A duo with so much in common, on and off the basketball court, 3× EuroLeague champion Dimitris Diamantidis and Nikos Filippou, a member of the 1987 EuroBasket team that stunned Europe, are featured in Episode 3 of the miniseries “The Lost Tapes, EuroBasket edition” powered by Stoiximan. They open up to Vassilis Skountis about all things basketball, the similarities between the gold-winning Greek National Teams of 1987 and 2005, the highs and lows of their careers and the vast knowledge (together with some funny stories) they accumulated playing professionally with and against so many greats of the game!
Dimitris Diamantidis is widely regarded as one of the greatest European players ever to grace the game, marking his era by being the most versatile player in the EuroLeague and serving as an inspiration to a whole generation of young European stars. He is the only player to have earned all four aforementioned EuroLeague end-of-season distinctions, even more so in a single year and the only Greek player who is a member of both the EuroLeague 2000–10 All-Decade Team and the EuroLeague 2010–20 All-Decade Team. At the age of fourteen, he started his basketball career with the youth clubs of his hometown team, AS Kastoria and five years later, he made his professional debut with Iraklis Thessaloniki, emerging by 2003 as an all-around star in the Greek League. He became a member of Panathinaikos B.C 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. His 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 EuroLeague’s all-time leader in steals since the stat was first officially recognized starting with the 1991–92 season, while on April 1, 2016, he was honored with a EuroLeague Basketball Legend Award. He also 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.
As a member of the Greece men’s national basketball team, Diamantidis won a EuroBasket gold medal in 2005, 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, while he led that tournament in assists, and was a part of the All-EuroBasket Team. In 2006, he also 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. He 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 and the Greek Male Athlete of the Year in 2007.
Nikos Filippou meanwhile won 8 Greek League championships (1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991) and 5 Greek Cups (1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990) playing next to Nick Galis and Panagiotis Giannakis for Aris B.C. where he reached the EuroLeague Final Four three times. In 1991, he moved to PAOK B.C., and with them he won the Greek League championship in 1992 while also reaching the EuroLeague Final Four in 1993. He was a member of the senior men’s Greek national teams that won the gold medal at the 1987 EuroBasket, and the silver medal at 1989 EuroBasket, while he also played with Greece at the 1986 FIBA World Championship. As the team manager of the senior men’s Greek national team, he won the gold medal at the 2005 EuroBasket, and the silver medal at the 2006 FIBA World Championship, wrapping up a career with so many accolades.
Stay tuned for the last episode of “The Lost Tapes, EuroBasket Edition” with another very special guest…!
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