Vassilis "Billy" Spanoulis (Greek: Βασίλης Σπανούλης; born August 7, 1982) is a Greek professional basketball player for Olympiacos of the EuroLeague. A 6 ft 4 in (193 cm) tall combo guard, he is nicknamed Brick Bill, V-Span, and MVP ("Most Vassilis Player"). Spanoulis was named the Balkan Athlete of the Year in 2009, the All-Europe Player of the Year in 2012 and 2013, the Vatican's World Athlete of the Year (Giuseppe Sciacca Award) in 2013 and the EuroLeague MVP the same year. He has earned a record eight All-EuroLeague Team selections. He is also the EuroLeague's all-time career leader in total points scored.
Spanoulis with Olympiacos, in 2013.
|No. 7 – Olympiacos|
|Position||Point guard / Shooting guard|
|Born||7 August 1982|
|Listed height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Listed weight||210 lb (95 kg)|
|NBA draft||2004 / Round: 2 / Pick: 50th overall|
|Selected by the Dallas Mavericks|
|1999–2001||Gymnastikos S. Larissas|
|Career highlights and awards|
Spanoulis first played pro club basketball with Gymnastikos S. Larissas, and enjoyed a highly successful career start. His skill-set earned him a transfer to Athens and Maroussi, where he won the Greek Basket League's Best Young Player award in 2003. Following an impressive 2004–05 season, during which he helped lead Maroussi to the Greek Basket League's finals and the EuroCup quarterfinals, he moved to Panathinaikos, where he became one of European basketball's major stars. In the 2005–06 EuroLeague season, Spanoulis made his debut in impressive fashion, earning his first All-EuroLeague Team selection as a rookie in the competition. After a stint in the NBA with the Houston Rockets during the 2006–07 season, he returned to Panathinaikos and helped lead them to a EuroLeague title in 2009, being voted the EuroLeague Final Four MVP in the process.
Spanoulis' transfer to Olympiacos from Panathinaikos, in the summer of 2010, marked a new step in his career, given Olympiacos' feisty rivalry with Panathinaikos. Within a young and rebuilding Olympiacos team, Spanoulis not only led the club to a EuroLeague title run in 2012, but he also went on to lead the team to a historical EuroLeague championship repeat in 2013. In the process, he gained another two EuroLeague Final Four MVP awards, thus joining Toni Kukoč as the only players in the history of European basketball to achieve that distinction on three occasions. Under his leadership, Olympiacos reached another two EuroLeague Finals, in 2015 and 2017.
In 2017, European basketball historian Vladimir Stanković, named Spanoulis the "Most Clutch Player in EuroLeague History". In 2020, Spanoulis was named the "Best EuroLeague Player of The 2010s Decade", by the readers of the website Eurohoops.net.
Spanoulis also played an instrumental role on the senior men's Greek national team's 2005 EuroBasket gold medal team. Most importantly, he was one of the main stars of Greece's 2006 FIBA World Cup silver medal team, scoring 22 points in the memorable victory over Team USA (101–95), in the tournament's semifinals. It was however, Greece's bronze medal at the 2009 EuroBasket, that emphasized Spanoulis' leadership within an injury-plagued Greek national team, and consequently earned him an All-EuroBasket Team honor.
Gymnastikos S. LarissasEdit
Spanoulis began his basketball career with the youth teams of Gymnastikos and Keravnos in Larissa, Greece, playing in the Greek junior levels from 1994, until 1999. He made his professional debut in the year 1999, at the age of 17, with the senior club of Gymnastikos S. Larissas. In the two seasons of 1999–00 and 2000–01, he played in the 2nd-tier level Greek 2nd Division, with Gymnastikos.
After playing with Gymnastikos S. Larissas, in the Greek 2nd Division, Spanoulis signed a four-year contract with Maroussi of the top-tier level Greek Basket League, the European-wide 3rd-tier level FIBA Korać Cup, and later, the European-wide 2nd-tier level EuroCup. He played with Maroussi until 2005.
During the 2001–02 season, Spanoulis helped to lead Maroussi to the Greek Cup Final. This was the first time the team had ever made it to the Greek Cup title game. Maroussi also competed in the European-wide 3rd-tier level FIBA Korać Cup 2001–02 season.
In the 2003–04 season, Spanoulis helped to lead Maroussi to the Greek Basket League Finals. He also helped lead Maroussi to the 2003–04 season's FIBA Europe League (later called FIBA EuroChallenge) Final. In the FIBA Europe League, Spanoulis averaged 10.8 points per game, and 6.4 assists per game, off the bench for Maroussi. He also shot 40% from three-point range. He was also named the Greek League Most Improved Player that same season.
Spanoulis was then drafted in the 2nd round, of the 2004 NBA draft, by the Dallas Mavericks, following this sudden emergence. He also made it onto the senior men's Greek national basketball team, at the 2004 Athens Summer Olympic Games.
