Olympiacos Piraeus (Greece-ESAKE)Career:
Gymnastikos Larissa (Greece-A2 Division, 99-2001); Maroussi (Greece-ESAKE, 2001-05); Panathinaikos (Greece-ESAKE, 2005-06); Houston Rockets (USA-NBA, 2006-07); Panathinaikos (Greece-ESAKE, 2007-10); Olympiacos Piraeus (Greece-ESAKE, 2010-13)
EuroBasket 2013 is of particular significance to Vassilis Spanoulis, although this is not immediately apparent in the case of a player who has won every possible distinction - both collective and individual - at club level. The combo guard took two big risks in his career that eventually enabled him to reach the stardom status he enjoys today. The first one was to try his hand in the NBA with Houston; the attempt failed, as he did not adapt to life in the USA and perhaps because his style of play is mostly compatible with the European game. The second was his highly controversial decision in 2010 to join Olympiacos from arch-rivals Panathinaikos. He was vindicated for the move beyond any expectation, as he became the conductor of the Piraeus orchestra and led the club to two consecutive Euroleague titles, the first more improbable than the second. His only pending challenge remaining is to lead the national team to a similar success, something more than the bronze medal of EuroBasket 2009, as he was too young to play an important role in the conquest of the gold medal at EuroBasket 2005 and still not the go-to player when Greece captured bronze at the 2006 FIBA World Championship.