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September 27 will go down in history for Olympiacos Piraeus fans as the day that the club officially bid farewell to the Vassilis Spanoulis era.

Several trophies, his family, the entire roster and staff of the team, the two presidents of the club (Giorgos and Panagiotis Angelopoulos), and some important figures of Greek basketball (like the new chairman of the Greek Federation Vangelis Liolios) were in attendance.

Vassilis Spanoulis

Vassilis  Spanoulis
Position: SG, PG
Age: 39
Height: 193 cm
Weight: 96 kg
Birth place: Larissa, Greece

They all came to witness the press conference organized by the Reds for the player who changed their fate forever and who announced his retirement from professional basketball three months ago.

In a rare confession, without having papers in front of him, 39-year-old Spanoulis unraveled the tangle of his career, talking about some important moments in his 22-year-long career in basketball.



Seated next to him, Giorgos and Panagiotis Angelopoulos had a lot to say about the Larissa-born former guard.

Beginning with the background of Spanoulis' transfer in 2010 and finishing with an upcoming friendly game that will take place in September 2022, when the jersey with number 7 is expected to be hung from the rafters of the arena.

When Spanoulis took the floor, all of his memories came to life.

"I made a very long journey in basketball, I learned too many things as a person. I created a very beautiful family, lived moments that I did not imagine, although I always had high goals.

I never imagined I would accomplish all of that. It's like a fairy tale to me. There were both good and bad times. The ugly ones toughened me, made me a better person and player - and made me lose my hair as well.

There were times when I wasn't the best teammate. I was tough, pushy, but I always did it to achieve our goals and for the team's best interest. The most important thing I've managed is to inspire quite a few young guys to be fighters.

That was my philosophy, to assert what I had in mind. I started in Larissa, came to Maroussi, then went to Panathinaikos, NBA, then again Panathinaikos. In all the teams I competed, I gave my best, but with Olympiacos, I found my Ithaca, I found the team that suited my temperament. I loved the team and its people, and I was loved to an exaggerated degree, something that filled me with honor and pride.

Everyone has positives and negatives. I was working and not saying many words. I want to thank the presidents. There were tensions as well, as in all families, but we always tried to achieve our best.

I wanted to evolve as a man and a player. I always had the courage to admit a mistake and move on for the good of our team. My wife, who was always by my side, my children always had a question to ask me, my mother and brother cultivated my character.

Misko Raznatovic (editor's note: his long-time agent), who helped make the transfer to Olympiacos, also changed my story. I'm proud, I feel very full. I've heard of depression, but I feel blessed. I gave my soul too. I tried and finished standing basketball, which is very important for me.



I suffered a couple of years from serious injuries I never had in my career. I was very lucky, and thank God for that. At last, it all came out together, as if God had told me that I could not bear all this.

It was a natural development of things. I always wanted to be able to help the team. I wanted to have dignity, to be remembered and loved as I was in my good years.

I didn't want to take the role of another player, I haven't learned to cheat or miss workouts, I haven't learned to stay out. Since I couldn't do that, I made the best decision for the team and me. I'll be open to a variety of things when I think the right time has come.

2011 was a period when the decision of the presidents radically changed the team's philosophy. My first season was not a success.

We wanted more than the Greek Cup. When this whole budget thing happened (editor's note: Olympiacos cut down their budget to almost 50% in 2011 compared to the year before), I said inside myself that I have to fight because everything happens for a reason.

There's always going to be a way to succeed, you just have to look for it inside yourself and believe in yourself and your teammates. We didn't expect to win the EuroLeague and the Greek championship. With the additions of Law and Dorsey, we became an amazing team.

The club will move on, and I'm sure they will have success. I support them fervently. Olympiacos have built an excellent team," were the words of Vassilis Spanoulis.

Meanwhile, the current brightest Greek basketball star, Giannis Antetokounmpo, admitted that without Spanoulis, he wouldn't be a basketball player.

"We love you. Spend time with your family. We learned a lot from Galis, we learned a lot from you too. Without Nikos, there would be no Vassilis, and without Vassilis, there would be no Giannis," Antetokounmpo said.

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