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The history of the emperor of greek basketball

History

ΑRIS, the team with the yellow jersey and the God of war on the chest.

ARIS, the group that brought the modern basketball in Greece and riveted all Greek fans in front of their TV screens.

ARIS, the “Emperor” of Greek basketball and the best Greek team of the 20th century in all sports, as voted.

Always destined to star, ARIS began to conquer titles just a few years after the founding of the basketball section. The 21 titles (10 Greek Championships, 8 Greek Cups and three European trophies) prove in the most eloquent way the greatness of the “Yellows”, while the two stars above the emblem of the club brings awe.

Several of the personalities in Greek basketball wore ARIS’ jersey Great athletes such as Nick Galis, Panagiotis Giannakis, Phaedon Matheou, Harris Papageorgiou, and great coaches like Giannis Ioannidis and Anestis Petalidis, helped the sports history of our country to be written, while making proud not only ARIS’ fans, but all Greeks.

In this section are presented  some of the greatest moments of the glorious club of Thessaloniki. Special thanks to Kostas Idos, author of the project “The History of ARIS”, for his valuable help and for the material he offered.

ARIS, the “Emperor” of Greek basketball and the best Greek team of the 20th century in all sports

In the season 2008-09, ARIS finished in the 3rd place of the regular season of the Greek championship but lost the privileged 3rd place in the small finals of the playoffs against Maroussi. In the fifth game, in Alexandrio, the team of Andrea Mazzon was defeated, 72-76. However, due to the strong brand name of ARIS and to the extraordinary support of it’ s fans, Euroleague invited the club in the preliminary phase of the competition, through Wild Card. Despite reinforcement with players the like Nikos Hatzivrettas, Dimos Dikoudis and Michalis Kakiouzis, ARIS failed to secure a place in the groups of the competition, since he was eliminated by Maroussi in the first round of the preliminary phase.

In the following years, from the team’ s bench will pass coaches such as Fotis Katsikaris, David Blatt, Sharon Drucker, Lefteris Subotic and Vangelis Alexandris.

The season 2009-2010, ARIS- coached by David Blat- was excluded from the Euroleague from Maroussi but reached and “Top 8″ in Eurocup, and lost the qualification to the semifinals to Valencia. In the second match held in Thessaloniki on March 24, 2010, the Spanish team won 64-71.

In the years that followed (2010-12), ARIS played again in the Eurocup, and reached the Top 16 of the tournament.

2009

THE OBJECTIVES OF TODAY, THE DREAMS OF TOMORROW

2006

BACK TO EUROLEAGUE

The next step was the return of the team to the top club competition in Europe. The «ticket» for the participation in Euroleague became reality at the season 2005-06. With Andrea Mazzon at the technical leadership, the “yellows” tried to secure the ticket to the Euroleague initially through the ULEB Cup, having reached the final of Charleroi, Belgium, but defeated by Dinamo Moscow 73 -60. The big goal, however, was accomplished through the Greek Championship. In the series of small finals against Maroussi, ARIS was the one who prevailed with 3-2 victories, winning the last game in a closed St. Thomas Stadium, with score 59-63.

The return to the “salons”, in the season 2006-07, after an absence of 14 whole years, combined with very good performances until the “Top 16″ of the competition.

In Greece, with 21 wins and 5 losses in regular season , the “yellows” recorded their best year since 1991 by finishing in 2nd place. In the semifinals, however, they were unable to exploit the home advantage against Olympiakos, from which they lost in the fifth and last game, 75-83. ARIS won the privileged third place, after 5 games against Panionios, but the team of Andrea Mazzon won easily the last of them (73-60) and renewed the participation at the Euroleague.

In season 2007-08, with Gordon Herbert at the bench, ARIS reached once again until the “Top 16″ of the Euroleague. In Greece, the ending of the season 2007-08 was bad, after the team was eliminated by Maroussi in the first round of the playoffs.

