Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
A giant not only in Greek sports but also in continental basketball, Panathinaikos stands as the mightiest force in the EuroLeague since the dawn of the Final Four era in 1988, with a whopping six EuroLeague titles won between 1996 and 2011...The Greens first took charge of Greek basketball with 12 domestic titles over a 17-year stretch between 1967 and 1984. After a dry period, Panathinaikos bounced back to become a top team in Europe. In 1996, Panagiotis Giannakis, Dominique Wilkins and Fragiskos Alvertis came together and secured the first EuroLeague title by a Greek team. A second EuroLeague trophy arrived in 2000, led by head coach Zeljko Obradovic, with a win over Maccabi Tel Aviv. The Greens won it all again in 2002 by upsetting Virtus in Bologna, followed by a thrilling two-point victory over defending champion CSKA Moscow in Athens. Two years later in Berlin, the Greens put their name on the title once more with CSKA again falling by 2 points in another of the most exciting finals in basketball history. And in 2010-11, EuroLeague MVP and Final Four MVP Dimitris Diamantidis – one of basketball’s 21st-century icons – shined as Panathinaikos turned away defending champ Regal FC Barcelona in the playoffs and then downed Maccabi in Barcelona for its sixth EuroLeague crown. |The 2011-12 season saw the Greens' streak of nine straight Greek League championships come to an end, and also marked the end of the Coach Obradovic era. Nevertheless, Panathinaikos was one win away from returning to the Final Four in both 2013 and 2014, and stayed strong in Greece with back-to-back league and cup doubles. More EuroLeague playoffs appearances and Greek titles followed over the next few seasons, which were also highlighted by point guard Nick Calathes setting the record for most assists in a EuroLeague season twice in a row. | Although the 2020-21 season saw the Greens fail to make the EuroLeague playoffs for the first time in more than a decade, there is no doubting the place of Panathinaikos in European basketball history.