In the Greek Basket League 2004–05 season, his last season with Maroussi, Spanoulis averaged 15.9 points per game, and shot 37.8% from 3-point range, in 35 games played in the Greek Basket League competition. He then averaged 15.2 points per game, and shot 40.0% from 3-point range, in 12 games of play, in the European-wide 2nd-tier level EuroCup's 2004–05 season. For the year in total, Spanoulis averaged 15.7 points per game, and shot 38.3% from 3-point range, in 47 games played with Maroussi. He played in the 2005 Greek League All-Star Game, and was named to the Greek Basket League's Best Five Team. This was a breakthrough year for Vassilis, as he had averaged 11.1 points per game the previous season. He was considered to be one of the most improved players in Europe for the year. He helped to lead Maroussi to the 2nd place of the Greek Basket League, for the regular season. At the end of the year, Spanoulis was voted the European 6th Man of the Year, and Rookie of the Year in the EuroCup. He started being called, "The Greek Steve Nash", by some European fans, after this season.
Following his outstanding season in 2004–05 with Maroussi, Spanoulis signed a 3-year contract worth €1.6 million euros net income, with EuroLeague powerhouse Panathinaikos Athens. Spanoulis and his agent, Miško Ražnatović, set the contract terms so that Spanoulis would have a buyout clause after just one year, and set the buyout amount at US $400,000. This was Spanoulis' first season playing at the highest European-wide professional club level.
With Panathinaikos, in the Greek Basket League 2005–06 season, he won the both Greek Basket League championship and the Greek Cup. His team went 24–2 during the Greek Basket League regular season, and 8–0 during the Greek League playoffs, for an overall record of 32–2 in the national domestic league championship, and also went undefeated in the Greek Cup, at 5–0, for an overall record of 37–2 in Greek competitions. He played in the 2006 Greek League All-Star Game, and was named to the Greek Basket League's Best Five Team.
In 28.8 minutes per game of play, during the 2005–06 EuroLeague competition, Spanoulis averaged 14.6 points, 3.1 assists, 2.0 rebounds, and 1.4 steals, in 23 games of EuroLeague play, with Panathinaikos Athens for the season. He also shot 61.8% in 2-point shooting, and 36.8% from 3-point range; 53.4% overall.
He was the team's leading scorer, even though he often came off the bench. He won the EuroLeague MVP of the Round award twice during the season. In 2005–06, his team finished the EuroLeague with a record of 16–7. Spanoulis was also voted as the 7th best worldwide European player of the year (including NBA players) in 2006, by FIBA Europe, in their FIBA Europe Player of the Year award voting.
On July 19, 2006, Spanoulis opted out of the final two years of his contract with Panathinaikos Athens, and signed a three-year deal (2 years guaranteed) with the NBA's Houston Rockets, who paid for his contract buyout from Panathinaikos. The contract was worth $5,832,000. His buyout from his European club was $400,000.
The contract amount was for an average of $1,944,000 per season. The Rockets had acquired the rights to Spanoulis on draft night (June 24, 2004), when Houston swapped draft pick #55 Luis Flores, and cash considerations of $300,000 with the Dallas Mavericks, for Spanoulis (pick #50).
"He's a very versatile ball handler," Rockets [then] general manager, Carroll Dawson, said. "He's a good finisher and a very good prospect. He wants to be a great player. Everybody is going to like this young man because he is a very hard-nosed player. We have watched his progress very closely," Dawson said. "It's a big adjustment to come to the NBA from Europe, but he is a hard worker."
Rockets [then] Director of Player Personnel, Dennis Lindsey, stated the following about Spanoulis prior to the team signing him. "We're very, very happy with his progress," said Lindsey. "He changed clubs this year from Maroussi to the bigger club this year, Panathinaikos. For those not familiar with European basketball, they are like the New York Yankees of Greece and one of the two or three better organizations in Europe. They are an NBA level club. From our standpoint, we really like what Vassilis has done. He is their leading scorer. They are 9–1 in the EuroLeague and they have already qualified for the top sixteen."
Lindsey praised Spanoulis' offensive ability. "He's got a couple of characteristics that we like," added Lindsey. "He can really drive and get the ball in the paint, and he's relentless with it. He kind of plays basketball like a fullback a little bit, where he just kind of breaks through the line and there's contact on a lot of plays."
"The owner and Jeff and Carroll really like what they've seen so far and we've made a couple of trips over and hopefully in the near future we can have him as a Rocket because we think he can help us."
2006–07 NBA seasonEdit
Spanoulis saw limited playing time with the Houston Rockets during his rookie NBA year in 2006–07, averaging 2.7 points and 0.9 assists in 8.8 minutes per game, on 31.9% field goal shooting (17.2% from behind the 3-point line), in 31 games played off the bench.
During Spanoulis' first NBA season, there was a dispute between him and Rockets head coach, Jeff Van Gundy, over playing time. There was an issue between the team's management, Spanoulis, and the coach as well, over the contract that Spanoulis had signed. In order to sign with the Rockets, and fulfill his dreams of playing in the NBA, Spanoulis took a considerably smaller contract than the one that was being offered to him by his Greek team, Panathinaikos Athens. He still had two years under his contract with Panathinaikos, but his buyout was small, and could be paid by the Rockets.
