Panathinaikos club owner Pavlos Giannakopoulos dies at 89

NBA.com Staff

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Pavlos Giannakopoulos, a Greek businessman and owner of basketball club Panathinaikos, who guided the team to domestic and European success, has died. He was 89.

Panathinaikos Baketball Club, and pharmaceuticals company Vianex, which he founded, both announced his death Sunday. No cause was given.

Over 25 years at the helm of Panathinaikos, Giannakopoulos spent vast sums of money to create a European powerhouse. He acquired several big-name foreign players, including veteran NBA superstars Dominique Wilkins and Byron Scott.

Wilkins led Panathinaikos to its first of six European basketball titles in 1996 — the last was in 2011 — while Scott helped the club, in 1998, start a run of 13 domestic titles in 14 seasons.

Giannakopoulos transferred club ownership to his son, Dimitris, in 2012.