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Nikos Galis Player Profile from the main InterBasket.Net page.
"I've seen Galis doing things that
I have not seen neither Lakers nor Celtics doing." -European and NBA
Hall-of-Fame player Bob McAdoo
One of the
best players of all times in Europe. I don't say this because he is Greek,
but because that is the case. He was voted as the best European player in
1987-8 (?). In fact I remember that Alexander Petrovic (brother of Drazen
Petrovic who was also a candidate for the prize that year) said: "Drazen
is my own brother, but I confess that I voted for Galis!!"
Galis was born in the States by Greek immigrants (from the island of
Rhodes) and graduated from Seaton Hall. His original name was Georgalis
but while in the States his parents changed it into Galis (Geor- Galis) so
that was easier for the Americans to pronounce it. He came to Greece and
joined Aris Thessaloniki in the mid 80's. Aris won countless trophies
while Galis was there, and played 3 consecutive F4's of the Euroleague.
Also Galis was the leader of the Greek NT when they won the Eurobasket of
'87 beating the Soviet Union in the final and Yugoslavia in the semis. He
is the all-time first scorer of the World Championships, Euroleague's F4's
and of other competitions which I can't remember. He joined Panathinaikos
in the early 90's and this was the beginning of the "greens" revival, both
in Greece and in Europe. Unfortunately he ended his career after a fight
with his coach in Panathinaikos. He left the bench during the game
(against Pangrati, I think) and he never came back. Undoubtedly he's the
greatest Greek player of all times. In fact the OAKA stadium (the biggest
in Greece) will take his name, as it was announced recently.
"I have the feeling that if Galis wants to
score a basket, he will score, no matter what the opponent does. He is
always determined to succeed." -Legendary Lithuanian center Arvydas
among the 2 or 3 best European players with Drazen Petrovic. Most of the
European people who know about basketball would claim at least that and
probably rightly so. Who was better between them (Galis, Petrovic, Sabonis)
is a subjective thing anyway. I cannot hide my preference for the first,
even though the second was a much better shooter. But Galis could
"balance" his body close to the basket in a unique way so he could shoot
successfully most of the times in front of anyone, regardless of how
tall he was going to be. No one else could and cannot do that at least in
Marcsulionis once said when they asked him after his NBA experience
(because he was a very good player in defense) with whom did he have major
problems to defend and after quoting a couple of names in the NBA
(probably one of them was Jordan) he mentioned one of them that the
journalist in the US didn't know. As you can guess it was Nikos Galis.
Most of the European players that have made a great job in the NBA have
played against Galis, but they were never as good as he was. And they
still remember him. Also when Jordan was playing in North Carolina State
alongside with Sam Perkins and Daugherty they played against the Greek
national team. Galis was making fun of their defense (I have the video
tape), even though the game was just a friendly one.
"I did not expect to find such a good
offensive player in Europe..." -Michael Jordan
The best of the best, the player
who changed the history of Greek basketball and put us on the map. Nick
was the all-time leading scorer of Seton Hall until recently but I have no
idea if anyone has passed him.
He was drafted by the Boston Celtics but he never played in the NBA so he
came to Greece to play for Aris Thesaloniki. When he first came he had
this huge afro hairstyle and from the beginning all he did was score, and
score and score.
When the other legend of Greek basketball Panagiotis Giannakis joined Aris,
they built an empire that won many championships in Greece, went to the 3
first European Final 4s but they never won the European title. The
legendary coach Giannis Ioannidis then left the team and the empire
collapsed. Giannakis later won the Euroleague in 1996 with Panathinaikos
but neither Galis nor Ioannidis did (even though Ioannidis went to 3 more
F4s, 2 with Olympiakos and 1 with AEK).
Galis led the National team of Greece to the European title in 1987. After
Greece won Italy at the quarterfinal they asked Galis if this was the
greatest moment in his career and he said "the greatest until tomorrow".
Then Greece won Yugoslavia at the semifinal and USSR at the final 103-101
with 2 free throws by Argiris Kabouris.
Then 2 years later in Yugoslavia Greece went to the Eurobasket Final
again, this time winning USSR at the semifinal...We (Greece) were a
country of 8 million people and the USSR was a country of 250 million
people and we had won them twice in two years with Nikos Galis dominating
the superstar Arvydas Sabonis. It was like a battle between David and
Goliath. I'll never forget that game.
Now Galis, who kept playing competitive basketball until his late thirties
when he retired because of a fight with his coach, has a basketball camp
in Halkidiki, where he teaches the children how to play the game. He never
tried to become a coach and has been rather quiet about his life. For
years after he retired there were rumors he would could come back and save
Aris but he never did.
For me he is the best European basketball player ever, a real legend and
the Michael Jordan of Greek basketball.
Links to Other Nikos Galis