Spanoulis agreed to play for Houston, at a price of $1,944,000 gross income per season, for 3 years, passing up on his former team Panathinaikos Athens' much larger offer of €1.6 million euros net income per season, over 3 years, just for a chance of playing in the NBA. Spanoulis made the Rockets' rotation, but eventually, there was a falling out between him and Rockets coach Van Gundy, after Van Gundy benched Spanoulis, after the coach claimed that he had played poorly, citing that rookie players are dangerous for coaches that are in contract years, and that Spanoulis was too turnover prone and lacking in outside shooting touch to be a good fit in Van Gundy's offensive system design. Said Van Gundy about the situation: "(Spanoulis) says, 'I was [Tracy] McGrady back home.' Great. McGrady is McGrady here," .. "I feel badly for him. He feels he was misled. Frankly, he's been his own worst enemy in many ways. Some of it is excuses. His turnovers have been high; his fouls have been high; his shooting percentage has been low. I would rather anybody start out with self-evaluation—what can I do better?—versus lash out and blame. Because I'm not playing him now doesn't mean he won't play in the future or we don't feel he could be a good player. I think he's allowed his disappointment to go to discouragement, which has, at times, stunted his improvement. We'll see. We'll see."
Spanoulis was traded by the Rockets, to the San Antonio Spurs, on July 12, 2007, along with a 2009 second-round draft pick, in exchange for center Jackie Butler, and the rights to Argentinian power forward Luis Scola. On August 19, 2007, the Spurs released Spanoulis, giving him the chance to return to Greece to play for Panathinaikos Athens, as he had requested. This was officially announced on August 23, 2007.
Allegedly, due to "family reasons," Spanoulis decided that he would not remain in the NBA, with his agent going as far as, comparing the Rockets reluctance to break his contract to slavery. Spanoulis, instead opted to return to Panathinaikos, to once again play in the Greek Basket League and the EuroLeague.
In June 2013, Spanoulis claimed that Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy told him on the first day he arrived at Houston that since he was a rookie, and unfamiliar to Van Gundy, he would be benched for the season. Spanoulis also claimed that the Houston Rockets' next head coach, Rick Adelman, wanted to keep him, and also that both Tony Parker and Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs were interested in having him on their team.
In November 2015, the General Manager of the San Antonio Spurs, R.C. Buford, confirmed to the Greek press that the Spurs made the trade for Spanoulis with the intention of keeping him and having him play on their team. Buford also confirmed that it was Spanoulis' choice to not play with the Spurs, and to return to play in Greece.
Back to Panathinaikos AthensEdit
On August 19, 2007, Spanoulis was released by the San Antonio Spurs, after deciding he wanted to play in Greece during the 2007–08 season. This was due to the fact that his mother was in poor health, and that Spanoulis wanted to be near her. Spanoulis signed a 3-year contract with Panathinaikos, the then defending EuroLeague champions. He was signed to play both point guard and shooting guard, along with fellow Greek national team star, Dimitris Diamantidis. Former NBA player, Šarūnas Jasikevičius, would later join them in the team's guard rotation.
The contract Spanoulis signed was for 3-years, at €5,500,000 euros net income salary, plus a $1,166,400 contract buyout from his NBA San Antonio Spurs contract (Panathinaikos paid the buyout, so it did not count against the Spurs' salary cap). Spanoulis' agent set up the contract so that Spanoulis could opt out of it after one year. Spanoulis originally stated that, after the first year of his contract, he might opt out of it and return to San Antonio to play in the NBA again.
During the 2007–08 season, Spanoulis led his team, Panathinaikos, in both points scored (661) and assists (215), over 36 games played in the Greek Basket League 2007–08 season, and 20 games played in the EuroLeague 2007–08 season. He averaged 11.8 points per game and 3.8 assists per game for the season, in 56 games total. Spanoulis was the Greek Basket League assists leader. He was voted as a starter to the Greek League All-Star Game, and to the Greek Basket League's Best Five Team.
Spanoulis helped Panathinaikos win the Greek basketball double, as the club won both the Greek Basket League championship, and the Greek Cup title in 2008. In the Greek Cup Final, against Panathinaikos' arch-rival Olympiacos, Spanoulis helped to lead his team to the championship cup victory, by scoring 20 points and dishing out 7 assists.
In 2009, Spanoulis led Panathinaikos to the coveted Triple Crown championship, as they won the 2008–09 EuroLeague championship, the Greek League 2008–09 season championship, and the Greek Cup title, all in the same season. Spanoulis was named the 2009 EuroLeague Final Four MVP, and also the 2009 Greek League MVP. Following this season, Spanoulis was named the Balkan Athlete of the Year in 2009, an award given to the best athlete of the Balkans region.
In July 2010, after much speculation concerning his free agency and his next contract, Spanoulis signed a three-year contract with the Greek Basket League club Olympiacos Piraeus, worth €13,200,000 euros gross income, or €7,200,000 euros net income (€2.4 million euros net income per season), plus team performance bonuses. In his first year with Olympiacos, Spanoulis won the Greek Cup, was named to the EuroLeague's All Second Team, and was the Greek Basket League assists leader.
In 2012, Spanoulis won both the 2012 EuroLeague and Greek Basket League championships. He was also named to the All-EuroLeague First Team, and won the EuroLeague Final Four MVP, for the second time in his career. He became the fourth player to win the award multiple times. Furthermore, he once again led the Greek League in assists. He was also named the Greek Basket League MVP, and the Greek Basket League Finals MVP. Finally, Spanoulis was named the All-Europe Player of the Year in 2012.
