 2006 FIBA World Championship steals leaders
  25. ^ Fibaeurope.com, Mister Europa 2007
  26. ^ ΔΙΑΜΑΝΤΙΔΗΣ Δημήτρης | 1999-2000 (in Greek).
  27. ^ DIMITRIOS DIAMANTIDIS IRAKLIS BC SA THESSALONIKI 1999–00.
  28. ^ ΔΙΑΜΑΝΤΙΔΗΣ Δημήτρης | 2000-2001 (in Greek).
  29. ^ DIMITRIOS DIAMANTIDIS IRAKLIS BC SA THESSALONIKI 2000–01.
  30. ^ ΔΙΑΜΑΝΤΙΔΗΣ Δημήτρης | 2001-2002 (in Greek).
  31. ^ DIMITRIOS DIAMANTIDIS IRAKLIS BC SA THESSALONIKI 2001–02.
  32. ^ ΔΙΑΜΑΝΤΙΔΗΣ Δημήτρης | 2002-2003 (in Greek).
  33. ^ ΔΙΑΜΑΝΤΙΔΗΣ Δημήτρης | 2003-2004 (in Greek).
  34. ^ Talkbasket.net - Panathinaikos keep their captain Diamantidis.[permanent dead link]
  35. ^ "Diamantidis is new Euroleague steals king". Welcome to EUROLEAGUE BASKETBALL. Retrieved 2020-04-01.
  36. ^ "Diamantidis makes history with 1,000 assists". Welcome to EUROLEAGUE BASKETBALL. Retrieved 2020-04-01.
  37. ^ Sportando.com, Diamantidis announces he'll retire after this upcoming season
  38. ^ Ο Δ. Διαμαντίδης πιο δημοφιλής παίκτης της Basket League ΣΚΡΑΤΣ (in Greek).
  39. ^ Euroleague.net MVP Diamantidis heads 2010–11 All-Euroleague First Team.
  40. ^ Euroleague.net Dimitris Diamantidis wins sixth Best Defender Trophy.
  41. ^ Diamantidis’ jersey retired.
  42. ^ "Ψηφίσατε: Διαμαντίδης ο κορυφαίος Έλληνας μπασκετμπολίστας της δεκαετίας! (pic)". www.gazzetta.gr (in Greek). Retrieved 2020-04-01.
  43. ^ 2000 European Championship for Young Men Greece 11 - Dimitrios Diamantidis.
  44. ^ ΔΙΑΜΑΝΤΙΔΗΣ ΔΗΜΗΤΡΗΣ (in Greek).
  45. ^ Coach Mike Krzyzewski: "The Greek Team taught us how to play internationally". Barcelona: FIBA. 9 September 2014. Event occurs at 14 min 27 sec. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  46. ^ 2010 FIBA World Championship Greece 13 - Dimitrios Diamantidis.
  47. ^ Euroleague.net, Dimitris Diamantidis wins sixth Best Defender Trophy.
  48. ^ Sdna.gr, Sergio Scariolo: Keep Diamantidis in basketball forever.
  49. ^ DIMITRIOS DIAMANTIDIS IRAKLIS BC SA THESSALONIKI 2000–01 AVERAGE.

External linksEdit