In 1998 ARIS won the Greek Cup by beating AEK of Giannis Ioannidis 71-68 in the final, in front of his fans, but the change of the millennium accompanied by swelling of the financial and administrative problems. Signs of recovery, however, began to emerge during the 2002-03 season, when the “Yellows” manage to win the 20th title in the history of the club.

To accomplish this, they had two chances. The first was given to ARIS with the qualification of the Final Four of the Greek Cup, but the final against Panathinaikos did not have the desired outcome. Instead, the outcome was different to the Final Four of the FIBA ​​Champions Cup, in Alexandrio. In front of top personalities of world basketball (Vassilacopoulos, Martsoulionis) and living legends as Galis, Giannakis Ioannidis Petalidis, Papageorgiou, the Vangelis Alexandris’ «Yellows» prevailed 84-83 on the Polish Prokom Trefl in a shocking final, thanks to an offensive rebound and field goal of Miro Raicevic 4 ” before the end of the game. Captain Giannis Lappas, the star of the team, Willie Solomon, and Stack, Likcholitof, Gkagkaloudis, Nikolaidis, Grgat, Angelov, Kakaroudis lifted the trophy, which added the second star on the jersey of the team.

At the end of that season, ARIS entered a new path with the founding of “GENESIS”. A group of prominent ARIS’ fans took the initiative to take in their own hands the future of the team, which was now free of debts and the mistakes of the past, with the ambition to lead ARIS to the top again.

The season 2003-04 ARIS won it’s 21st trophy. After an eventful final, that was interrupted for two hours due to incidents and was completed after emptying the gym, ARIS won Olympiakos 73-70, at “Chalkiopouleio Stadium” at Lamia and added his 8th Greek Cup at his collection.

2003

TURNING THE PAGE WITH “GENESIS”

1997

THE GREAT STRUCTURE OF PROUSA

Four years later the time had come for the winning of another European Cup. This time was the Korac Cup.

The arrival of great foreign players like Jose Ortiz, Charles Shackleford and of course “crazy Italian” Mario Boni, combined with the Greek internationals Liadelis, Angelidis, Sioutis, significantly strengthened ARIS and his team demonstrated its quality in Europe.

The “yellows” successively ruled out Besiktas (Turkey 64-65, 77-64 in a dramatic rematch), Beompanka (82-68 in Thessaloniki, 70-61 in Yugoslavia), Peristeri (75-65 in Thessaloniki, 71- 64 the rematch, with the injured Shackleford giving a shocking performance) to reach the semifinals. They faced the Italian Benetton Treviso, who in the previous phase had ruled out PAOK.

In the first game, in Thessaloniki, the “Yellows” won with the fragile 77-73, but at the rematch they survived and managed to lead the game to overtime. In extra time, Boni took action and the final 87-86 gave the formal qualification in team of Subotic, making Greeks go crazy.

The opponent in double final of Korac Cup, was the Turkish Tofas Bursa, which made the big surprise in the first final, by winning in Thessaloniki 66-77. Nothing, however, has finished yet. In the rematch of Bursa, ARIS «transformed» and having a stunning second-half, outweighs the difference, reaching 70-88 triumphant, despite the hostile atmosphere. Angelidis Liadelis, Sioutis, Boni Ortiz, Shackleford, Stavrakopoulos, Nachar, Floros and Cholopoulos, as of course the coach Lefteris Subotic, pass in the history of the club, raising the Greek flag inside Turkey.

The dawn of the new decade marked the fall of the “empire” of ARIS, after seven straight championships (1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991), and also six Greek Cups (1985, 1987, 1988, 1989 , 1990, 1992). Indeed, the 1991-1992 season was very difficult because there were administrative turmoil (three different presidents), coaching changes (four different to the “wheel” with Ioannidis having already left), gaming problems (abstentions of players, due to financial problems) .The only joyful moment was winning the Greek Cup, beating in the final AEK with 74-62. But that game was proved to be the last of Nick Galis with the yellow jersey after 13 years of unfailing presence, which was full of group and individual discriminations

However, the first season without the gifted scorer, was to be followed by the coveted European title. Starring Roy Tarpley, the best foreign player who had played until that time in Greece, the “Yellows” made it to the Winners Cup having 9 victories – 1 defeat and sealed the ticket to the final by winning twice Zaragoza (84 -86 Spain, 82-66 in Thessaloniki).

