Nicholas William Calathes (Greek: Νικόλαος "Νίκος" Γουλιέλμος Καλάθης; born February 7, 1989) is a Greek-American professional basketball player who currently plays for Panathinaikos of the Greek Basket League and the Euroleague. He also plays for the senior men's Greek national team internationally. He played college basketball for the University of Florida's Gators. Calathes has also played in the NBA and the VTB United League.
Calathes was born in Casselberry, Florida. He attended Lake Howell High School in Winter Park, Florida, and graduated as the leading high school basketball scorer in Seminole County history. He teamed with future Florida Gator Chandler Parsons, future VCU Ram Joey Rodriguez, to help Lake Howell to a 31–3 record, and a state championship in 2007. At Lake Howell, Calathes twice won the Florida Mr. Basketball award, placing him on a long list of NBA players who have won that award, including Vince Carter, Amar'e Stoudemire, Brandon Knight and Austin Rivers.
Calathes accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida, where he played for coach Billy Donovan's Florida Gators men's basketball team from 2007 to 2009. Calathes was considered one of the top play-making guards in college basketball. At 6'6", he could play the positions of point guard, shooting guard, and small forward.
He was a first-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection in 2009, and he was the only player in the nation to average better than 15.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game. Calathes broke the Florida school records for assists and assists per game in each of his first two years, totaling 221 as a freshman (6.1 assists per game), and 231 (6.4 assists per game) as a sophomore. He ranked third in Florida school history in career assists after just two years. He was the SEC Newcomer of the Year and the SEC co-Freshman of the Year in 2008, as he led Florida in scoring and assists.
College career highs and statistics
On May 23, 2009, Calathes announced that he would bypass the NBA to play in the Greek Basket League. He agreed to terms with the elite Euroleague club Panathinaikos Athens. The three-year deal, sources said, would pay Calathes around €2.4 million net income, in addition to providing him with a home, car, and endorsements, making for a total package commensurate with what the NBA rookie salary scale provides an early lottery selection. Despite his commitment to play in Greece, he was still selected in the second round of the 2009 NBA draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves. He was then traded to the Dallas Mavericks for a 2010 second-round draft pick and cash.
In his first year with Panathinaikos, he won the Greek League championship, averaging 5.4 points, 2.0 assists, and 2.2 rebounds in 15 minutes per game. He also participated in the Greek Youth All-Star Game (for players age 22 and under), in which he scored six points and dished six assists. In 2010, Calathes was also voted the third best young player (age 22 and under) in the Greek League, after Nikos Pappas and Vangelis Mantzaris. In the 2010–11 season, Calathes had an average of 7.8 points, 3.2 assists, and 3.1 rebounds in the Greek League. He also participated in the senior men's HEBA Greek All-Star Game, replacing Theo Papaloukas (who was out with an injury), because he was 16th in the fan voting with 1,200 votes. Calathes scored 11 points and dished six assists in the All-Star Game.
In the Euroleague 2010–11 playoffs, Calathes scored a career-high with 12 points against Barcelona in game 4 of the playoff series. Barcelona head coach Xavier Pascual said, "Diamantidis was the MVP of the series, but Calathes was the key player". His teammate, Ian Vougioukas, stated about him, "Calathes played four outstanding games, especially on defense, and was a key for us." In the four-game playoff series against Barcelona, Calathes averaged 7.8 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and a steal in 26 minutes per game.
In the 2010–11 Euroleague semifinal against Montepaschi Siena, Calathes had another good performance, which helped send Panathinaikos to the 2011 Euroleague Final. He scored 17 points, dished 2 assists to his teammates, and grabbed six rebounds. At the Euroleague Final against Maccabi Tel Aviv, Calathes helped Panathinaikos by scoring four points, recording six assists, and making two steals. Finally, Calathes won his first Euroleague title. In the 2010–11 Greek League playoffs, Calathes had an average of 8.8 points, three rebounds, and 3.8 assists, in 23 minutes per game. He helped Panathinaikos to reach the Greek League Finals. He played especially good in the fourth game of the Greek League Finals, in which he had 16 points, 11 assists, and five rebounds, in 42 minutes. He won his second Greek League championship with Panathinaikos, and he was named to the Eurobasket.com website's All-Greek A1 League First Team and All-Defensive Team. He also won the Eurobasket.com website's Most Improved Player of the Year award.
Lokomotiv Kuban (2012–2013)
In the summer of 2012, Calathes signed a two-year contract with the Russian VTB United League team Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar. He signed a two-year 2.2 million Euro net income contract. He was named to the First Team and selected the season MVP of Europe's 2nd-tier competition, the Eurocup, in 2013.
Memphis Grizzlies (2013–2015)
On July 22, 2013, the Dallas Mavericks traded Calathes' draft rights to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for a 2016 second-round pick. On August 20, 2013, Calathes officially signed a two-year contract with the Grizzlies. In February 2014, starting many games instead of injured Mike Conley, he was named Rookie of the Month, averaging 10.7 points, 4.6 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game.
