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Panagiotis Giannakis Looking For NBA Coaching Position

Legendary European coach Panagiotis Giannakis is looking to coach in the NBA, reports David Pick

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Euro legend coach Panagiotis Giannakis – architect of the Greek national team that knocked off Mike Krzyzewski and the USA at the 2006 Mundobasket – is fishing for a position on an NBA bench.

Basketball Insiders has learned that Giannakis, a 56-year-old native of Greece, visited several NBA training camps, networking his ambitions to make the jump to the NBA.

Sources told Basketball Insiders that Giannakis visited the Milwaukee Bucks training camp and his homeland superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Giannakis, according to sources, is scheduled to attend training camps of the Detroit Pistons and the Indiana Pacers, and has received invitations to others. Pacers associate coach Nate McMillan served under “Coach K” in USA’s 2006 FIBA World Championship loss to Greece.

NBA officials have been praising Giannakis, highlighting his pick-and-roll schemes. NBA agent Keith Kreiter of Edge Sports, who represents the Greek wizard in America, has been looking into coaching opportunities around the association. Giannakis’ daughter, Kalliope, is a college student living in New York.

Fueled by all-time elite European floor generals and Euroleague champions Theodoros Papaloukas, Dimitris Diamantidis and Vassilis Spanoulis, the Greek national team eliminated a star-loaded USA squad featuring LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Joe Johnson, Chris Bosh and Dwight Howard, 101-95 in the World Championship semifinals.

In 2008, Giannakis lured former NBA Draft lotto pick Josh Childress overseas with a monster three-season, $20 million contract.

Panagiotis Giannakis is the lone individual in European history to win the FIBA EuroBasket as a player and then as a coach in 2005. Both with the Hellas national-team.

Serbian tactician Svetislav Pesic won the Euroleague titles as a guard in 1979, and coach in 2003. But no other coach, however, collected FIBA Gold medals under different hats.

Profile

His pro-career began in 1971 at Ionikos Nikaias. Giannakis was just 13-years old before getting called up to the pro-level. In 1980 he led the Greek league in scoring. In 1981 he scored a career-high 73 points against Greek rivals Aris Thessaloniki. Giannakis then transitioned to Aris, orchestrating its offense into a top ranked contender. Giannakis, picked 205th overall by the Boston Celtics in the 1982 NBA Draft, collected 16 championships in his pro-career, including the Euroleague title in 1996 with Greek giant Panathinaikos.

Coaching resume

Giannakis’ first gig as a head coach came in 1997 for the Greek national-team, whom he guided to the No. 4 seeds at the FIBA EuroBasket and 1998 FIBA World Championship; No. 5 seed in the 2004 Olympics; Gold medal campaign at the 2005 FIBA EuroBasket; and Silver medal in 2006 at the FIBA World Games, eliminating the United States in the semifinals.

Giannakis also dipped into the pro-club pool, coaching Greek mid-level clubs Panionios and Maroussi, and Euroleague muscle Olympiacos, winning the 2010 Greek Cup, and qualifying for the Euroleague finals. Giannakis also coached French club Limoges, and the Chinese national-team at the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship.

David Pick has extensively covered European basketball and American players abroad since 2010. His work can be found at Eurobasket.com and ONE.co.il. Follow him on Twitter @iamdpick

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