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Basketball Club Žalgiris (Lithuanian: Krepšinio klubas Žalgiris) is a professional basketball team that is based in Kaunas, Lithuania, and competes domestically in the Lietuvos krepšinio lyga (LKL, Lithuanian Basketball League). Founded in 1944, it is one of the oldest teams in the EuroLeague. Žalgiris is one of 11 European clubs to hold long-term licenses with the EuroLeague, which provides a guaranteed place in the regular-season phase of this league. Since the 2011–12 season, Žalgiris plays its home games in Žalgiris Arena, which was built just before EuroBasket 2011. The club's name commemorates the victorious Battle of Žalgiris (Battle of Grunwald). Both Žalgiris and Grunwald translate to "green grove".

Žalgiris Kaunas
Žalgiris Kaunas logo
NicknameŽaliai balti (The Green-Whites)
LeaguesLithuanian Basketball League
EuroLeague
Founded1944
ArenaŽalgiris Arena
Capacity15,415
LocationKaunas, Lithuania
Team colorsGreen, white
         
Team managerPaulius Motiejūnas
Head coachŠarūnas Jasikevičius
Team captainPaulius Jankūnas
Affiliation(s)BC Žalgiris-2
Championships1 EuroLeague
1 Saporta Cup
1 Intercontinental Cup
5 Soviet Union Leagues
1 Soviet Union Cup
1 North European League
21 Lithuanian Leagues
5 Lithuanian Cups
5 Baltic Leagues
1 Stepas Butautas Cup
2 King Mindaugas Cups
Retired numbers2 (5, 11)
Websitezalgiris.lt

Žalgiris has featured many Lithuanian basketball legends during its history, including Arvydas Sabonis, Modestas Paulauskas and Šarūnas Jasikevičius. Eight of the twelve Lithuanian basketball players to play in the North American National Basketball Association (NBA) have played for Žalgiris or were part of the Žalgiris youth program at one point in their careers. (The eight are: Arvydas Sabonis, Šarūnas Marčiulionis, Šarūnas Jasikevičius, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Donatas Motiejūnas, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Darius Songaila and Martynas Andriuškevičius.)

The team is the most-decorated Lithuanian basketball club, having won twenty Lithuanian championships, five Soviet championships, one European championship, and having reached the Lithuanian league finals every season since the league's 1993 formation.

HistoryEdit

1944–1982Edit

 
Arvydas Sabonis (No. 11) was one of the most dominant centers in the world.

Basketball Club Žalgiris was formed in 1944.[1] The team quickly rose to prominence, winning multiple Lithuanian basketball championships, also winning the USSR Premier Basketball League in 1947 and 1951. The team won silver medals in the 1949 and 1952 championships, and bronze in 1953, 1954, 1955 and 1956. Žalgiris also won the USSR Basketball Cup in 1953. The team at the time was led by Stepas Butautas, Vytautas Kulakauskas, Justinas Lagunavičius, Kazimieras Petkevičius, and later, by Stasys Stonkus and Algirdas Lauritėnas.

In the 1960s, the team's play declined, and many new young players joined the team, such as Modestas Paulauskas, Romualdas Venzbergas, Henrikas Giedraitis, Algirdas Linkevičius and Sergėjus Jovaiša. The team won bronze medals in the Soviet Union championship in 1971, 1973 and 1978.[2] In 1980, Žalgiris won the silver medals, and debuted in the 1980–81 FIBA European Cup Winners' Cup the next season.

1983–1987: FameEdit

 
Valdemaras Chomičius played 11 straight seasons from 1978 to 1989.

Žalgiris became the dominant club in Soviet Union and Europe when they added new talents to the team – Valdemaras Chomičius and Rimas Kurtinaitis – and coach Vladas Garastas. The biggest addition was 17-year-old Arvydas Sabonis, who debuted in the club in 1981 at 209 centimetres (82 in) and grew another 12 centimetres (4.7 in) in the next couple years. Sabonis could do everything on the court: play defense, assist his teammates, shoot three-pointers, and dominate inside the paint.

During the 1980s, Žalgiris won three consecutive Soviet Union National League championships, from 1985 to 1987, beating CSKA Moscow (English: Central Sports Club of Army) in the finals.[3] In 1985, they reached the Saporta Cup final, but lost to FC Barcelona. Despite the loss, Žalgiris participated in EuroLeague the next year as the Soviet Union champions, reaching the finals and losing to the rival Cibona. In 1986, Žalgiris won the William Jones Intercontinental Cup, defeating Dražen Petrović's Cibona Zagreb in the semi-finals and Ferro Carril Oeste in the finals.[4] They also participated in 1987 FIBA Club World Cup. Žalgiris was emerging as one of the top clubs in Europe at the time.