The appointment with history was given on March 16, 1993 in Turin, against Turkish Efes Pilsen. With more than 5,000 fans on their side, Svi Surf’s players prevailed in a tough fight, characterized by the lowest score ever in a European Cup final (50-48). The trophy raised in glorification Giannakis, who had as his supporters Tarpley, Anderson, Gasparis, Misounov, Ioannou, Angelidis Vourtzoumis, Moraitis and Paralikas.

1993

AT THE TOP OF EUROPE

1990

THE THIRD Final Four – ZARAGOZA

In 1989-1990 season, after a spectacular run in the first round of Champions Cup, which was marked by the great away victory over European Champions Jugoplastica Split (85-89),ARIS makes history, becoming the first team to ensure for the third consecutive year its presence to the Final Four.

The defeat from the Jugkoplastica in Alexandrio, in the final game of the group, brought the “Yellows” face to face in the semifinal against Barcelona, ​​which emerged as the undisputed favorite, given that the final phase was taking place in Zaragoza, Spain. Despite the good start and the unique support 2,500 fans, ARIS was unable to resist the Catalans and lost 104-83, while at the small final that followed was defeated by the French Limoges with  103-91, finishing fourth.

The permanent Champion of Greece, even more thirsty for European recognition after the adventure of Gent, started once more as one of the favorites to reach the Final Four in Munich.

Having only one home defeat in the Champions Cup group from Maccabi Tel Aviv, but two wins against CSKA Moscow and Dutch Den Helder, the “Yellows” have ensured their presence in the final phase winning the Jugoplastica Split 96-85.

In the semifinal of Munich, having the support of more than 6,000 fans, the team of Gannis Ioannidis made a great performance against Maccabi Tel Aviv and until 28’ was controlling the game, 68-60. However, a conflict at that point of the race disorientated players of ARIS and Israelis took advantage of the situation to make the come back and get the win by 99-86. In the small final, the “Yellows” thrashed Barcelona 88-71, showing that they deserved something better.

1989

THE SECOND Final Four – MUNICH

1988

THE FIRST Final Four

ARIS has now become the absolute dominant in Greece, winning successive Championships, Cups and his ambitions are no longer limited within the borders. With the addition of Lefteris Subotic from the period 1986-1987, the “Yellows” require subsequent European champion, Italian Tracer Milan, the heaviest defeat in its history with 98-67 and show their potential, even if at the second game the Italians outweigh the handicap of 31 points and qualify (83-49).

The following year, 1987-88, ARIS is ready to claim the European title. With two pretty tough victories over the Swiss Pigi, is qualifying to the group with the eight best teams in the Champions Cup and shows that fears no rival: triumphs over Barcelona in “Palau Blaugrana”, 88-89 after a stunning appearance of Galis (45 points) and  key three-pointers by Yiannakis and Subotic in the last minute, forcing the holder of the title, Tracer Milan, to bow in Alexandrio with score 120-95 (50 points scored Galis and 37 Subotic with 7 three-pointers) also wins the finalists of last year Maccabi Tel Aviv 93-77 and Partizan Belgrade 96-85 in the game that marked the qualifying to the Final Four in Ghent.

ARIS, for the sake of which Alexandrio is full 4 and 5 hours before the begging of each game and monopolizes the interest of whole Greece every Thursday, travels in Belgium with a large number of fans with big dreams. But in the semifinal of “Flanders Expo” loses to Tracer of Bob Makadu with 87-82, after a dramatic game. Two days later, in the small final against Partizan Belgrade, ARIS loses also (105-93). The passion of the team’s fans, however, even forced the commissar of the NBA, David Stern, to express his admiration.