On April 18, 2014, just days before the 2014 postseason commenced, Calathes was suspended for 20 games for violating the NBA's anti-drug policy; the league indicated that Calathes had tested positive for Tamoxifen, though there was no evidence indicating that Calathes had been testosterone doping or using any other performance-enhancing substance that would have been masked by the Tamoxifen. The NBA statement announcing the suspension, which took effect immediately, also indicated that the banned substance was an ingredient in a supplement that Calathes had been taking. Calling the suspension "a true injustice," Acting NBPA Executive Director Ron Klempner indicated that the suspension would be appealed.
Return to Panathinaikos (2015–present)
On 15 July 2015, Panathinaikos announced the signing of Calathes for three years.  It was reported that the net income of the deal was $7 million dollars. On October 22, against the Turkish Super League club Karşıyaka Basket, Calathes set a new personal career high of 11 assists in a Euroleague game. On March 6, 2016, he won the Greek Cup for the second time in his career, having nine points, seven assists, and four rebounds in the Greek Cup Final. He was named the 2016 Greek League Best Defender.
Calathes’ basketball IQ and floor leadership are noteworthy. Calathes is a versatile player. He can play good defense against quick and small point guards, and had a 92.2% defensive rating in the NBA. He is an excellent passer, with the ability to complete alley-oop and no look passes, and to properly execute the pick-n-roll.
Greek national team
Calathes made his debut with the Greek junior national team at the 2008 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship, where he averaged 11.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in 22 minutes per game. With the Under-20 Greek junior national basketball team, he played in 10 games in total, scoring 115 points, averaging 11.5 points per game.
In 2009, Calathes debuted with the senior men's Greek national basketball team, and with them he won the bronze medal at the EuroBasket 2009. At the 2009 EuroBasket, Calathes was 5th in the tournament in steals, with 1.6 per game, and he also averaged 4.1 points, 2.1 rebounds, and two assists, in 17 minutes per game. In the quarter-final against Spain, despite his team losing the game, he scored 10 points, grabbed four rebounds, dished two assists, and made two steals.
The next summer, at the 2010 FIBA World Championship, Greece failed to win a medal. Calathes averaged 4.5 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 2.5 assists during the tournament. At the EuroBasket 2011, Calathes helped Greece to finish in sixth place, with averages of 9.2 points and 3.8 assists per game. He also played at the 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Calathes was suspended from competing in any FIBA competitions for four months, from April 2014 to August 2014, by WADA. This was due to his NBA suspension for violating the league's anti-drug policy, after he tested positive for Tamoxifen.
With Greece, he also played at the 2014 FIBA World Cup, the 2015 EuroBasket, and the 2016 Turin FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Calathes has played with the senior Greek national basketball team in 84 games to date, scoring 633 points, for an average of 7.5 points per game.
Greek national team stats
Calathes holds dual citizenship with the United States and Greece. On June 30, 2008, he acquired a Greek passport. Under current United States nationality law, the acquisition of a foreign passport does not automatically result in loss of U.S. citizenship. (See also Vance v. Terrazas).
His last name in Greek actually means basket (καλάθι). And Calathes' older brother, Pat Calathes, is also a professional basketball player. Their grandparents emigrated to Florida from the Kingdom of Greece.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field-goal percentage||3P%||3-point field-goal percentage||FT%||Free-throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||PIR||Performance Index Rating|
Note: The Euroleague is not the only competition in which the player participated for the team during the season. He also played in domestic competition, and regional competition if applicable.
|†||Denotes seasons in which Calathes won the Euroleague|
Awards and accomplishments
High school and college career
- 2× State of Florida High School Mr. Basketball (2006, 2007)
- Florida High School State Champion (2007)
- McDonald's High School All-American (2007)
- First-team Parade All-American (2007)
- Gatorade State of Florida Boys Basketball Player of the Year (2007)
- Jordan Brand Classic High School All-Star (2007)
- 2× SEC Freshman of the Week (2008)
- Southeastern Conference's Newcomer of the Year (2008)
- Second-Team All-SEC (2008)
- SEC All-Freshman Team (2008)
- SEC Co-Freshman of the Year (2008)
- First-Team All-SEC (2009)
- Euroleague Champion: (2011)
- 2x Greek League Champion: (2010, 2011)
- 2x Greek Cup winner: (2012, 2016)
- Greek Senior All-Star Game: (2011)
- 2x Greek Youth All Star Game: (2010, 2011)
- Greek League Most Improved Player: (2011)
- Greek League Best Defender: (2016)
- 1x Greek League Assists Leader: (2016)
- 2x Greek League Steals Leader: (2012, 2016)
- 1x Euroleague Steals Leader: (2016)
- All-Star Basket Magazine Greece's All-Greek A1 League 2nd Team: (2012)
- All-Star Basket Magazine Greece's Greek A1 League Most Improved Player of the Year: (2011)
- Eurocup Basketball Champion: (2013)
- Eurocup Basketball MVP (2013)
- Eurocup Assists Leader: (2013)
- All-Eurocup First Team: (2013)
- Kia NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month: (February 2014)
Greece national team
- EuroBasket 2009: 03 ! Bronze
- 2x Acropolis Tournament Champion: (2009, 2010)
- Love Cyprus Basketball Tournament Champion: (2010)