One of the greatest shooters and biggest winners in the history of the sport of basketball, Turkish Airlines EuroLeague all-time scoring king Juan Carlos Navarro, has taken the next step in his unprecedented career by retiring as an active player to take a front-office position at his boyhood club, FC Barcelona Lassa, where he spent 20 seasons as one of the most admired professional athletes anywhere.
Barcelona icon, EuroLeague MVP
Navarro will go down as the most decorated player to wear Barcelona's basketball jersey and one of the biggest stars of European basketball this century. He made his Barcelona debut at age 17, on November 23, 1997, and spent his entire career there, except for one season with Memphis of the NBA. He led Barcelona to its greatest heights as the only player present for both of the club's EuroLeague titles, in 2003 and 2010. Navarro was chosen as the 2010 Final Four MVP and the full-season MVP a year earlier, at the end of the 2008-09 season.
Navarro's list of achievements, both with Barcelona and the Spanish national team, is second to none in European basketball. In addition to winning two titles, he was chosen as the EuroLeague MVP in 2009, one of the record five times that he was voted to the All-EuroLeague First Team: in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011. He was also a member of the EuroLeague's All-Decade team in 2010. Navarro was also chosen to the All-EuroLeague Second Team in 2012 and 2013. He helped Barcelona reach eight Final Fours.
EuroLeague all-time scoring king
Navarro leaves Barcelona as the EuroLeague's all-time leading scorer with 4,152 points. He ranks first in games played (341), three-point shots made (623) and performance index rating (3,890), third in fouls drawn (1,203) and free throws made (853), sixth in steals (249) and ninth in assists (834). Navarro was also chosen MVP of the month three times – in January 2006, April 2010 and January 2011. In his domestic competition, Navarro led Barcelona to eight Spanish League, seven Spanish Copa del Rey and five Spanish SuperCup titles. He also won the 1999 Korac Cup with Barcelona.
Medal collector with Spain
Navarro was equally successful with the Spanish national team, for whom he played a record 253 games and became one of four just basketball players to appear in five Olympic Games. He led Spain to the 2006 FIBA World Cup title and respective EuroBasket gold medals in 2009, 2011 and 2015. He was chosen as the EuroBasket 2011 MVP. He also won three Olympic medals – silvers at Beijing 2008 and London 2012, and bronze in Rio 2016 – and four more EuroBasket medals: silver in 2003 and 2007 and bronze in 2001 and 2017. Navarro won the 1998 U18 European Championships and the 1999 U19 World Championships with Spain, too.