In the summer of 1984, ARIS acquires from Ionikos Nikea the second player – legend of Greek basketball, Panagiotis Giannakis, for 40 million drachmas. The team wins the first “double” in its history. In the Championship, the “Yellows” ended the season with 25 victories – 1 defeat, losing only to Panionios (84-82, second overtime). Something similar happens in the Greek Cup, where ARIS crashes every opponent. So, on May 9, 1985 won in the Peace and Friendship Stadium the first Cup, and the first “double” in its history, by beating Panathinaikos 86-70 in a magical evening by Giannakis (8/12 three-pointers, 37 points) and by Galis (33), who together achieved the same number of points that all the opposing team had score.

At the same time, this becomes the starting point for major European paths of the club, since the “yellows” exclude in the Korac Cup teams with European tradition, such as the Yugoslav Zadar, the French Le Mans and the Italian Livorno. However, on the eve of the semifinal with the great Italian Tsaokrem Varese, Nick Galis broke his hand and was forced to watch from the bench the first game. Despite his absence, ARIS prevails with 80-77 in front of 6,500 fans, with a three pointer by Yiannakis at the end of time, but succumbs in rematch with 95-71.

1985

THE FIRST "DOUBLE"

1983

THE GOLDEN ERA BEGINS

With Giannis Ioannidis back on the bench and Galis becoming permanent first scorer of the Championship, ARIS won the title in 1982-1983 season. He stayed undefeated at Alexandrio while achieving great victories over Olympiakos (109-88),  AEK (91-73), Panathinaikos (72-70 in front of 7,000 fans, in a crucial game) and PAOK (77-69 in the stadium of Larissa due to punishment ) On April 23, 1983, the return to the top becomes a reality. The roster of ARIS at that time consisted of: Paramanidis (captain), Galis (top scorer in the league), Georgiadis Doxakis, Karageorgis, Papageorgiou, Romanides Skondras Stamatis, Stylianou Toukmenidis, Tsachtanis, Tsitakis, Filipou and Christofakis, with coach Giannis Ioannidis and president Vangelis Melissaratos.

The following year, ARIS is again impressive and finishes the Greek championship with 24 wins and only 2 defeats, tying in first place with Panathinaikos. However, in the historic barrage of Corfu is beaten by the “Greens” with 80-76, while also gets defeated at the Greek Cup final, by PAOK (74-70). During the same season, however, the “yellows” won in the “Yad Eliaou” Maccabi Tel Aviv 75-76, a victory which was a huge success, but not illusory, since in Thessaloniki the team lost 62-68

49 years have passed since the first Championship in 1930. Since 1964 the First National Division is established and is dominated by Athen’s teams, but in 1978- 1979 season, the time has come to break the status quo. While Giannis Ioannidis is making his debut on benches and Haris Papageorgiou is “bombing” the rival baskets, ARIS lure his opponents and with the stunning result of 24 wins – 2 losses (lost only to Panathinaikos and Sporting in Athens) returns to the top. The “Yellows” achieved outstanding victories over Olympiakos (Piraeus, the game was stopped in the 31’ because Reds’ fans’ caused agitation with the score 54-58 in favor of ARIS, while in Alexandrio prevailed 85-82, the game which essentially decided the title), over AEK (82-83 and 91-89 in Athens, Thessaloniki), over PAOK (82-103 and 91-90 in overtime), over Hercules (66-68 and 91-84) and against Panathinaikos in Alexandrio (63-62).

The team roster consisted of Alexandris (captain), Papageorgiou (top scorer of the championship with an avarage of 38 points), Cholopoulos, Skondras, Paramanidis, Ananiadis, Vamvakoudis, Kalantidis, Spartalis Nastos, Spiliotis, Voreadis, Stylianou and Degermentzis. coached by Giannis Ioannidis and the president was Apostolos Georgiadis.

