Theodoros Papaloukas

Infobox Euroleague Player


caption = Papaloukas #4.
name = Theodoros "Theo" Papaloukas
Θεόδωρος "Θοδωρής" Παπαλουκάς
nickname =
position = Point guard
Point forward
height_ft = 6 | height_in = 6.75
weight_lbs = 215
league = Greek League
Euroleague
team = Olympiacos
jersey =| number =
nationality = Greek
birth_date = birth date and age|1977|5|8
birth_place = flagicon|GRC Athens, Greece
college =
draft =
draft_year =
draft_team =
career_start = 1995
career_end =
former_teams = Ambelokipi (1995–1997)
AO Dafni Athens (1997–1999)
Panionios (1999–2001)
Olympiacos (2001-2002)
CSKA Moscow (2003–2008)

awards = Greek A2 League MVP 1999
Euroleague 2005-06 Final Four MVP
FIBA Europe European Player of the Year 2006
Euroleague 2006-07 MVP
Euroleague 35 Greatest Euroleague Players 2008
championships =

Theódoros "Theo" Papaloukás (in Greek: Θεόδωρος "Θοδωρής" Παπαλουκάς; born May 8th, 1977) is a Greek top professional basketball player who is currently with the Greek League and Euroleague club Olympiacos.

Player Profile

Papaloukas is a 2.00 m (6 ft 7 in) in height player that can play as either a point guard, shooting guard or point forward on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court. He is a pass first play maker, or "pure point guard" with a distinctive style of play. His play making ability and pass first or "pure" point guard skills at his height, combined with his versatility to play multiple positions on the basketball court on both ends of the floor make him an extraordinary player. He is also the Euroleague's all time record holder in both career steals and assists. Papaloukas was selected to the Euroleague's 50th anniversary 50 Greatest Euroleague Contributors list as one of the Euroleague's 35 greatest all time players in 2008. He has been given the nickname "The Thread" because of his unique ability to complete passes through opposing defenses. He is a Magic Johnson type player.

Professional career

Greece

A native of Athens, Greece, Papaloukas began his career at the small local Athens junior team Ethnikos Ellinoroson. He then played for another small, but at the time rising club called Ampelokipoi, with whom he began his pro career with in 1995. He then transferred to Dafni Athens of the Greek A2 League in the year 1997 and then he next transferred to Panionios, a mid-level traditional basketball club of the Greek A1 League in the year 1999. Papaloukas finally moved to Olympiacos, a long-time Greek League power as well as one of the long-time powers of the Euroleague in the year 2001.

With Dafni BC, Papaloukas won the Greek A2 League Championship and league MVP award in the 1998-1999 season. With Olympiacos, he led the Greek A1 League in assists in the 2000-2001 season. After what was an embarrassing 2001-2002 season both for him and for Olympiacos, he moved to another Euroleague powerhouse, the Russian Super League club CSKA Moscow in 2002.

On June 20th, 2008, Papaloukas was released from his contract by CSKA Moscow and he signed a 3 year contract with Olympiacos BC, making a return to Greece and his former team. Papaloukas signed through the 2010-2011 season, with an annual salary of €3.5 million euros net.

CSKA Moscow

With 19 points in the Euroleague 2005-06 semifinal against FC Barcelona, and another 18 points at the final against back-to-back European Champion Maccabi Tel Aviv, Papaloukas was awarded the Euroleague 2005-06 Final Four MVP award, having also been named the best point guard of the Euroleague for 2005-2006. Alongside him on the first team were the best shooting guard Juan Carlos Navarro of Barça, best small forward Anthony Parker of Maccabi (the Euroleague 2005-06 MVP), best power forward Luis Scola of TAU Cerámica, and best center Nikola Vujčić of Maccabi.

In 2007, Papaloukas was voted the MVP of the Euroleague 2006-07 for the regular season. CSKA advanced to the final against Panathinaikos held on the Greens' home court of Athens Olympic Indoor Hall (which had been chosen as the site more than a year in advance). Panathinaikos won the game by a score of 93-91 in a very exciting game. Papaloukas scored 23 points and dished out 8 assists, but a number of sportswriters intimated that he did not receive adequate support from his CSKA teammates and thus his team lost the final. Papaloukas was also a key member of CSKA's Euroleague 2007-08 championship team.

Papaloukas has been pursued by the Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, and the Miami Heat to fill their point guard spot. On July 7, 2007, Greek newspapers reported that Papaloukas agreed to a newly-structured 3-year contract with CSKA, worth €10.5 million net (equivalent to about $15 million net at the time). He had the option to leave his contract with no buyout at any time, and he did so just one year later, when he signed with Olympiacos.

Euroleague statistics

[Euroleague official website, Theodoros Papaloukas' page, [http://www.euroleague.net/competition/players/showplayer?clubcode=csk&pcode=ATW] ]

Greek National Team

He is a core element of the Greek National Basketball Team. He has played at the European Championships of Eurobasket 2001 in Turkey, Eurobasket 2003 in Sweden, Eurobasket 2005 in Serbia and Montenegro, and Eurobasket 2007 in Spain.

Papaloukas, who was already well-established in European basketball as a result of appearances in three consecutive Euroleague Final Fours with CSKA Moscow, achieved an acclaimed position among the elite of European basketball at the Eurobasket 2005 in Serbia and Montenegro. After a series of mediocre performances in the first round, he led Greece to a victory over the Russian National Basketball Team in the quarterfinals and orchestrated a major comeback against the French National Basketball Team in the semifinal, when Greece was down 7 points with 47 seconds left on the clock.

