Two weeks ago NBA 3-point specialist and former NBA champ Jason Kapono was on his way to play in Greece before some family health matters delayed those plans. Some overseas reports questioned if the deal would happen at all, but now with a concrete date in place Kapono is once again Athens bound with Panathinaikos.
The headline was accurate, but the timing was way off.
Back on November 15, overseas reports out of Greece and around the Euroleague claimed two-time NBA 3-point shootout winner and NBA champ Jason Kapono had signed with Panathinaikos Athens to bolster their line-up and chances of making a run at a Euroleague title.
They got part of it right.
Little did Panathinaikos or even Kapono know then that just hours later, the deal would be placed on hold. His wife was experiencing pregnancy complications, and so the 9-year veteran made the right decision: Kapono put family first and pushed the arrival in Athens officially on the backburner. Some overseas pundits wondered if the agreement would ever come to fruition. Maybe Kapono wasn't the right guy for Panathinaikos after all. Maybe the team would have to switch gears and go in a different direction or with their next best option.
But in an ever-changing business where deals are discussed and change daily, all Kapono and Panathinaikos really needed was just a little time.
That time has come.
According to Greek news website Gazzetta.gr, Kapono is expected to join Panathinaikos on December 10 after the two sides reached an agreement now that Kapono's family matter has improved. And while the organization will have to patiently wait for Kapono to get to town and make his overseas debut, there is little doubt that his arrival will be well worth the wait. Not only is Panathinaikos sitting comfortably at 5-3 in Euroleauge Group A play and 5-2 in the Greek League, but Kapono's shooting ability from outside should boost Panathinaikos' chances in both standings. On Thursday night, the "Greens" qualified for the Top 16 for the 12th consecutive season after beating Union Olimpija, 80-72. Panathinaikos shot 38.1% from 3-point on the night (8/21) -- an area their new addition will help improve.
Kapono's resume speaks for itself.
A 43.4% career 3-point shooter, Kapono played for Cleveland, Charlotte, Miami (where he won an NBA title in '06), Toronto, Philadelphia and Los Angeles and averaged a career-high 10.9 points on shot 51.9% from beyond the arc during the 2006-07 season. Then of course there is the claim to fame: back-to-back three-point shootout trophies at the NBA All-Star Weekend in 2007 and 2008.
Now at 31-years old and about to embark on an overseas adventure in Greece, how much game does Kapono have left?
Panathinaikos' fans will find out soon enough.
They've waited this long.