ATHENS (EuroBasket/FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Never were truer words said than at the end of April when Andrea Trinchieri spoke about the great players of European basketball at his unveiling as new Greece coach.
The Italian was asked about the make-up of his squad and the possible return of national team greats Theo Papaloukas and Dimitris Diamantidis for EuroBasket 2013.
The two haven't featured for Greece for some time, with Papaloukas last appearing at the 2008 Olympics and Diamantidis at the 2010 FIBA World Championship.
"There are three dominant players in Europe," Trinchieri said, "Diamantidis, (Vassilis) Spanoulis and (Juan Carlos) Navarro.
"We are lucky to have one."
That 'one' is Spanoulis.
Panathinaikos star Diamantidis retired from the national team after the Greeks' elimination from the World Championship in Turkey, and Barcelona guard Navarro is a leading light in Spain's national team.
Olympiacos ace Spanoulis, at 30 years of age, is in the prime of his career and remains a lynchpin in the Greek team.
The 1.93m combo-guard seems, at long last, to be getting the sort of praise that he has deserved for a long time.
He went into this season with Olympiacos having twice been named as the Euroleague Final Four MVP, and Spanoulis has always been a terrific player for the national team, too.
But when it comes to the Euroleague and the national side, there have been other Greek greats.
In the triumphant EuroBasket squad of 2005 that Spanoulis played in, Greece had Diamantidis and Papaloukas make the All-Tournament Team.
At the 2006 FIBA World Championship, Spanoulis poured in 22 points in the 101-95 triumph over the United States, one of the most famous results in the history of the international game, and led Greece in scoring at 11.7 points per contest in Japan.
Yet Papaloukas was the lone Greek to make the All-Tournament Team that year.
Spanoulis heard applause, but he didn't shine as bright in the first several years of his national team career because of Papaloukas and Diamantidis, and the iconic presence of coach Panagiotis Giannakis.
Diamantidis and Papaloukas have also been recognized as the best player in the Euroleague.
There is no doubt about the best player in Europe, and the leader of the Greek team now.
Spanoulis has missed only one tournament with the national side, EuroBasket 2011, since making his senior team debut at the 2004 Olympics, and that was because of injury.
He has endured some disappointments with Greece.
In 2008, Spanoulis missed a three-pointer in the waning seconds that would have beaten Argentina in the Olympic Quarter-Finals, and in 2012 at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) he missed six of 12 free-throws in a one-point defeat to Nigeria that knocked the Greeks out of contention for a spot in the London Games.
Even so, his struggles at the charity stripe that day masked what had been an otherwise tremendous display, though, one in which he poured in 25 points, handed out five assists and grabbed seven rebounds.
Spanoulis had gone into that tournament not long after winning his second Euroleague Final Four MVP award.
Champions know how to bounce back from disappointment and Spanoulis certainly has.
In fact, he has outdone himself.
Spanoulis the both the MVP of the Euroleague season, and the Final Four.
In the title game against Real Madrid, fans in London saw a vintage Spanoulis effort in the second half.
Shut out in the first half, he erupted for 22 points after the intermission to lead the Reds to a 100-88 victory.
When asked about his performances, Spanoulis normally answers with "we" instead of "I" because he only likes to talk about the team.
He did speak in the first person, though, after being presented with his second straight Final Four MVP award.
“The last two games (against CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid) have been very difficult for me," he said.
"I always faced two or three players on me.
"But this is my role.
"I attract players on me to open up other players.
"I tried to look and find out what would be the best solution and try to see what Real Madrid was doing and I was better in the second half."
Spanoulis expects to add another trophy to the Olympiacos awards cabinet, with a likely play-off title showdown against Panathinaikos on the horizon.
After that, he'll return to the Greece team and play at the EuroBasket in Slovenia for Trinchieri and attempt to lead his country into the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.