In the mid-1980s, the finals between Žalgiris Kaunas and CSKA Moscow served as a major inspiration for the Lithuanian national revival, especially when they played in Kaunas Sports Hall. From this emerged the Sąjūdis national movement and the re-establishment of state independence.[5]

1987–1989: SetbacksEdit

In 1987, however, Žalgiris suffered a setback when star player Sabonis suffered a torn achilles tendon. Three months later, he tore it again, causing him to miss most of the 1987–88 season.[6] That season, Žalgiris won a silver medal, losing to CSKA Moscow in the Soviet League finals. The next season, Sabonis managed to reach the European Cup Winners' Cup semi-finals and won a silver medal in Soviet League, losing a dramatic finals to Stroitel Kiev.

Just before the start of the 1989–90 season Žalgiris lost all of its leaders and half of its team: Sabonis, Kurtinaitis, Jovaiša, Chomičius and head coach Garastas all left the club, free from the Iron Curtain that had barred Lithuanian basketball talent from becoming internationals.[7]

1989–1997: New generationEdit

 
Former player Gintaras Krapikas later became the head coach of Žalgiris

In the 1989–90 season, Žalgiris reached the Clubs Cup Winners' Cup semi-finals, where they lost to Real Madrid. After the Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania, Žalgiris left the USSR championship. Over the next few seasons, Žalgiris won Lithuanian championships in 1991, 1992 and 1993, and the LKF Cup in 1990. Žalgiris won the ProfBasket Cup tournament, featuring many former USSR teams, in 1992. They won their first LKL title in 1994, beating Atletas Kaunas 3–1 in a four-game series. Over the following two years, Žalgiris again dominated LKL tournaments, beating Atletas Kaunas 3–0 in 1995 and 3–2 (after being down 0–2 in the series) in 1996, and had success participating in the 1995–96 FIBA European Cup when Rimas Kurtinaitis returned to play for his home team. After finishing with a 9–3 record in the regular season, Žalgiris advanced to the semi-finals, but fell to PAOK in the two-game series.[8] In 1997, Žalgiris again won the LKL championship, beating Olimpas Žemaitija Plungė 3–0 in the finals, and reached round 16 in the Saporta Cup, losing to Paris Basket Racing. Players including Darius Lukminas, Gintaras Einikis, Kęstutis Šeštokas, Dainius Adomaitis, and Darius Maskoliūnas played for the club during this period, coached by Jonas Kazlauskas.

1998–1999: The biggest successEdit

 
Jonas Kazlauskas, coach of the 1998–99 EuroLeague champions

Žalgiris enjoyed its greatest success as a club during the 1997–98 and 1998–99 seasons. They were coached by Jonas Kazlauskas with a new generation of Lithuanian talent including Saulius Štombergas, Dainius Adomaitis, Eurelijus Žukauskas, Tomas Masiulis, and Mindaugas Žukauskas, and experienced foreign players Franjo Arapović and Ennis Whatley. The team defeated Stefanel Milano 82–67 in the 1998 FIBA Saporta Cup final in Belgrade. Saulius Štombergas scored 35 points in the final. Žalgiris also won a fifth-consecutive LKL title, this time against Atletas Kaunas.

In the 1998–99 season Žalgiris made it to the EuroLeague Final Four for the first time in the club's history, and were crowned European champions after defeating Olympiacos and Kinder Bologna in the semi-final and the final, respectively. Tyus Edney was named EuroLeague Final Four MVP. Žalgiris also won LKL and North European Basketball League (NEBL) titles that season. They won bronze in the 1999 McDonald's Championship.[9] The rivalry against Lietuvos rytas also began.

2000–2004: Struggles and Sabonis comebackEdit

The year after winning the EuroLeague, in 2000, Žalgiris suffered one of its worse seasons. The club was eliminated after the group stage in the EuroLeague, finishing third in the NEBL and losing the LKL finals to Lietuvos Rytas for the first time.[10] In the 2001 season, the team reached the new EuroLeague playoffs, but lost to AEK. Žalgiris regained the LKL championship, beating Lietuvos Rytas 3–2. The 2002 season was again disappointing, as the team was eliminated in the EuroLeague after the group stage and lost the LKL championship. In the 2003 season, they were again eliminated in the EuroLeague playoffs, but achieved the LKL championship, beating Lietuvos Rytas 4–2.

