Three-time EuroLeague champion Vassilis Spanoulis has left a legendary mark in the history of European basketball. While his NBA career only lasted a single season, the league's superstars Luka Doncic and Giannis Antetokounmpo have looked up to him since they picked up a basketball.

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis  Antetokounmpo
Giannis  Antetokounmpo
MIN: 32.61
PTS: 27.63 (58.54%)
REB: 11.79
As: 5.71
ST: 1.13
BL: 1.67
TO: 3.29
GM: 24

BasketNews presents the story of the European Kobe - Vassilis "Kill Bill" Spanoulis.

The legendary career started in 1999 and came to an end this summer. 39-year-old Vassilis Spanoulis announced his retirement in a social media post.

Credit AP/NewSports – Scanpix

"I told club presidents that it was time to close the biggest chapter of my life, so I thanked them for what we had achieved together," Spanoulis wrote. "It was a difficult decision, but it was not sad."

Even if it was not sad for Spanoulis, the basketball community had to rethink what a spectacular player they had an opportunity to watch on the court.

Spanoulis not only won the EuroLeague title three times, but in 2013 he was named league's MVP. His collection also includes three EuroLeague Final Four MVP awards. Moreover, the iconic combo guard won the Greek national championship seven times.

He played for Olympiacos Piraeus for the past 11 seasons. Before that, Vassilis represented OLY's biggest rival jersey of Panathinaikos (2005-06, 2007-10).

Credit BasketNews

During the 2006-07 season, EuroLeague all-time leading scorer played for the Houston Rockets in the NBA. Though, his talent was underappreciated.

With the Greece national team, Vassilis Spanoulis won EuroBasket 2005, took second place in the World Cup in 2006, and captured a bronze medal in EuroBasket 2009.

Even though his stint in the strongest basketball league was short-lived, nowadays NBA superstars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic know what NBA basketball had missed. They both publicly expressed their admiration for the Greek basketball legend.

Luka Doncic

Luka  Doncic
Team: Dallas Mavericks
Position: SG
Age: 22
Height: 201 cm
Weight: 99 kg
Birth place: Slovenia

Giannis appeared on the farewell video and addressed his former teammate in the Greek national team, saying he would not exist without "Kill Bill."

"Thank you for what you've done for basketball and me," the NBA champ with the Milwaukee Bucks said.

"Only a few people had your mindset. That's why you were one of the best in Europe. You weren't the tallest or the quickest or the strongest, but you were a killer, and you worked hard. I've learned so much about you, and I keep going.

Just as you took the torch from Galis, I take it from you. We love you. Without Nikos, there would be no Vassilis, and without Vassilis, there would be no Giannis," said the reigning NBA Finals MVP.

For his part, Doncic took his hat off to Spanuolis in the post-game interview of Inside The NBA. When Shaquille O'Neal asked Luka about his childhood inspiration, Doncic was straightforward.

"Obviously, I looked at LeBron, but I mostly watched Spanoulis. I do not know if you guys know him, but he played in Olympiacos," Doncic shared his admiration.

What distinguished Vassilis from others was his clutchness and winning mentality. According to Sasha Vezenkov, Spanoulis wants to win in every aspect, even if outside basketball or simply a PlayStation game.


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