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Madrid loans Papadopoulos to Fortitudo
December 4, 2008
Real Madrid on Thursday announced that it has loaned center Lazaros Papadopoulos to Eurocup team Fortitudo Bologna of Italy for the remainder of this season. Papadopoulos (210, 28) has done it all in continental basketball as one of just three players who have won the Euroleague, ULEB Cup and the European national title this decade. Papadopoulos was also a second-team All-Euroleague selection following a stellar 2006-07 season with Dynamo Moscow. He was signed the following summer by Real Madrid and was averaging 4 points, 2.3 rebounds and 14 minutes per Euroleague game before Thursday's move. Last season, his first with Madrid, Papadopoulos averaged 6.9 points and 3.2 rebounds in 21 minutes per game. After starting his career with Iraklis of Greece as a teenager, Papadopoulos won a Euroleague title in 2001-02, his rookie season with Panathinaikos, by sparking the Greens to one of the greatest comebacks in finals history on the home court of Kinder Bologna. Three summers later, he starred with the Greek national team as it won the European Championships title in Belgrade, Serbia. By the spring of 2006, he was a protagonist for Dynamo Moscow's trophy run in the ULEB Cup, which sent him and the team back to the Euroleague. In 2006-07, Papadopoulos outdid himself, leading Dynamo to the brink of the Final Four with 14.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game for the competition's second-best performance index rating average that season. He was chosen for the All-Euroleague second team as a result. Real Madrid said in its announcement on Thursday that it will retain the contract rights to Papadopoulos after the loan to Fortutido ends at the conclusion of the current season.
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