On This Day, 2017: Navarro becomes first to score 4,000 points

Apr 06, 2020 by Euroleague.net Print
On This Day, 2017: Navarro becomes first to score 4,000 points

The 2016-17 season was a tough one for EuroLeague Legend Juan Carlos Navarro, who missed nearly half of FC Barcelona's campaign due to injuries and posted the fewest total points (91) and lowest scoring average (5.7 ppg.) of his distinguished career as his team missed the playoffs. However, he finished that season with a major milestone.

His last game of the season

Navarro came into the game needing just 4 points to reach 4,000 and scored his first basket late in the second quarter. The history-making score came with 5:43 left in the third quarter to draw Barcelona within 40-35 and it was scored against no less a defensive ace than Jan Vesely. With the big man on Navarro after a switch, "La Bomba" drove right before spinning to his left and dropping a silky step-back jumper over Vesely's outstretched arm. Barcelona took the eventual champs to overtime before Fenerbahce prevailed 68-65 behind 15 points from Bogdan Bogdanovic.

Post-game reaction

"It is a little bit bittersweet. We had chances to win the game and I would have liked to have reached 4,000 points in a win. I would have also liked to do this at home, but in the end, it didn't happen. It is a very important number and I am proud to be the first one to reach it," Navarro said. When he was asked about how long he will remain atop the scoring charts, Navarro answered: "Vassilis Spanoulis plays a lot of games and sees a lot of minutes. He is also younger than me, so he will keep playing the EuroLeague when I leave. Still, we will see what happens, but I will try to score more next season."

What happened next

Navarro scored 152 points the next season and retired with 4,152 as the competition's career top scorer. That lasted until January of this season when Spanoulis overtook him. The Olympiacos scorer is up to 4,239 career points, though Navarro has a healthy lead over third-place Georgio Printezis, also of Olympiacos, with 3,209.