A visit to the U.S. by our friends on the Greek basketball club Olympiakos is always pleasant and heartwarming, and came this year with the usual exchange of gifts. We threatened to take their uniforms and other property, and they gave us death threats. See you again next year!
Olympiakos lost both of its exhibition games against NBA teams this week, then headed to the airport after narrowly avoiding having their property seized to settle an outstanding debt. Former American NBA player Chris Morris, who played with the Greek club in 1999, is still owed a boatload of money by the club, and his agent wanted to collect.
And one of Morris’ agents is also alleging that someone connected with Olympiakos phoned him and made a death threat. Which is always fun.
From SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.COM:
At the heart of this strange European tour are outstanding U.S. court judgments demanding that Olympiakos pay $1.1 million to American player Chris Morris, who played for the club in 1999, and $410,000 to his American agent Tom McLaughlin.
On Monday another American agent, Gary Ebert, who also represents Morris, filed a report with police in Shreveport, La., alleging that he received a death threat from someone who claimed to be associated with Olympiakos president and owner Panagiotis Angelopoulos. Ebert tells SI.com that the threat followed a phone conversation he had earlier Monday with Angelopoulos. Ebert says he then received a call from a man with a Greek accent.
“I got a phone call from a Greek cell phone number,” says Ebert. “The guy was going off on me to leave Angelopolous alone. I told him I’m going to get the money [owed to Morris]. The guy said, ‘Leave him alone, do this through the court.’ I said I have the right to call him. He said, ‘Look, (expletive), leave Angelopoulos alone or I’ll kill you.”
Moments later Ebert called back and told the man he didn’t appreciate being threatened. “He didn’t have much to say that time,” says Ebert. “I think he was surprised I had his number.”
Olympiakos left Cleveland on Tuesday after losing to the Cavaliers. On Friday, before Olympiakos was to play the Spurs, a Federal Marshall in San Antonio refused to execute a writ from a federal judge to seize the uniforms, airline tickets and other properties of Olympiakos in connection to its debt to Morris.
Olympiakos is probably best known here for signing Josh Childress to a three-year, $20 million contract in 2008, making the former Atlanta Hawk the highest-paid basketball player in the world outside the NBA.