Spanoulis was named the EuroLeague MVP in 2013. He was also the EuroLeague Finals Top Scorer, and was named the EuroLeague Final Four MVP, after leading Olympiacos to the 2013 EuroLeague championship. He became just the second player to win both the EuroLeague MVP and the EuroLeague Final Four MVP in the same season, along with Dimitris Diamantidis; and he also became just the second player to win the EuroLeague Final Four MVP award 3 times, along with Toni Kukoč.
Spanoulis also won the Giuseppe Sciacca International Award for Sport, an award given by the Vatican to the World's Best Athlete of the Year, between the ages of 18 to 35, in 2013. He was also named the All-Europe Player of the Year, for the second time, in 2013.
Spanoulis signed a 3-year contract extension, worth €6,000,000 euros net income (€2 million euros net income per season), plus team performance bonuses, with Olympiacos in July 2013. With Olympiacos, he won the 2013 edition of the FIBA Intercontinental Cup, being named the MVP of the tournament. In May 2014, he was named to the All-EuroLeague Team, for the sixth time in his career.
In May 2015, Spanoulis was chosen to the All-EuroLeague First Team, for his performance during the season, his seventh All-EuroLeague Team honour. He led Olympiacos to the 2015 EuroLeague Final, and he also won the 2014–15 season's Greek League championship with Olympiacos, and was voted the MVP of the league's finals.
Spanoulis won the 2015–16 season's Greek League championship. In game 2 of the 2015–16 Greek League Finals, against Olympiacos' arch-rivals, Panathinaikos, Spanoulis hit a game-winning buzzer-beating 3 pointer. In game 3 of the Greek League Finals, he scored 11 points in the last 3 minutes and 1 second of the 4th quarter, to seal the victory for his team. In game 4 of the Greek League Finals, held at Nikos Galis Olympic Indoor Hall, Olympiacos won in the game's second overtime period, after Spanoulis hit another game-winning 3 point field goal, with 1.9 seconds remaining in the game. He was subsequently named the 2016 Greek League MVP, and the 2016 Greek League Finals MVP.
In June 2016, Spanoulis signed a new 2-year contract extension with Olympiacos, lasting through the 2017–18 season. The contract was worth €3,000,000 euros net income (€1.5 million euros net income per season). During that season's EuroLeague competition, Euroleague.net named Spanoulis the "Most Clutch Player in EuroLeague History". That same season, Spanoulis eventually led Olympiacos to the 2017 EuroLeague Final.
During the 2017–18 season, Spanoulis became the EuroLeague's all-time career leader in assists, and the Greek Professional Basket League's all-time career leader in points scored. He was also the 2018 Greek Cup Finals Top Scorer. In May 2018, he was named to the All-EuroLeague Second Team, of the 2017–18 season, the eighth All-EuroLeague Team selection of his career, which set a record for the most All-EuroLeague Team selections of all-time.
Prior to the start of the 2018–19 season, Spanoulis signed a one-year contract extension with Olympiacos, on July 2, 2018, at a salary of €1.2 million euros net income. He was named the MVP of Round 14 of the 2018–19 EuroLeague season.
During the Greek Basket League 2018–19 season, Spanoulis became the Professional Greek League's all-time career assists leader. He passed the previous record holder, Dimitris Diamantidis, in a Greek League game against AEK Athens, in January 2019. On 14 March 2019, Spanoulis suffered a season-ending peroneal tendon rupture on his right ankle, in a EuroLeague game against the Italian club Olimpia Milano.
After undergoing a 2018–19 season-ending right ankle surgery, for a peroneal tendon rupture, on 1 April 2019, Spanoulis began individual workouts again on 5 July 2019. After his return to individual training, Spanoulis signed a one year contract extension with Olympiacos, at a salary of €600,000 euros net income. On 29 November 2019, Spanoulis passed Juan Carlos Navarro, to become the EuroLeague's all-time career leader in Performance Index Rating (PIR). He accomplished the milestone in a EuroLeague 2019–20 season game versus the Italian club Olimpia Milano.
National team careerEdit
Greek junior national teamEdit
Spanoulis was a key member of the Greek under-18 junior national team at the FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship's 2000 tournament. Greece finished in third place in the tournament, winning the bronze medal. Spanoulis was also on the Greek under-20 junior national team that finished in first place, and thus won the gold medal, at the 2002 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship. During the 2002 FIBA Europe Under-20 championship's gold medal game, Spanoulis sank two clutch free throws, with just 13 seconds remaining on the game clock, to clinch a win over the Spanish under-20 junior national team, and win the gold. Spanoulis also played with Greece's national under-26 selection at the 2001 Mediterranean Games. Spanoulis was a key member of the team for Greece during that tournament. Greece finished in second place in the tournament, winning the silver medal.
Greek senior national teamEdit
Spanoulis was a part of Greece's senior national team that won the 2006 FIBA Mini World Cup. Greece beat both Australia and Germany, whose team included NBA star Dirk Nowitzki, to win the tournament. Spanoulis led Greece in scoring during the tournament.
Spanoulis was named the MVP, of both the 2007 and 2009 friendly Acropolis Tournaments, in Athens, and he also won the same tournament 9 times with the Greek national team, in the years 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, and 2015.
