nicknamed "The Dragon", is a retired Greek professional basketball player and a current professional basketball coach of continental reputation. He is the former head coach of the Euroleague powerhouse Olympiacos and the Greek national basketball team. Under Giannakis' guidance, the Greek national team won the gold medal at the EuroBasket 2005, and the silver medal at the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan. Giannakis also coached an Athenian professional team, Maroussi, which he led to the forefront of Greek League basketball. He has also been the head coach of the Chinese national team.
A true floor general from the point guard position, Giannakis began his pro career in Greece with Ionikos Nikaias, before moving to Aris, where he spent the major part of his career. In Thessaloniki, he helped to lead the Yellows (Aris) to three consecutive Euroleague Final Fours between 1988 and 1990, as well as to a FIBA European Cup title in 1993. In the summer of 1993, he was transferred to Panionios, and finally a year later, to Panathinaikos, with whom he won a Euroleague championship in 1996. On February 3, 2008, Giannakis was chosen as one of the 50 Greatest Euroleague Contributors over the previous half-century by the Euroleague Basketball Experts Committee.
Giannakis was, along with Nikos Galis, one of the stars of the legendary Greek National Team that put Greece on the world basketball map. He was their captain when they won the EuroBasket of 1987, and were the silver-medalists at the same championship two years later. Furthermore, Giannakis was an important member of the national team when they reached the EuroBasket semifinals in 1993 and 1995, as well as the FIBA World Championship semifinals in 1994.... show moreless