The conquest of Greece Championship 1979 was the catalyst for the creation of the “Empire” that swept everything in the 80s. A few months later, arrives in Thessaloniki a 23 year old Greek – American, child of migrants from Rhodes, who had emerged as the third scorer in college NCAA championship. His name? Nick Galis …

Despite the pressures of the Athens’ teams, Galis signs in champion ARIS and October 31, 1979  he watches the victory of his new team over the great Maccabi Tel Aviv 104-103 in overtime. On December 2, 1979, the greatest player of all time, makes his début in the Greek stadiums in the victorious game against Hercules (79-78), where Nick Galis scored 30 points, although having great stress.

1979

NICK GALIS, The “GOD” came from New Jersey

1955

THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL AWARDS

The history of ARIS in the postwar period was linked inextricably with the name of Phaidon Matheou, who was the creator of the male and female basketball section of the club. Thanks to his contribution, the club managed to draw twice in the top of the Championship of Thessaloniki with YMCA, but was defeated both times in the game for the emergence of a champion.

Since the early 50s, ARIS acquired his own outdoor stadium at Vasilissis Olgas Street, where was the base the Club of ARIS until the period 1959-1960.

Within the same decade came the first international successes for the “yellows”, who in 1955 were invited to the international tournament of Viareggio, in Italy. There, they reached the final, losing to Red Star Belgrade 48-46 and Phaedon Mattheou became the top scorer with 129 points in 4 matches.

Three years later, in 1958, the “Yellows” participated again in a tournament in Italy, Messina (6-8 August) and in Palermo (10-12 August), returning with four cups in their luggage. That same year, in fact, they defeated in Thessaloniki and Yugoslavia champion Beogkrantski with 61-57. The cycle of international triumphs of that team closed at 1959 in Liege, Belgium, where they won the title in another international tournament, by beating in the final Antwerp with a score of 61-45.

The “Yellows” participated for the first time in an official European competition the period 1966 -1967, when ARIS competed in the Cup Winners Cup as Greece’s second runner, but were excluded by the Israeli Maccabi Tel Aviv. Since that season, ARIS acquired new headquarters in “Alexander Sports Melathron of Thessaloniki”, where they are located until now.

In the period 1927-1928, begun the National Championship, among the top clubs of Thessaloniki, Athens and Piraeus, which had resulted to the spread of the reputation of ARIS. In the very first participation in the competition, ARIS finished in third place, to become champion of Greece for the first time on April 23 1930, by winning in the final , 32-22, YMCA, which hosted the event. Previously, the “Yellows” had successively won the Near East 43-23 and Panionios 64-27. Players of that team, which was playing without a coach, were Achileous, Danelian, Dimoudis, Zografou, Iasonidis, Karatzas, Benlian and Papafotiou, while the president was Giannis Angelou.

1930

THE FIRST GREEK CHAMPIONSHIP

1922

THE "BIRTH" OF ARIS BASKETBALL

Eight years after the foundation of A.C. Aris Thessaloniki, the basketball team of the club is «bοrn». From the first moment it showed the quality of a champion, winning five consecutive titles in the newly established League of Thessaloniki, between 1925 and 1930.

Basketball was still new in Greece, first time brought by YMCA in 1919. The teams shared an open stadium and first official competitions were held in November 1925, establishing Championship of Thessaloniki. ARIS triumphed with five wins in as many matches against the YMCA, Hercules,  AEK,  V.A.O. and Jewish Akoach. The same scenery was repeated the following year, since the “Yellows” defended the title by winning all their opponents (14-12 PAOK, Iraklis 15-4, 20-14 the YMCA and 20-8 AEK), but also in the following periods: ARIS was the absolute master in basketball in Thessaloniki and was conquering titles without defeat, even reaching some unrealistically scores. On February 9, 1930, while reaching his fifth consecutive title, thrashed Heracles with 93-7, while a month later (March 12, 1930) triumphed against PAOK with 51-12.