Spanoulis' retirement from the senior Greek national basketball team was announced on September 17, 2015, after the 2015 EuroBasket. He ended his senior men's Greek national basketball team career, having been the leading scorer in every major tournament that he played in, from 2006 onward (9 tournaments in total: 2006 FIBA World Cup, 2007 EuroBasket, 2008 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament, 2008 Summer Olympics, 2009 EuroBasket, 2010 FIBA World Cup, 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament, 2013 EuroBasket, and the 2015 EuroBasket). In December 2019, the Greek senior national team head coach Rick Pitino, stated that, "Just for the record, I would love to see Spanoulis join our national team”.
Summer Olympic GamesEdit
Spanoulis made his debut with the senior men's Greek national basketball team, for the first time, in the summer of 2004, when he was selected by his then head coach at Maroussi, Greek basketball legend, Panagiotis Giannakis, to be a member of the Greek squad during the 2004 Summer Olympics, which were held in Athens, Greece. Spanoulis was able to play in front of his home country's fans at Helliniko Olympic Arena, as Greece was the Olympic Game's host country. Greece finished in 5th place in the tournament, losing to Manu Ginóbili and the eventual gold-medal winning Argentine national basketball team, 69–64, in the quarterfinals. That was tied for the 2nd highest finish for Greece, in Summer Olympics Basketball, in its history. The 5th-place finish, making Greece one of the top 5 national teams in the world, was the beginning of Greece's great run in international tournaments during the 2000s (decade).
Spanoulis also played at the 2008 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament, where he averaged 12.8 points per game, at the main 2008 Summer Olympics competition, where he averaged 14.3 points per game, and at the 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament, where he averaged 19.3 points per game.
At the 2005 EuroBasket, Spanoulis was a key member of the Greek team that won the EuroBasket and took home the gold medal. It was just the second time in Greece's history, that the senior men's national basketball team won the gold medal at the EuroBasket, and the first time since the 1987 EuroBasket, when the legendary players Nikos Galis, Panagiotis Fasoulas, Fanis Christodoulou, and Panagiotis Giannakis, led Greece's national team.
Two years later, at the 2007 EuroBasket, Spanoulis was again part of Greece's team. Greece played the tournament shorthanded, as it was without key players, Antonis Fotsis and Sofoklis Schortsanitis, and was not able to medal in the tournament. Greece finished in 4th place in the tournament, losing in the semifinals game against the Spanish national basketball team, and its numerous star players, like Marc Gasol, Juan Carlos Navarro, José Calderón, Sergio Rodríguez, Jorge Garbajosa, Rudy Fernández, and Pau Gasol. Spanoulis was the game's leading scorer, with 24 points, and he also dished out 5 assists, but Spain got the win, by a score of 82–77, over the depleted Greek squad. Spanoulis led the Greek team in scoring during the tournament, with a scoring average of 11.7 points per game.
At the 2009 EuroBasket, Spanoulis averaged 14.1 points per game, and led Greece to the bronze medal. He was named to the All-Tournament Team. At the 2013 EuroBasket, despite playing most of the tournament with an ankle injury, Spanoulis was third in the tournament in scoring, averaging 16.7 points per game. During the tournament, he led Greece with a 20 point scoring performance, to a 79–75 victory over the world's 2nd ranked team in the FIBA World Rankings at the time, Spain. At the 2015 EuroBasket, Spanoulis led the Greek team, which had four players on it who had spent the 2014–15 season in the NBA (Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kosta Koufos, Nick Calathes, and Kostas Papanikolaou) in points per game and assists per game. Greece was ultimately defeated in the quarterfinals by Spain, by a score of 73–71, and finished the tournament in 5th place. After the tournament, Spanoulis announced his retirement from the Greek senior national team. He was Greece's leading scorer in every major FIBA tournament that he played in, from 2006 onward.
FIBA World CupEdit
Spanoulis was a member of the Greek senior team that competed at the 2006 FIBA World Cup, and he helped to lead the Greek team to the silver medal, as they finished in second place in the tournament. In the semifinals game against Team USA, he was the game's second-leading scorer, with 22 points (after Carmelo Anthony, who scored 27 for the USA), and along with his teammate, Theo Papaloukas, led Greece to victory over the USA, by a score of 101–95. Spanoulis led the Greek national team in scoring during the 2006 FIBA World Cup, with an average of 11.7 points per game, and he also led the Greek team in free throw shooting percentage at 87.8 percent.
Fans have dubbed him V-Span and Kill Bill. He is the first Greek-born player to play for the Houston Rockets, and he was the third Greek-born player to play in the NBA. His basketball idol, and favorite player as a kid, was Michael Jordan.
He has been friends with fellow basketball players like Roderick Blakney, Jake Tsakalidis, Shane Battier, John Lucas III, Tracy McGrady, and Steve Novak. He is good friends with Ioannis Bourousis, Dimitris Diamantidis, and Theo Papaloukas. He is best friends with Nikos Zisis, and he was the best man at Zisis' wedding. He is married to Miss Star Hellas of 2006, Olympia Chopsonidou and together, they have five children: Thanasis Spanoulis (born January 2, 2010), Vassilis Spanoulis Jr. (April 5, 2012), Dimitris Spanoulis (June 5, 2013), Emilia Spanouli (August 3, 2015), and Anastasia Spanouli (born September 25, 2017).
