Vassilis Spanoulis recalled the two times he had the chance to sign with Olympiacos before eventually making the big move.


Vassilis Spanoulis will be honored by Olympiacos Piraeus on Sunday night (19:00 CEST) for his huge contribution to the club's growth into a EuroLeague powerhouse.

The 41-year-old retired player and current coach was the man who helped the Reds ascend to the top of both the EuroLeague and the Greek league. Spanoulis played with Olympiacos from 2010 through 2021, when he retired.

He won two EuroLeague and three domestic leagues (2012, 2015, 2016) with the Piraeus-based club, after lifting four Greek league trophies (2006, 2008, 2009, 2010) and the 2009 EuroLeague with Panathinaikos Athens. 

In an interview with NOVASPORTS, which will broadcast the game between Olympiacos and EA7 Emporio Armani Milan (20:00 CEST), Spanoulis recalled his decision to join PAO's biggest rivals. The EuroLeague legend said signing with the Reds had been a long-term desire, since he was playing with Maroussi.

"At that time, Olympiacos hadn't had much success for 15 years. They were falling behind in terms of titles. A team with so many fans, with millions of people behind it... I always wanted to go to a team like that," the head coach of Peristeri confessed. 

Spanoulis had two chances to sign with the Reds. The first was in 2005, when he left Maroussi and opted to move to Panathinaikos. The second came in 2007, after he returned to Europe following his unsuccessful stint with the Houston Rockets in 2006-07. 

"Ever since I left Maroussi, I wanted to go to Olympiacos," Spanoulis continued. "We had talks back then. But the transfer just fell through. My first goal was to sign with Olympiacos, even after I returned from the NBA, but things didn't work out. 

I wanted something different -- to lead a team that had not achieved anything in recent years and help it succeed in my own way. That was what motivated me and gave me life," the three-time EuroLeague winner concluded.

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