Greeks That Should Be Or Should Have Been In The NBA Series: Michalis Pelekanos
He is a defensive specialist. He is able to guard the 1, 2, 3, 4 positions. He can lock down almost any 1, 2, or 3 in Europe. The ONLY players in Europe I have EVER seen that he could not lock down on defense are Vassilis Spanoulis and Juan Carlos Navarro.
Pelekanos has locked down TOTALLY guys like Dimitris Diamantidis, Dejan Bodiroga, Nicolas Batum, Andrei Kirilenko, etc.
All things considered, this is THE most versatile and best perimeter defenser in one to one that I have ever seen in the history of European basketball. He is second to NO ONE in his defense. He is an absolute freak of nature on defense.
In terms of athletic ability, I can say that this may be the most athletic European player of all time. I am not alone in thinking this. Many people hold the same opinion. His lateral quickness, speed, quickness, leaping ability, agility, end to end speed, everything.....the guy has been given athletic ability that is off the charts.
I think back to when he was a young player with Greek club AEK and this guy was truly something out of this world as an athlete. Most incredible athlete I've ever seen play in Europe. Even now in his 30s he is still the most athletic player in Europe.
Offensively he has not been such a great player, but only a good one. Still, he is a decent dribbler, good passer, very good 3 point shooter, can create his own shot, can finish, can create for others, and was always a damn good dunker.
He SHOULD have been a starter in the NBA for YEARS. The lead scout of Italy's basketball federation once said that Pelekanos was the most physically gifted European player of all time. I probably would not disagree. He is the ONLY player to ever destroy and dominate Bodiroga.
Unfortunately, Pelekanos has always lacked something in his approach to the game mentally. He has the complete mentality of a team player and never wanted to be a star. He always just wants to blend into every team he plays on. Unfortunately, this and being very injury prone (due to his extremely high flying playing style) have held him back from being the best SF in Europe.
Still, all in all, this is a guy that SHOULD have started 10 years in the NBA. For a comparison to a current NBA player - I would compare him most to Tayshaun Prince. A shorter, more shooting guard like version. Only Pelekanos is definitely a much better man defender and way more athletic than Prince. Prince is a better ball handler.
But that is the NBA player from current time that I think he is closest to.
Here is Michalis Pelekanos in YouTube. Keep in mind that this is from when he is in his 30s, and only includes a very, very small amount of his highlight plays. For example, a lot of his best dunks and blocks are missing.
This is a known player, for a change. He's probably more athletic than Prince... it doesn't matter.
If he were younger, many people would be saying that he has a high ceiling and could be a decent prospect (pretty much the argument for having drafted Vesely so high)... but he's 31 already!! ... and he hasn't developed any offensive game except for open threes and breakaway dunks. He's never averaged more than 8ppg in the euroleague, so it's doesn't seem like he can dominate but he just doesn't want to.
I just don't see how he could have started in the NBA under any circumstance besides a blatantly-tanking franchise. Anyone who likes sports will definitely like his hustle and passion for the game, but in the NBA he's a role player in the best case scenario.
PS: I know you'll say I'm racist. It's funny because I always defend european propects... just not yours.
Because he is much better than many SGs in the NBA. That's why he could start in the NBA. Again with the nonsense that is imagined. How many freaking points did Rubio, Jennings, Gary Neal, Ty Lawson, etc. average in Euroleague? Them and many other NBA players.
Why don't you look it up and learn something.
You are seriously giving a bad name to all the trolls out there.
You are the troll.
He looks great, but like you say he's in his 30s. He is gonna decline in a couple of years, and his peak right now (his prime) is equivalent to that of a second year in the league late first round nba pick. The european style of play is more team oriented, he will be exposed in the nba with the 1on1 and individual match ups style.
Pelekanos can shut down almost any player in the NBA. He would NOT "be exposed on NBA 1 on 1". This guy completely destroyed both Batum and Kirilenko just last year and the whole time it was man to man defense.
I say block his IP address, and keep banning his accounts, he is spamming this site