Club career statisticsEdit
|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.
|†||Denotes seasons in which Spanoulis won the EuroLeague|
Greek national team career statisticsEdit
|*||Denotes tournaments in which Spanoulis won a Gold medal (1st place)|
|**||Denotes tournaments in which Spanoulis won a Silver medal (2nd place)|
|***||Denotes tournaments in which Spanoulis won a Bronze medal (3rd place)|
|2000||Europe Under-18||Greece U-18||8||N/A||25.9||.579||.286||.786||1.1||1.9||.5||.0||10.1|
|2004||Summer Olympics||Greece Men||6||N/A||11.0||.444||.500||.750||0.7||1.0||.3||.0||3.8|
|2006||Mini World Cup||3||N/A||23.0||.429||.444||.706||2.7||1.7||2.3||.0||9.3|
Awards and accomplishmentsEdit
- 3× EuroLeague champion: 2009, 2012, 2013
- 2× EuroLeague Runner-up: 2015, 2017
- 2× Olympiacos: 2015, 2017
- 7× Greek League champion: 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016
- 4× Greek Cup winner: 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011
- 6× Greek League Runner-up: 2004, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018
- 5× Greek Cup Runner-up: 2002, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2018
- 1× Triple Crown winner: 2009
- Panathinaikos: 2009
- 1× FIBA Intercontinental Cup champion: 2013
- 1× Olympiacos: 2013
- 1× FIBA Europe League Runner-up: 2004
- 1× Maroussi: 2004
Greek junior national teamEdit
- 2000 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship: Bronze
- 2001 Mediterranean Games: Silver
- 2002 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship: Gold
Greek senior national teamEdit
- 9× Acropolis Tournament champion: (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2015)
- 2005 EuroBasket: Gold
- 2006 FIBA Mini World Cup: Gold
- 2006 FIBA World Cup: Silver
- 2009 EuroBasket: Bronze
- EuroLeague MVP: 2013
- 3× EuroLeague Final Four MVP: 2009, 2012, 2013
- EuroLeague Finals Top Scorer: 2013
- 3× EuroLeague MVP of the Month:
- February 2012, November 2012, October 2014
- 8× EuroLeague MVP of the Round:
- 2006 (2× – Regular Season Round 2 and Playoffs Games 1 and 2), 2014 (2× – Regular Season Round 8 and Top 16 Round 1), 2017 (2x - Regular Season Round 2 and Playoffs Game 5), 2018 (Regular Season Round 23), 2019 (Regular Season Round 14)
- 8× All-EuroLeague Team: 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2018
- FIBA Intercontinental Cup MVP: 2013
- Giuseppe Sciacca International Award for Sport (Vatican's World Athlete of the Year): 2013
- 2× All-Europe Player of the Year: 2012, 2013
- Balkan Athlete of the Year: 2009
- EuroBasket All-Tournament Team: 2009
- 2× Acropolis Tournament MVP: 2007, 2009
- 3× Greek League MVP: 2009, 2012, 2016
- 3× Greek League Finals MVP: 2012, 2015, 2016
- 2× Greek League Most Popular Player: 2015, 2017
- Greek League Best Young Player: 2003
- Greek League Most Improved Player: 2004
- 10× Greek League All-Star Game: 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2018, 2019
- 10× All-Greek League Team: 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017
- Greek Cup Finals Top Scorer: 2018
- 5× Greek League assists leader: 2005, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2015
- Named Most Clutch Player in EuroLeague History by Euroleague.net: 2017
- Voted Best EuroLeague Player of The 2010s Decade by Eurohoops.net: 2020
- #1 All-time in points scored in Professional Greek League
- #1 All-time in assists in Professional Greek League
- #2 All-time in 3 pointers made in Professional Greek League
- #1 All-time in points scored in EuroLeague
- #1 All-time in Performance Index Rating in EuroLeague
- #1 All-time in assists in EuroLeague
- #2 All-time in 3 pointers made in EuroLeague
- Raznatovic talks about everything!
- Bobby Brown inks with Olympiacos.
- Career advice for Billy, and a hero’s tribute for Dikembe.
- Rockets crush Spurs 93-72.
- Blatt hailed Spanoulis after first EuroLeague win together.
- "Nicknames "Brick Bill" "V-Span"". Interbasket.net. 1982-07-08. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- MVP: Most Vassilis Player.
- Reuters.com Spanoulis named Balkan athlete of the year.
- Eurobasket.com European Awards 2012 – Men Basketball.
- Euroleague.net, 2017-18 All-EuroLeague Second Team presented by 7DAYS.
- "Euroleague official website, Final Four MVP: Vassilis Spanoulis, Panathinaikos". Euroleague.net. 2009-05-03. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- "profile". Euroleague.net. 1982-08-07. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- Euroleague.net Spanoulis named bwin MVP of 2013 Final Four.
- Vladimir Stankovic's list: Top 10 clutch players.
- The best of the decade according to Eurohoops readers BEST EUROLEAGUE PLAYER – VASSILIS SPANOULIS.
- "FIBA.com profile". Archive.fiba.com. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- "Vassilis Spanoulis bio page". NBA.com. Archived from the original on 2012-01-19. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- "Panathinaikos brings back Spanoulis – On-Court – Welcome to EUROLEAGUE BASKETBALL". Euroleague.net. 2007-08-19. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- Eurobasket2007.org player profile info. Archived July 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- "ROCKETS NOTES: Spanoulis draws Nash comparison | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle". Chron.com. 2006-10-20. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- Rockets Blast | MVN – a Houston Rockets blog " Blog Archive " Lewis signs with Magic; Spanoulis whines to Momma. Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
- Spanoulis says he won't return to Rockets Chron.com – Houston Chronicle.
