"The first time I saw Dimitris Diamantidis in action was more than 14 years ago, I was the head coach of Real Madrid, preparing a match against Panathinaikos and I watched one of his performances with Iraklis. He was kind of weak back then, without serious role in the court, but I understood immediately that he had something special.
I remember his european debut against Unicaja Malaga, he did not play very well but did everything in order to help his team win the game. He was never interested in just scoring, but we wanted to make his teammates better.
I was there when Dimitris announced his retirement from Greece National Team after our victory against them in World Cup of 2010, this decision overshadowed everything inside the Press Conference room, it was more important than that result of the clash for many people.
The most interesting thing about him is the evolution he had in his game during the years, from a weak shooter he became the player who scored so many decisive 3-point shots with Panathinaikos and Greece, such as the one against France in Eurobasket 2005 semi final. The work of Zeljko Obradovic with him was extremely important for his career, he believed in Diamantidis from the first day and helped him build his confidence and become one of the biggest decision makers and clutch players in european basketball's history.
What I liked the most about him, was the although he had fighting spirit in the court but was also a great gentleman. We always showed respect to the opponents and I am happy for sitting next to him in so many Press Conferences after important matches. He was equally good in both sides of the court, you can see many players with attacking talent but defensive weaknesses but he had excellent balance in his game, was a great defender and also the man to take the ball in the final attack.
To conclude, I want to say something about Dimitris, not only to him but also to the officials of basketball in Greece: I want to ask him to remain at this sport after the end of his playing career and to them, to make him a nice offer for an interesting role. Basketball should not be losing such great personalities, we all need Diamantidis, who offered us so many incredible moments, to keep interfering with this sport", said the 55-year-old Italian coach at his SDNA interview.