Zaza Pachulia is a National Basketball Association (NBA) player who has most notably played for teams like the Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks, and the Golden State Warriors.
The 6 feet 11 inches Turkish citizenship holder, who was born in Georgia and plays nationally for the country, won an NBA title in 2017 which led to him being conferred with the Order of Honor by his home country’s president, Giorgi Margvelashvili.
Pachulia was born Zaur Pachulia to Marina and David Pachulia in Tbilisi, Georgian SSR, in the Soviet Union on the 10th of February 1984. He was introduced to the game of basketball at a very early age because of his height as he struggled to play other sports with his peers.
At the age of thirteen, Pachulia was reported to be approximately six feet eight inches tall. His height got the attention of many local and foreign regional basketball teams who all wanted to offer him an opportunity to play for them. By fifteen, Pachulia changed his first name from Zaur to Zaza and moved to Turkey to play for Turkish professional basketball team Ülkerspor who had scouted him extensively. He had in the meantime already become a member of the Georgian junior national basketball and had led them to various tournaments.
Zaza Pachulia spent four years in Turkey and played a total of 73 games. During that time, he averaged 6 points and 3.8 rebounds per game and was able to win the 2001 Turkish National Championship, 2001, 2002, and 2003 Turkish President’s Cup, as well as the 2003 Turkish Cup.
Following his accomplishments in Turkey, Pachulia was selected with the 42nd pick by the Orlando Magic in the second round of the 2003 NBA Draft. He was subsequently selected in the 2004 expansion draft by the Charlotte Bobcats who traded him to the Milwaukee Bucks where he played a bit-part role from the bench, averaging 6.2 points and 5.1 rebounds in the 2004-05 season.
At the end of that season, he opted to move to the Atlanta Hawks where he was going to get the opportunity to play as a starter. His stat sheet drastically improved as he averaged 11.7 points and 7.9 rebounds per game in 78 appearances. His offensive rebounding efforts, in particular, made him a force to be reckoned with as he was ranked third in the NBA in offensive rebounds per game.
Zaza Pachulia played with the Hawks from 2005 to 2013, featuring in a total of 556 regular season games and 40 offseason games as the Hawks got to the playoffs in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. In between his time with the Hawks, during the 2011 NBA lockout, Pachulia went back to Turkey to play for Galatasaray in the Turkish Basketball League but returned to the Hawks after the lockout ended.
After the completion of the 2012-13 season, he moved to Milwaukee to play for the Bucks. During his two-season long spell there, he set a Bucks franchise record of 18 offensive rebounds in a game against the Brooklyn Nets.
In 2015, the Bucks shipped him off to Dallas in a trade for a future draft pick. Pachulia enjoyed personal success with the Mavericks as he surpassed his previous total for double-doubles in a season. He also made his first All-Star appearance at the 2016 NBA All-Star Game.
From Dallas, Zaza moved on to the Golden State Warriors in July 2016. It was during this campaign that he was branded ‘Zaza Per Cheat Shot’ by NBA analyst, Skip Bayless, for injuring San Antonio Spurs player Kawhi Leonard which in turn propelled his team to the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers which they won.
By this time, Pachulia had been labeled a dirty player and a villain in the league. He did his reputation no favors when he was seen to have purposely fallen on the knee of Oklahoma City Thunder player Russell Westbrook in a bid to injure him.
Zaza Pachulia’s Salary and Net Worth
Zaza Pachulia is currently on a one year $3.5 million contract with the Golden State Warriors. He is, however, said to have a net worth of around $13 million thanks to salaries and endorsements he has received all throughout the years he has spent in the NBA.
In addition to his salaries, Pachulia is an entrepreneur and investor in a number of startups.
Zaza Pachulia has been married to his wife Tika since 2008. Together, the couple has two sons and a daughter. They are Davit Pachulia, Saba Pachulia, and Mariam Pachulia.
Height, Weight, Other Facts
Birth Name: Zaza Pachulia
Date of Birth: February 10, 1984
Place of Birth: Tbilisi, Georgian SSR, Soviet Union
Height: 6 feet 11 inches (211 cm)
Weight: 122 kg (270 lbs)
Birth Sign: Aquarius
Shoe Size: 17 US