Papaloukas is considered one of the best European players of all time. He runs a tight game and is a true leader at the point guard position – where at 2.00 (6’ 7”) he comes in at the tall end of the range – a cool-headed winner with the kind of on-court vision coaches dream of.
In 2008 Papaloukas was chosen one of the 35 All-Time Greatest Players of the Euroleague, and in 2010 he joined the ranks of the Euroleague 2001 – 2010 All-Decade Team (along with former Maccabi players Nikola Vuj?i?, Anthony Parker and Šar?nas Jasikevi?ius, among others). So far, he has played in the Euroleague for 10 seasons – 215 games – and tops the Euroleague list of all-time assists with 907 as well as all-time number of steals with 315.
In all of his years playing, Papaloukas has come off the bench; he loves to come into the game and be a force for change, especially when it comes to making critical decisions at the moment of truth. He has won the Euroleague title twice while playing for CSKA Moscow (defeating Maccabi Tel Aviv both times, in 2006 and 2008). He has played in the Euroleague Final Four a record 8 consecutive years (6 with CSKA, 2 with Olympiacos).
Papaloukas is known for his excellent teamwork with Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv’s center, Sofoklis Schortsanitis, who was his teammate on Olympiacos for two years and of course on the Greek National Team.
Theodoros Papaloukas began his career with three smaller teams: Ampelokipoi, Dafni, and Panionios. He was named Greek League Player of the Year for the 2000 – 2001 season, and was selected to play for the National Team for the first time. That same year, he signed a 4 year contract with Greek powerhouse Olympiacos, but only played there for one season before leaving Piraeus.
In 2002 – 2003 he signed with CSKA Moscow and his career took off. In his six seasons with the club, Papaloukas won 6 Russian championships and 3 Russian Cups, and played in the Euroleague Final Four 6 times (winning the title twice). In 2005 – 2006 he was named MVP of the Euroleague Final Four, scoring 18 points and dishing out 7 assists in the Final; the following year he was named MVP of the season with averages of 9.8 points, 5.4 assists, and 3.2 rebounds.
In 2008 Papaloukas left the Russian team, returning to his homeland and to Olympiacos. In his three years in Piraeus, he has led the team to two Euroleague Final Fours, and to two Greek Cups (both at the expense of arch-rivals Panathinaikos).
Papaloukas is an invaluable part of the Greek National Team, which is one of the strongest national teams in the world. In 2005 he led his team to a European Championship title in Serbia, scoring 22 points against Dirk Nowitzki’s German National Team in the Final. It was Greece’s first title in 18 years (they first won the title in 1987 with Nikos Galis and Panagiotis Giannakis).
In 2006 Greece reached second place in the World Championship in Japan, and Papaloukas was named to the All-Tournament First Team alongside Pau Gasol, Jorge Garbajosa, Carmelo Anthony, and Manu Ginobili. He was also named the FIBA Europe Player of the Year. That year, Greece shocked the USA National Team in the semi-finals of the World Championship in a 101 – 95 victory in which Papaloukas scored 8 points and made 12 assists.