Sabonis became the principal owner of the club in 2003, after playing for many years in the Spanish ACB League and the North American National Basketball Association (NBA). He also came back to play for the club for the 2003–04 season.[11] He dominated European competition winning EuroLeague Regular Season and Top 16 MVP. Žalgiris almost made it to the EuroLeague Final Four, but were stopped by Maccabi Tel Aviv, who tied the game on Derrick Sharp's last second three-pointer at the end of regulation and went on to lose in overtime.[12] The season ended in a high note, as Žalgiris swept Lietuvos Rytas 4–0 in the LKL championship.

2004–2009: Post-Sabonis eraEdit

 
In 2005 Jonas Mačiulis began his EuroLeague career as a Žalgiris member.

After the departure of Sabonis at the conclusion of the 2004 season, Žalgiris faced a series of ups and downs.[13] In the 2005 season, mainstays Tanoka Beard, Mindaugas Timinskas, Dainius Šalenga and new addition Robert Pack, enabled Žalgiris to have a respectable season.[14] In the EuroLeague, Žalgiris finished the regular season with an 8–6 record, including wins on the road against heavy favorites Maccabi Tel Aviv and FC Barcelona. However, in the Top 16 phase, Žalgiris entered a long slump and finished with an 0–6 record.[15] Žalgiris recovered on the domestic front, easily defeating ULEB Cup winner Lietuvos Rytas in the LKL finals with a 4–0 sweep, and also won the inaugural Baltic Basketball League (BBL) championship, beating Lietuvos Rytas in the finals 64–60.[16][17]

In the 2006 season, the team suffered many changes. Mindaugas Timinskas, Dainius Šalenga and Robert Pack all departed the team, and Žalgiris built a younger team while signing Ed Cota to return. With the emergence of Darjuš Lavrinovič, and strong teamwork, Žalgiris started the season very solidly, finishing the EuroLeague regular season with a 9–5 record.[18] Off-court, Žalgiris had many issues, resulting in a huge slump for the team, ending the Top 16 phase with another 0–6 record and losing both the LKL and BBL titles to Lietuvos Rytas.[19][20] The lone bright spot became the play of emerging point guard Mantas Kalnietis, who was signed both as a replacement for the released Cota and due to very poor play from new point guard and longtime NBA player Kenny Anderson.[21][22][23]

 
Dainius Šalenga dedicated most of his career for Žalgiris.
 
DeJuan Collins, one of the team's leaders in the 2007–08 season

For the 2007 season they had a new coach, Ainars Bagatskis, but suffered a fiasco in the EuroLeague regular season, with a disastrous 2–12 record.[citation needed] After Ainars Bagatskis was replaced by assistant coach Rimantas Grigas and the signing of new point guard DeJuan Collins, Žalgiris won the newly established LKF Cup.

Before the 2008 season, Žalgiris signed longtime EuroLeague player Marcus Brown. Žalgiris also played against NBA teams for the first time. The team had a successful regular season in the EuroLeague, finishing with an 8–6 record, but suffered another disappointment in the Top16, finishing with a 1–5 record. Žalgiris also won the LKF Cup for the second year in a row, beating Lietuvos Rytas 83–72 in the finals, after a monster game by Collins.[citation needed] In the BBL finals, Žalgiris defeated Lietuvos Rytas 86–84 in the finals on a last-second shot by Collins. Žalgiris retained the LKL title, beating Lietuvos Rytas 4–1 in the LKL finals in which Brown was named MVP.

The 2009 season started on a very high note, with the resignation of Jonas Mačiulis and Loren Woods, retaining leader Marcus Brown and signing of new point guard Willie Deane, who replaced the departed DeJuan Collins.[24] However, financial difficulties lead to poor play from the team and the firing of coach Grigas, who was replaced by longtime player and assistant coach Gintaras Krapikas.[25] Willie Deane was soon released, in large part due to his poor performance in the EuroLeague, which led to a seven-game losing streak.[26] The team recovered under point guard Mantas Kalnietis, and finished the EuroLeague regular season with a 2–8 record, missing the Top 16.[27] Despite growing financial difficulties, and the departure of Loren Woods, the team made the LKL and BBL finals, as well as the LKF Cup finals.[28] Despite this, this was the most Žalgiris could accomplish, as they lost to Lietuvos Rytas.[29][30] Jonas Mačiulis, who became the team leader during the season, left after the season ended.[31]