In the final against the German National Basketball Team, led by the prodigious NBA All-Star Dirk Nowitzki, Papaloukas scored 22 points, leading Greece comfortably to its second European title, eighteen years after its first win at the 1987 Eurobasket. As such, Papaloukas was selected to the top-5 team of the 2005 European Championship, along with fellow Greek team player Dimitris Diamantidis, Spanish National Basketball Team shooting guard Juan Carlos Navarro, French National Team swingman and NBA player Boris Diaw, and Nowitzki, who also claimed the MVP title.

Papaloukas also joined the elite club of players who have achieved the European title at both the national and club levels during the same year, as he won the Euroleague title with CSKA at the Final Four in Prague, 28 April-30, 2006.

Papaloukas climbed to the second position of global basketball as he, along with his fellow Greek team players, drove Greece to the final of the 2006 World Championship in Japan, losing there in the final to the Spanish National Basketball Team. In Greece's win over Team USA in the semifinal by a score of 101-95, Papaloukas had 12 assists, 8 points and 5 rebounds. He also earned a place on the all-tournament team, which also included the tournament MVP Pau Gasol of The Spanish Team, Gasol's teammate Jorge Garbajosa, Team USA's Carmelo Anthony and Manu Ginobili of the Argentina National Basketball Team.

His most formidable personal recognition came on January 26, 2007, when it was announced by FIBA Europe that he was voted by fans and journalists as the European International Player of The Year for 2006, topping the likes of Nowitzki, Gasol, and Tony Parker. In the summer of 2008, Papaloukas became the captain of Greece's national team.

Awards and Accomplishments

Pro Clubs

*1999 won the Greek A2 League Championship with Dafni BC
*1999 Greek A2 League MVP
*Led the Greek A1 League in assists in 2001
*2001 Greek A1 League All Star Game
*2002 won the Greek National Cup with Olympiacos BC
*Won 6 Russian National Championships 2003-2008 with CSKA Moscow
*Won 3 Russian National Cups 2005-2007 with CSKA Moscow
*2-Time Euroleague Champion Euroleague 2005-06, Euroleague 2007-08 with CSKA Moscow
*2-Time All-Euroleague 1st Team Euroleague 2005-06, Euroleague 2006-07
*Euroleague 2005-06 Final Four MVP
*2006 won the Triple Crown Championship with CSKA Moscow
*Euroleague 2006-07 MVP
*All-Euroleague 2nd Team Euroleague 2007-08
*All-time Euroleague record holder in career steals
*All-time Euroleague record holder in career assists
* Selected to the Euroleague 50th anniversary 50 Greatest Euroleague Contributors list as one of the Euroleague's 35 greatest all time players in 2008

Greek National Team

*Won 7 Acropolis Tournaments 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 with Greece
*Gold medal at the 2005 European Championship with Greece
*2005 European Championship All Tournament Team
*Won the 2006 Stanković Continental Champions’ Cup with Greece
*Won the silver medal at the 2006 FIBA World Championship with Greece
*2006 FIBA World Championship All Tournament Team
*2006 FIBA Europe European International Player of The Year

Video Highlights

* [http://youtube.com/watch?v=g98ZR90KuEE "Greek Magic" Theo Papaloukas World's Greatest Play Maker]

External links

* [http://www.papaloukas.net Theodoros Papaloukas' official website] el icon/en icon
* [http://www.euroleague.net/competition/players/showplayer?gamecode=216&pcode=ATW Euroleague.net player profile]
* [http://www.cskabasket.com/team/?a=player&p=8309&season=56&lang=en CSKA Moscow player profile]
* [http://www.interbasket.net/players/papaloukas.htm Interbasket.net player profile]
* [http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Theodoros-Papaloukas-5112/ Draftexpress.com player profile]
* [http://www.nbadraft.net/2007athens002.asp NBADraft.net article on Papaloukas at the Euroleague Final Four]
* [http://www.basketpedya.com/Acc002InfJug.php?idjug=9491&idioma=3 Career at basketpedya.com]
* [http://eurobasket2005.fibaeurope.com/en/cid_SbGnUV12IgwUcAUu7UmfU1.teamID_288.compID_qMRZdYCZI6EoANOrUf9le2.season_2005.roundID_3769.coid_dy8NLcUpIqYqy5qCbpGal2.articleMode_on.html Eurobasket2005.com Papaloukas All First Team 2005 European Championship]
* [http://www.fiba.com/pages/eng/fe/06_wcm/news/lateNews/p/newsid/16276/FE_news_lateNews_arti.html FIBA.com Papaloukas All First Team 2006 World Championship]
* [http://www.fibaeurope.com/cid_rdCa0AljHPAjbl9YuZSHL2.coid_kl-Qub2wHLUH0UwthgNad1.articleMode_on.html FIBAEurope.com Papaloukas Voted Best European Player]
* [http://www.fibaeurope.com/cid_rdCa0AljHPAjbl9YuZSHL2.coid_vGxXDWkNJDM4iTfSi42cI3.articleMode_on.html From FIBA Europe official website: "Papaloukas Legend Grows With FIBA Europe Player Of Year Honor" {26 January 2007} by Jeff Taylor]


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