History was made tonight in Athens and it was done by a man who has become accustomed to etching his name in the annals of European basketball history. Panathinaikos Athens legend Dimitris Diamantidis became the first player in Euroleague Basketball history to dish 1,000 career assists when he fed A.J. Slaughter off a screen for a three-pointer on the first play of Thursday night's Turkish Airlines Euroleague game against Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul at Olympic Sports Center Athens.
The accomplishment is just the latest for Diamantidis, who became the competition’s all-time assists leader last season when he surpassed former Greek national team mate Theodoros Papaloukas with his 978th assist. And the record is not going to fall any time soon; the closest active player to Diamantidis is nearly 300 assists behind!
Diamantidis’s list of career accomplishments cements his status as one of European basketball’s greatest players. He has led Panathinaikos to three Euroleague titles and was named Final Four MVP in two of them. Diamantidis was the 2011 Euroleague MVP and been named to the All-Euroleague First Team four times. The Euroleague Best Defender trophy has his name written all over it; Diamantidis was honored as its winner a record six times.
He holds the single-season record for most assists with 180 in the 2013-14 and is tied for third from his 2012-13 campaign, in which he dished 156. He also owns the fourth-best single-season assists-per-game average with 6.23 from the 2010-11 campaign.
Diamantidis is also the Euroleague's career leader in steals with 389 entering Thursday’s game and is the only guard ranked among the all-time top 50 in blocked shots (16th with 105 blocks). He is second in cumulative performance index rating with 3,213, fifth in career games played (227) and fouls drawn (848), eighth in three-pointers made (301) and defensive rebounds (692), 13th in scoring (2,095 points) and 14th in rebounds (850) with few signs of stopping any time soon.
Outside of the Euroleague, Diamantidis has also amassed a trophy case full of honors. Now in his 11th season with Panathinaikos, he has led the club to nine Greek League championships and eight Greek Cups. As a long-time member of the Greek national team, Diamantidis won the 2005 EuroBasket title and collected a silver medal at the 2006 World Championships.