2009–2013: Vladimir Romanov eraEdit

 
Vladimir Romanov, the team's owner from 2009 to 2013

During the 2009 season Žalgiris was facing significant financial difficulties and sought a new investor. In 2009, Sabonis sold most of his stake to the local Ūkio banko investment group (ŪBIG), headed by Vladimir Romanov, who then held a 75% stake in the club. Sabonis retained a 21.5% interest in the club; 3% was owned by a minority group, while the remaining 0.5% was owned by the Kaunas City municipality.[32]

In the 2010 season, Romanov soon became unpopular with Žalgiris fans. After the departures of Jonas Mačiulis and Paulius Jankūnas, the team extended the contract of Marcus Brown and also signed Martynas Pocius, who quickly became one of the best players for the team.[33] The team also re-signed point guard Mantas Kalnietis, who turned down an offer from Benneton Treviso.[34][35] The team started the season by winning the new BBL Cup against Lietuvos Rytas. However, subsequent poor performances led to head coach Krapikas being replaced by former Lithuanian National team coach Ramūnas Butautas, who lead the team to the EuroLeague Top 16 phase with a 3–7 regular season record. After the team entered a slump, Romanov controversially fired Butautas, replacing him with assistant coach and former captain Darius Maskoliūnas. Under Maskoliūnas, Žalgiris came its closest to the EuroLeague Top 8 phase, finishing with a 2–4 record.[36] Žalgiris won back the BBL title by beating Lietuvos Rytas in the finals, but lost the LKL finals to Rytas by 4–3. Romanov had fired coach Maskoliūnas during this series, leading to speculation that Romanov had intentionally lost the finals to allow Lietuvos Rytas to qualify for the EuroLeague season. The season is widely considered as the most controversial in club history.[37][38]

 
Paulius Jankūnas is one of the most notable modern Žalgiris players.

Before the 2011 season, Žalgiris re-signed Paulius Jankūnas and DeJuan Collins, and also signed Aco Petrović as the new head coach for the team and Tomas Delininkaitis as shooting guard. The season began with Žalgiris playing very strongly, but after a slump in form Romanov fired head coach Petrović. They qualified to the Top 16 phase only in the final games, with a 5–5 record. After a controversial departure from center Mirza Begić,[citation needed] the slump continued under new coach Ilias Zouros, with a poor 1–5 record in the Top 16 phase and the VTB United League (not qualifying to the Final Four). However, the losses motivated the team, and after the recovery of Marcus Brown (who was injured for most of the season), Žalgiris won back the LKF Cup from Lietuvos Rytas and defeated VEF Riga in the BBL finals. In the LKL finals, Žalgiris easily defeated Lietuvos Rytas 4–1, regaining the LKL title for the first time since 2008.[citation needed]

Due to the NBA lockout, for the 2012 season, the team signed Sonny Weems and former Denver Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson.[39][40] The team also re-signed long time fan-favorite Marko Popović.[41] The team also signed longtime Lietuvos Rytas player and former Lithuanian National team captain Robertas Javtokas as center. However, the season started very poorly for Žalgiris. Hoping to end the slump, Romanov fired coach Ilias Zouros and replaced him with former Lietuvos Rytas head coach Aleksandar Trifunović.[42][43] Despite initial improvement, with the team finishing the EuroLeague regular season with a 4–6 record and a trip to the Top 16, the slump continued in the Top 16, with the team ending the EuroLeague season with 0–6 record.[44] After Ty Lawson left the team, Mantas Kalnietis became a true leader for Žalgiris, and played his perhaps best season.[45] The team slowly recovered, winning the LKF Cup.[46] After being eliminated in the VTB playoffs, Žalgiris made the BBL Final Four, winning against Lietuvos Rytas in the finals despite losing leader Sonny Weems (who was released due to injury) and DeJuan Collins (who was released due to failing a drug test).[47][48] With very solid play from Marko Popovič and Tomas Delininkaitis, Žalgiris retained the LKL title, defeating Lietuvos Rytas in the finals 4–1.[49] The club had achieved a second consecutive 'triple crown' of Lithuanian League, Lithuanian Cup and Baltic Cup.[50]

