36-year-old Sergio Llull has hit numerous three-pointers throughout his career. Almost more than anyone else, at least in the EuroLeague! Source: Panagiotis Moschandreou/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images
36-year-old Sergio Llull has hit numerous three-pointers throughout his career. Almost more than anyone else, at least in the EuroLeague! Source: Panagiotis Moschandreou/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

EuroLeague’s historic records set to fall this season

Basketball OlyBet 06.03.2024

The EuroLeague season concludes at the end of May, affording players ample opportunity to shatter historic milestones. While certain records may be in jeopardy this season, others will be surpassed for sure.

For instance, Fenerbahce Istanbul’s point guard Nick Calathes reached 434 steals last week in a game against Baskonia. His accomplishment is shared by another Greek, Dimitris Diamantidis, who stands on equal footing.

This week, Calathes has a great opportunity to become the sole leader as Fenerbahce visits Real Madrid. Of course, leaving Diamantidis behind isn’t set in stone, as Fenerbahce’s offensive orchestrator has played in nine games this season without making a single steal. However, it’s clear that at some point this season, Calathes will become the player with the most steals in EuroLeague history.

Currently, it’s interesting to note the time it took for Calathes and Diamantidis to reach 434 steals. The latter participated in 278 games throughout his career, while the former has played 344 games. But in the years to come, nobody will likely think about the number of games played.

Another Greek icon is poised to relinquish his reign this week. Vassilis Spanoulis, a three-time EuroLeague champion with Panathinaikos and Olympiacos, amassed 4455 career points. However, two current stars are hot on his heels.

The closest to Spanoulis is Monaco’s leader Mike James, who has scored 4444 points. In this week’s game against Crvena Zvezda Belgrade, the American guard only needs 12 points to surpass the Greek. This should be a piece of cake, considering James has averaged 17.1 points against Zvezda throughout his EuroLeague career and has scored 11 or fewer points in only two of the 27 games this season.

James’ EuroLeague career highlights:

It was already clear before the season that Spanoulis’ record would fall. However, James wasn’t the closest to breaking his record since Nando de Colo, now playing for ASVEL Villeurbanne, had 4225 points to his name.

Unfortunately, the Frenchman got injured in late-December and had to miss over ten games, making it easy for James to surpass him. By the way, James had a total of 3923 points before the season, giving de Colo a significant lead. ASVEL’s guard currently stands at 4396 points.

Dončić will likely be dethroned

At one time, there was a third Istanbul club in the EuroLeague alongside Fenerbahce and Anadolu Efes – Darüssafaka. The team had quite a prominent lineup in the 2016/17 season, featuring Ante Žižić, Scottie Wilbekin, Brad Wanamaker, and Will Clyburn. They were relatively successful, as Darüssafaka’s journey ended in a quarterfinal series against Real.

Wanamaker, who later moved from Europe to the NBA and played 191 games in the world’s strongest league, was such a crucial link that he racked up 1138 minutes of play in that season’s EuroLeague. This spring, Efes’ ace Shane Larkin could break the record.

Seven rounds before the end of the regular season, the American has 900 minutes and 25 seconds to his name, averaging 33 minutes and 20 seconds per game. Adding seven average games to his current total brings us to 1132 minutes. However, it wouldn’t be surprising if Larkin gets more minutes than usual in the final stretch of the season. Looking at the season, there have been plenty of games where the guard has spent more time on the court than average, and he has earned fewer minutes only in matches where Efes has suffered huge losses.

This season, not only Spanoulis but also one of the world’s best basketball players, Luka Dončić, will be dethroned. In the 2017/18 season, the Slovenian, now playing for the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA, helped Real win the EuroLeague and amassed a PIR of 711 for the season.

Luka’s EuroLeague highlights:

PIR is used by most European leagues to convey a player’s efficiency. The formula is simple: every point scored, rebound, assist, steal, block, and drawn foul earns you one PIR point, while every missed shot, turnover, foul committed, and received block gives one minus point. Finally, minuses are subtracted from pluses, giving you the final PIR.

This season, there are three players in the EuroLeague with a season PIR over 500: Mathias Lessort (516), Larkin (562), and James (580). James leads in PIR per game with 21.5, while Larkin’s figure is 20.8.

With James and Monaco almost certain to reach the playoffs, the American is very likely to achieve a season PIR of at least 712.

Spaniards chase Navarro

Another top mark in a single EuroLeague season dates back to 2017/18, when Alexey Shved, then representing Khimki Moscow, scored 740 points. To break this record, we once again turn our attention to James.

Currently, the 33-year-old American has 521 points, with an average of 19.3 points per game. If we multiply this by the remaining seven regular-season games, James would reach 656 points. Yes, he would fall short of Shved, but Monaco’s player has time to surpass the Russian in the playoffs.

Real’s place in the quarterfinals is almost guaranteed. This provides a fantastic opportunity for Sergio Llull to make a mark by overtaking another Spanish legend, Juan Carlos Navarro.

Llull’s EuroLeague highlights:

La Bomba, as fans affectionately called Navarro, made 623 three-pointers throughout his EuroLeague career. Llull is just seven threes behind, and interestingly, two more Spaniards follow: Llull’s Real teammates Sergio Rodriguez (600) and Rudy Fernandez (590).

This season, Llull has played in 23 games and made 36 threes, averaging 1.56 per game. If the guard finishes the regular season on the court, he will narrowly surpass Navarro.

However, it’s clear that this record will soon be in the hands of Wilbekin. The American currently ranks sixth with 564 three-pointers, and unlike Real’s stalwarts, he has managed to stay injury-free this season and has played almost 25 minutes per game, while making nearly three threes per game. Moreover, time is in Wilbekin’s favor as he turns 31 in April, whereas Llull is 36, Rodriguez is 37, and Fernandez will celebrate his 39th birthday a day before Wilbekin


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