- "Phantis Sports Club Forums -> 2005–2006 awards". Clubs.phantis.com. 2006-06-15. Archived from the original on 2012-02-13. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- EUROBASKET – Euroleague Men 2005–2006 Basketball, Teams, Scores, Stats, News, Standings, Pro Basketball. Archived May 17, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- "Houston Rockets Sports Betting News MYSPORTSBOOK". Mysportsbook.com. Archived from the original on 2005-04-28. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- "New owners insist Sonics will stay in Seattle". Deseret News (Salt Lake City). July 21, 2006.
- Spanoulis, Vasilis. Archived October 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- EUROLEAGUE AWARDS 2005–2006., euroleague.net
- Papaloukas Wins Close Vote to Become FIBA Europe Player of the Year., Fibaeurope.com
- 火箭新控卫斯潘诺里斯：我是菜鸟 姚明是超级巨星 (in Chinese)
- "Houston Rockets sign Vassilis Spanoulis – Rockets signed Vassilis Spanoulis". InsideHoops.com. 2006-07-19. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- "NBA Salaries – Houston Rockets". HoopsHype. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- Guard Vassilis Spanoulis signs with Rockets., July 20, 2006
- Pierce, Damien (2011-03-03). "ROCKETS: Rockets sign Greek guard". Nba.com. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- Greece: Spanoulis Set For Take Off With Rockets., Fiba.com
- "Rockets' Lindsey praises Spanoulis". Clutchfans.net. 2006-01-19. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- "Spanoulis' NBA career stats". Nba.com. Archived from the original on 2012-01-19. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- JONATHAN FEIGEN, Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle (2006-11-22). "Spanoulis getting chance in Rockets' rotation". Chron.com. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- FRAN BLINEBURY, Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle (2007-01-23). "Spanoulis struggles with lack of playing time". Chron.com. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- Spurs Acquire Vassilis Spanoulis., NBA.com – July 12, 2007
- Spurs acquire Spanoulis in trade with Rockets., July 12, 2007
- "SPURS: Spurs Release Spanoulis". Nba.com. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- Spanoulis insists his Rockets days over., July 5, 2007
- Eurohoops.net "Coach Van Gundy didn't know me". Archived 2013-06-09 at the Wayback Machine
- Μπιούφορντ: "Παρακολουθούμε τους Πρίντεζη και Μιλουτίνοφ" (in Greek).
- San Antonio Spurs General Manager R.C. Buford On Vassilis Spanoulis.
- ΜΠΑΣΚΕΤ: V-Span...η επιστροφή. (in Greek)
- "Spanoulis returns to Panathinaikos". Interbasket.net. 2009-05-29. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- "Spanoulis Panathinaikos sign a lucrative contract". Contracostatimes.com. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- Euroleague.net Final Four MVP: Vassilis Spanoulis, Panathinaikos.
- Sport24.gr – Οι παλιοί MVP (in Greek).
- Υψηλές αποδοχές (in Greek). Ethnos.gr. Archived from the original on 2012-03-13. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- Euroleague.net Spanoulis named bwin MVP of 2013 Final Four.
- SPANOULIS TO BE HONOURED IN THE VATICAN.
- Spanoulis honored with prestigious Giuseppe Sciacca Award.
- Eurobasket.com European Awards 2013 – Men Basketball.
- Spanoulis signs contract extension with Euroleague champions.
- Euroleague.net OLYMPIACOS, Spanoulis will seek three-peat.
- FoxSports.com O Herói e o Vilão de Olympiacos 86 x 69 Pinheiros, pelo Mundial de Clubes (in Portuguese).
- Gazetaesportiva.net Olympiacos bate Pinheiros e vence Copa Intercontinental (in Portuguese).
- "2013-14 All-Euroleague First and Second Teams announced". Euroleague.net. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
- "All-Euroleague First and Second Teams announced". euroleague.net. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
- Vassilis Spanoulis 3 Point Buzzer Beating Game Winner 2016 GBL Finals.
- Vassilis "Big Shot" Spanoulis Clutch Time: 2016 GBL Finals Game 3 (11 PTS In Last 3:01).
- Vassilis Spanoulis 2016 GBL Finals Game 4 Winner Over Dimitris Diamantidis.
- Vassilis Spanoulis named Greek League MVP.
- Ο Β. Σπανούλης TAGHeuer MVP της Basket League ΣΚΡΑΤΣ (in Greek).
- Vassilis Spanoulis named MVP of the Greek Finals.
- TAGHeuer MVP των τελικών ο Σπανούλης (in Greek).
- Spanoulis, Olympiacos together through 2018.
- SPANOULIS IS HERE TO STAY.
- Vladimir Stankovic's list: Top 10 clutch players.
- Spanoulis becomes EuroLeague assists king.
- Spanoulis at the top of the EuroLeague All-Time list of assists.
- Spanoulis becomes top scorer in Greek League history as Olympiacos beats Panionios.
- Ο Σπανούλης 1ος σκόρερ της Stoiximan.gr Basket League (pics, infographics) (in Greek).
