- A Magical Night Dedicated to Dimitris Diamantidis -
For the final time in Panathinaikos’ history the #13 was worn. The Greek and Panathinaikos legend, Dimitris Diamantidis, was honored today by Panathinaikos and their fans for his his truly remarkable career at the “Diamonds are Forever” Tournament.
Dimitris Diamantidis announced his retirement at the beginning of last season. Throughout his final season as a player he was honored by many people, teams, and organization for his remarkable playing career. At the end of the season, his club of 13-years, Panathinaikos, announced that they would hold a tournament in honor of Dimitris Diamantidis called “Diamonds are Forever” where they would officially retire Diamantidis’ jersey with the number 13.
The two-day tournament that concluded today, included 4 of Europe’s most successful basketball clubs (21 Euroleagues between the teams): CSKA Moscow, Panathinaikos, Maccabi Tel-Aviv, and Barcelona. Panathinaikos defeated Maccabi Tel Aviv 78-68 in yesterday’s match before playing CSKA Moscow today.
Before today’s game, Diamantidis was honored by Panathinaikos’ President Thanasis Giannakopoulos. The fans constantly cheered his name “oe oe oe, oe oe oe, Dia-man-tidis” and asked for their captain to postpone his retirement. He took the microphone in tears expressing his love for the fans and thanking them, his players, coaches, and everyone that helped him in his amazing career.
At the end of the first half, Diamantidis entered the court for the final time as a Panathinaikos player with the fans continuing to sing his name. At a symbolic mark, with 13 seconds left in the half, the lights went out and a laser outline of Diamantidis’ #13 jersey shined throughout the stadium as a massive Diamantidis #13 jersey slowly rose to the roof of the OAKA Basketball Stadium (now Nick Gallis OAKA Stadium). The #13 jersey was placed next to #4 Fragiskos Alvertis jersey (retired in 2009), officially retiring #13 from Panathinaikos BC. On the court, Diamantidis did what he knew best, giving an assist in his final minutes as a player. In the end, Panathinaikos went on to win the match 80-73.
It was a truly magical and well-deserved night for Dimitris Diamantidis and Panathinaikos. “3D” is one of the best European basketball players to play the game and is regarded as one of Greece’s best athletes of all time. He will truly be missed on the court…
RETIRING DIAMANTIDIS' JERSEY
Take a look at Diamantidis’ final night as a Panathinaikos player. Photos from sportfm.gr...