As importantly as Spanoulis’ presence, Zeljko Obradovic paid special tribute by the casket of Thanasis inside of the Metropolis. The Fenerbahce coach spent many years and experienced great successes with Panathinaikos and he could not be absent from the public funeral service of Thanasis Giannakopoulos with whom he maintained a great relationship with. The Serbian coach arrived at the Athens Metropolis a little after 11:30 in the morning so that he could id farewell to the emblematic leader of Panathinaikos, with the fans of the club who were there giving him a very warm reception. “It is a very difficult moment for Panathinaikos and Greek basketball. Thanasis Giannakopoulos was a towering figure of European basketball. Thanasis and his brothers taught us to love our own team while not hating our opponent. Panathinaikos is a great club with a tremendous history and it will continue on its path of greatness despite the loss of the three brothers that brought the club to the top. Maybe the three Giannakopoulos brothers aren’t with us any longer, but they will always live on in our hearts”, said the Serbian coach. Former Panathinaikos coach Xavi Pascual also came to Greece and visit the Athens Metropolis so that he could say his goodbyes to Thanasis Giannakopoulos. The Spaniard was at the helm of the club for two years and spoke of the humility and grace of Thanasis Giannakopoulos. The final “goodbye” to the “typhoon” of the Panathinaikos family however had started from early in the morning with a public viewing of the casket at the Holy Metropolis of Athens. Friends, family and fans said farewell to Thanasis with the burial following the service happening in a more intimate setting. The Prime Minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras, a noted fan of Panathinaikos also made an appearance at the Metropolis. TweetPinShare0 Shares ATHENS – In the span of one year, the Panathinaikos family has lost all three Giannakopoulos brothers that helped the club reach unparalleled heights in the prism of Greek sport. Thanasis Giannakopoulos’ nephew, Dimitris Giannakopoulos, 44, is charged with carrying on a unique legacy to continue the sacrifice of his family that has yielded so much success for Panathinaikos’ basketball team but the club’s other sporting departments as well. The Giannakopoulos family is one of Greece’s most affluent clans, amassing their fortune through decades of work in the private sector, founding and owning pharmaceutical giant, VIANEX.Even after his death, Thanasis Giannakopoulos showcased his majesty. The emblematic president and board member of Panathinaikos AO and BC managed to unite, even briefly, the “eternal” opponents, allowing an emotional arrival of Vasilis Spanoulis to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens. The captain of Olympiacos BC decided to bid farewell to Panathinaikos’ “Typhoon” and so he found himself at the Metropolis a little before noon, with the crowd gathered there giving him waves of applause, leaving far behind any competitive rivalry. “My sincere condolences to the whole family. It’s an enormous loss. I thank him for everything. It was an honor for me that I not only met him but got to know him as well as I did. He was a top quality person and one of the top leaders of sports that we have in Greece. He pathologically loved what he did. There was always a special love and mutual respect. He had a lot of love for me and I had a massive amount of respect towards him too. Our relationship never soured”, said Vasilis Spanoulis in remarks he made at the site of the funeral service.