Tsakalidis, playing with the Memphis Grizzlies, in 2003.
|Born||June 10, 1979|
Rustavi, Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, USSR
|Nationality||Georgian / Greek|
|Listed height||7 ft 2 in (2.18 m)|
|Listed weight||290 lb (132 kg)|
|NBA draft||2000 / Round: 1 / Pick: 25th overall|
|Selected by the Phoenix Suns|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Tsakalidis, a 7 ft 2 in (2.18 m) center, holds dual citizenship in Georgia, where he was born (he was born in what was at the time, the Soviet Union's Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic), and in Greece, where he was raised and became famous.
Tsakalidis began his professional career in 1996, at the age of 17, with the Greek League club AEK Athens. With AEK, he was a 2-time Greek Cup finalist (1998, 1999), a FIBA Saporta Cup winner (2000), and a Greek Cup winner (2000). In those years with AEK, Tsakalidis played at a great level, especially in the painted zone area, where he complemented his teammates, Michalis Kakiouzis and Dimos Dikoudis, in that area.
In 2000, Tsakalidis left Greece, and moved to the United States. He began his NBA career that year, when he signed with the Phoenix Suns. He would spend the next 7 seasons playing with various NBA teams. In 2007, he returned to Greece, after leaving the Houston Rockets. He joined the Greek EuroLeague club Olympiacos.
Tsakalidis was selected by the Phoenix Suns, in the 1st round (25th overall) of the 2000 NBA draft. On September 30, 2003, Tsakalidis was traded by the Suns, along with teammate Bo Outlaw, to the Memphis Grizzlies, in exchange for Brevin Knight, Robert Archibald, and Cezary Trybański.
He was eventually traded by the Grizzlies to the Houston Rockets, on February 13, 2007, for small forward Scott Padgett. In his NBA career, he averaged 4.8 points per game and 3.9 rebounds per game.
National team careerEdit
Tsakalidis played with the senior men's Greek national basketball team at the 1998 FIBA World Championship, where his team finished in 4th place, at the EuroBasket 1999, where his team finished in 16th place, and at the EuroBasket 2003, where his team finished in 5th place.
In 2000, Tsakalidis announced that his real name is Alexey Lentkov and he is not of Caucasus Greek descent as previously believed. Moreover, after research by a Greek journalist, it was found that Lentkov was actually born in Novosibirsk and changed his name in Rustavi sometime in the 1990s.
|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|
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.
- Grizzlies swap C Tsakalidis to Houston for F Padgett., posted February 13, 2007.
- Jake Tsakalidis. basketball-reference.com.
- rizospastis.gr Την Παρασκευή ξεκαθαρίζει για Τσακαλίδη ‹See Tfd›(in Greek)
- contra.gr Ιάκωβος Τσακαλίδης: Ο άνθρωπος με τα δύο πρόσωπα! ‹See Tfd›(in Greek)