Ioannis Bourousis turned down NBA offers to ink with Panathinaikos

Panathinaikos seven-footer Ioannis Bourousis admitted that he received NBA offers before returning to Greece for the upcoming season.

Bourousis signed a two-year deal with Panathinaikos in July and while browsing the offers made by NBA sides, the veteran admitted that he was attracted enough by the one-year deals that he was receiving.

“I was about to go to the NBA, before signing with Panathinaikos,” Bourousis told Eurohoops. “It was my main goal and if I found exactly what I was looking for, I’d make the jump. But I didn’t because I wanted to sign a two-year deal.

“All I got was offers for one year only. I couldn’t say yes to them and have to take my family in the USA just for some months.”

But ultimately, Bourousis couldn’t say no to a return home to Greece, where he played for Olympiacos for five years before moving to Italy to play for EA7 Milano, spending two seasons there before heading to Real Madrid.

Despite a successful spell at Real, where the 32-year-old won the EuroLeague and Liga Endesa crown, Bourousis was out of the rotation and found himself playing limited minutes. He eventually moved to Baskonia where the big Greek rediscovered his form, averaging a career-high 14.5 points a game, leading them to the EuroLeague Final Four.

But Bourousis highlighted his relationship with then Baskonia coach Velimir Perasovic whilst at the club.

I had a fantastic relationship with coach Perasovic from day one in Baskonia,” Bourousis said. “Over the years, you can count the people who have truly helped me to become much better in the fingers of one hand, and he is one of them. He drove me to improvement along with my Baskonia teammates of course.

“I wish him the best in Anadolu Efes, a club with big goals. Now, Panathinaikos is not about what Giannis does as an individual. Ιt is about what the team does. There are many talented guys in the team, so we have to work as whole.”