Best of 2021: EuroLeague greats called it a day – News

A lot of Turkish Airlines EuroLeague greats retired in 2021, so many that you could make an all-star team with them.

Vassilis Spanoulis and Felipe Reyes were the ones with the most significant EuroLeague careers, but many other great players decided to call it day, as well. All of them had great success in the competition and helped the EuroLeague grow into what it is right now: the marquee competition in European basketball and a reference in world sports.

Spanoulis left as the EuroLeague’s all-time scoring leader with 4,445 points, an average of 12.4 points over 15 seasons. When he retired, he also ranked first all-time in performance index rating (4,182), assists (1,607), field goals made (1,403), free throws made (1,131) and fouls drawn (1,583). He won three EuroLeague titles – with Panathinaikos Athens in 2009, and with Olympiacos Piraeus in 2011 and 2012 – earning the Final Four MVP award on all three occasions. Spanoulis led Olympiacos into the championship game twice more, in 2015 and 2017, and was chosen to the Euroleague Basketball 2010-20 All-Decade Team.

Reyes hung up his sneakers after a legendary career that spanned more than two decades, including 17 seasons in the EuroLeague. Reyes finished his EuroLeague career ranked first all-time in offensive rebounds (705); second in total rebounds (1,799), free throws made (967) and fouls drawn (1,308); third in games played (357); sixth in performance index rating (3,775); and eighth in scoring (3,029). He led Real to two EuroLeague titles in 2015 and 2018, and lifted the 7DAYS EuroCup trophy with Los Blancos in 2007.

Stratos Perperoglou spent his first five seasons with Panathinaikos Athens, winning EuroLeague titles in 2009 and 2011. He then switched to Olympiacos Piraeus, where he became continental champion for the third time in 2013. Scola helped Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz make it to the EuroLeague Finals in 2001, the EuroLeague Championship Game in 2005 and two more Final Four appearances in 2005 and 2007.

David Andersen was a three-time EuroLeague champion – with Kinder Bologna in 2001 and with CSKA in 2006 and 2008 – and the only player to reach the Final Four with four different teams – including FC Barcelona and Montepaschi Siena – during 11 seasons in the competition between 2000 and 2013.

Luis Scola helped Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz make it to the EuroLeague Finals in 2001, the EuroLeague Championship Game in 2005 and two more Final Four appearances in 2005 and 2007.

Pau Gasol began and finished his career with FC Barcelona, returning to the EuroLeague after two decades and helping his team reach the Championship Game in 2021.

Ioannis Bourousis played 15 consecutive EuroLeague seasons, winning the title with Real in 2015.

Nikos Zisis lifted the EuroLeague trophy with CSKA Moscow in 2008 and played in 16 EuroLeague campaigns.

Jonas Maciulis took part in 12 EuroLeague campaigns, highlighted by winning the EuroLeague title with Real in 2015.

Fernando San Emeterio played 10 EuroLeague seasons, claimed the EuroCup crown with Valencia Basket in 2019 and was chosen to the 2010-11 All- EuroLeague First Team.

All 10 combine for 10 All-EuroLeague First Team and seven All-EuroLeague Second team appearances, 14 EuroLeague titles, 56 domestic league titles and 45 domestic cup crowns. With their respective national teams, they combined for 41 continental championships medals – EuroBasket, in Scola’s case, FIBA Americas and in Andersen’s, FIBA Oceania and FIBA Asia Cup – as well as seven World Cup and nine Olympic medals. Scola led Argentina to a gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Gasol and Reyes won gold medals with Spain at the 2006 World Cup. Additionally, Gasol won two NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers, in 2009 and 2010.

Thanks to all of them and other 2021 retirees for their outstanding contribution to basketball!

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