- "2017-18 All-EuroLeague Second Team presented by 7DAYS". euroleague.net. 10 May 2018. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
- Euroleague.net (2 July 2018). "Olympiacos, Spanoulis sign on for ninth season together". EuroLeague. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
- Round 14 MVP: Vassilis Spanoulis, Olympiacos Piraeus.
- Vassilis Spanoulis becomes All-Time Assist Leader in Greek League.
- Vassilis Spanoulis became the All-Time Assist Leader in the Greek League.
- SPANOULIS BECOMES BASKET LEAGUE’S ALL-TIME ASSIST LEADER.
- Olympiacos loses Spanoulis for rest of season.
- Vassilis Spanoulis done for the season.
- Vassilis Spanoulis undergoes surgery.
- Vassilis Spanoulis back in training.
- Reds, Spanoulis commit to 10th season together.
- Vassilis Spanoulis re-signs with Olympiacos.
- Spanoulis passes Navarro as all-time PIR leader.
- Olympiacos “suffocates” Milano in Spanoulis’ historic night.
- Olympiacos captain Vassilis Spanoulis passes Juan Carlos Navarro as all-time PIR leader.
- "Spanoulis is the new EuroLeague scoring king!". EuroLeague. 2 January 2019.
- Vassilis Spanoulis becomes EuroLeague’s all-time top scorer.
- Olympiacos captain Vassilis Spanoulis is the new EuroLeague scoring king!
- Eurobasket.com 2000 Under-18 European Championship. Archived 2008-04-28 at the Wayback Machine
- Eurobasket.com 2002 Under-20 European Championship. Archived April 25, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- EUROBASKET – Greek Basketball, Teams, Scores, Stats, News, Standings, Pro Basketball. Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- Rick Pitino: “I would love to see Spanoulis join our national team”.
- Rick Pitino @RealPitino.
- Eurobasket.com 2004 Olympics basketball results. Archived April 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- 14 to 20 Jul. 2008 - Athens in Greece. 7 - Vasileios Spanoulis.
- 2008 Olympic Games: Tournament Men Greece 7 - Vasileios Spanoulis.
- 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament Greece 7 - Vasileios Spanoulis.
- Eurobasket2005.com Greece national team roster. Archived January 9, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- Eurobasket2005.com Greece wins gold medal. Archived October 12, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- Eurobasket2007.org Greece team profile and roster. Archived May 17, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- Eurobasket2007.org final standings. Archived May 9, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- Spain – Greece Eurobasket 2007 semi-final box score. Archived July 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- Greece / Accumulated Statistics. Archived 2008-01-04 at the Wayback Machine, Eurobasket2007.org
- Healthy, present Spanoulis has Greece primed for podium.
- Spanoulis’ dilemma, Tyus and Cekovski out.
- EuroBasket2013.org STATISTICAL LEADERS – PLAYERS Points Per Game. Archived 2013-09-22 at the Wayback Machine
- Game: GREECE vs SPAIN (Group F) Date: 12 September 2013.
- EuroBasket2013.org Greek Plan Stuns Spain. Archived 2013-10-04 at the Wayback Machine
- "2006 World Championship Greece roster". Fiba.com. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- Pau Gasol (Esp) (2006-08-29). "2006 World Championship final standings list". Fiba.com. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- "2006 World Championship Greece – USA box score". Fiba.com. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- "Vasileios Spanoulis – Player Stats". Fiba.com. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- Greece 7 – Vasileios Spanoulis Player Profile.
- "Vassilis Spanoulis, Greece ...player profiles by Interbasket". Interbasket.net. 1982-07-08. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- Players Born in Greece – Basketball-Reference.com. Archived September 7, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
- "Spanoulis interview". Euroleague.net. 2009-04-27. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- JONATHAN FEIGEN, Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle (2007-10-11). "ROCKETS NOTES: Spanoulis just a memory | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle". Chron.com. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- JS Online:Todd Rosiak: Marquette Basketball.[dead link]
- Olagiatogamo.gr Νίκος Ζήσης & Φανή Σκουφή (in Greek). Archived 2013-11-04 at the Wayback Machine
- SPANOULIS, VASSILIS HEIGHT: 1.93 Stats.
- Vassilis Spanoulis.
- Vasileios SPANOULIS (GRE) participated in 29 FIBA / FIBA Zones events.
- "Reuters.com, Spanoulis named Balkan athlete of the year". In.reuters.com. 2009-12-23. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
- Vladimir Stankovic's list: Top 10 clutch players.
- The best of the decade according to Eurohoops readers BEST EUROLEAGUE PLAYER – VASSILIS SPANOULIS.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vasileios Spanoulis.|
- Vassilis Spanoulis at eurobasket.com
- Vassilis Spanoulis at euroleague.net
- Vassilis Spanoulis at archive.fiba.com
- Vassilis Spanoulis at nba.com
- Vassilis Spanoulis at fibaeurope.com
- Vassilis Spanoulis at basket.gr (in Greek)
- Vassilis Spanoulis at draftexpress.com
- Vassilis Spanoulis at esake.gr (in English)
- Vassilis Spanoulis at overbasket.com
- Vassilis Spanoulis at esake.gr (in Greek)
- AGONA SPOTLIGHT: VASSILIS SPANOULIS, AN ALL-TIME GREAT OF THE GREEK GAME