Saturday, May 23, 2009

"αντίο Αμερική," That's Greek for Goodbye, America

According to reports from the Orlando Sentinel, Florida point guard Nick Calathes will join the reigning Euroleague champions, Panathinaikos, or commonly known as PAO.

Calathes, who has dual-citizenship in Greece, averaged 17.2 points, 6.2 assists and 5.3 rebounds for the Gators last season as a sophomore... but the Gators managed to miss out on the NCAA tournament for the second time in as many years.

Calathes declared for the NBA Draft earlier this year, but didn't hire an agent, which left him with the option to return to Florida.

According to the Orlando Sentinel's sources, the agreement between Calathes and PAO nets Calathes $1.1 million per year, as well as a car, a home and tax credits.

Apparently the deal also has a buyout clause, in case an NBA team drafts the rights to Calathes.

As talented a player as Calathes is though, this move is probably better for him, as I don't think he's athletic enough to succeed in the NBA. Sure, he's a 6'6" point guard with great court vision, but I'm fairly certain the guy can't even dunk, and he barely jumps on his jump shot. (If anyone has visual evidence of Calathes jumping high enough to dunk, feel free to show me).

But as the report says, Calathes will probably be a a popular player for PAO, with his heritage, which will likely lead to some nice endorsement deals for him overseas.

Also, as good as PAO has been, historically, Calathes has this to look forward to. Yes, that's right, soccer-like shenanigans in a basketball arena. Sweet!

Just hope that Calathes learns the PAO fight song before he gets there:

"It's a magic weed, give me a little bit to taste, to dream of my PAO and shout as far as God: My Panatha, I love you, like heroin, like a hard drug, like hashish, lsd, for you PAO the whole world is stoned, (or: PAO the whole world is high on you), the whole world. My Panatha, my Panatha, I love you, I love you, wherever you may play I will always follow you, I follow you, PAO here, PAO here, PAO there, PAO there, wherever you may play we will always be together, always together. "

Oh, those crazy Europeans...

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