 
Rimantas Kaukėnas, one of the essential players in the 2012–13 season

For the 2013 season, Žalgiris signed Lithuanian national team players Rimantas Kaukėnas, Darjuš Lavrinovič and Kšyštof Lavrinovič, Unicaja Malaga leader Tremmell Darden, and Oliver Lafayette at point guard.[51][52][53] The season began by winning the newly established LKF SuperCup against Lietuvos Rytas. During the season, Mantas Kalnietis left the team and was replaced by Ibrahim Jaaber. Under new coach Joan Plaza, Žalgiris had their best EuroLeague start with five consecutive wins. Žalgiris finished at the top of the group for the first time in 13 years, with an 8–2 record. Žalgiris won the LKL and the VTB League.[citation needed] In their 76–66 home victory against CSKA Moscow, Žalgiris broke their attendance record, with 15,812 spectators.[54] Following the collapse of Ūkio bankas, owner Vladimir Romanov left Žalgiris. Financial troubles returned to the club, and Tremmell Darden and Ibrahim Jabber departed. Paulius Motiejunas was named the team director on 20 March. Žalgiris finished the Top 16 with a 6–8 record, the best in club history. Žalgiris also won the group stage in the VTB United League. In May, Žalgiris won their third straight LKL title, sweeping Lietuvos Rytas 4–0 in the finals.[55]

2013–2016: A new direction and continued domination of the LKLEdit

 
Five times youth competitions gold medalist Vytenis Čižauskas was one of the most appreciated young players.

After winning the LKL title, Žalgiris competed in the VTB United League playoffs, defeating Nizhny Novgorod in the quarterfinals but losing to Lokomotiv Kuban in the semi-finals. Despite the loss, Žalgiris was awarded the bronze medal for the first time since 2010.[56] After losing head coach Joan Plaza, Žalgiris rehired Ilias Zouros as head coach for the 2014 season. Žalgiris left the VTB United League because of the changes in the EuroLeague format, which meant that the teams that didn't qualify for the Top 16 would have a chance to play in the EuroCup playoffs.

 
Justin Dentmon, leader of the team for the 2013–14 season

Žalgiris signed Justin Dentmon[57] and Šarūnas Jasikevičius to one-year deals.[58] After a very slow start to the season, Zouros was fired as head coach, replaced by Saulius Štombergas.[59][60] Žalgiris made the Top 16 for the fifth consecutive time (with a 5–5 record). However, Žalgiris began to struggle in the LKL. The Top 16 proved to be a difficult stage, with Žalgiris losing many games by 5 points or less (a 2–12 record overall).[61] After a few losses in the LKF Cup and the LKL, Štombergas resigned and was replaced by Gintaras Krapikas as interim head coach.[62] In the last week of Top 16 play at home, Žalgiris beat Spanish champions Real Madrid. Justin Dentmon scored 36 points in that game, the most by a Žalgiris player in modern EuroLeague,[63] and Dentmon also made 74 three-pointers during the season (a EuroLeague record since 2000).[64]

After a loss to Lietuvos rytas in the final regular LKL season game, Žalgiris entered the playoffs as the fourth seed, the worst in club history. They faced Lietuvos rytas again in the semi-finals – the first time in 15 years that they did not meet in the final round. Žalgiris advanced to the finals against Neptūnas Klaipėda, taking the series 4–2 and winning their fourth consecutive LKL championship.[65]

 
Artūras Milaknis was one of the finest three-pointers specialists in Europe during the 2014–15 season.

During the 2015 preseason, Žalgiris made significant changes for the squad, replacing Justin Dentmon with Maalik Wayns, who was in turn replaced by Will Cherry.[66] Žalgiris also signed Darius Songaila from rivals Lietuvos Rytas and James Anderson from the NBA.[67][68] Šarūnas Jasikevičius retired and became an assistant coach, and more young players were brought to the team.[69] Young point guard Lukas Lekavičius was the main bright spot as the team began the LKL. In the EuroLeague, a 5–5 record qualified Žalgiris to the Top 16 phase where the team finished with a 5–9 record.[70] In February, Žalgiris won the LKF Cup for the first time in three years.[71] Žalgiris finished the LKL regular season in dominating fashion, with 12 straight wins, taking the top seed,[72] and defeated Lietuvos rytas in the finals 4–0. This win was the club's fifth consecutive LKL title and their 17th overall.[73]

Žalgiris had a total of seven players who competed in EuroBasket 2015.[74] Žalgiris finished the off-season by signing Ian Vougioukas at center.[75]

Žalgiris finished the 2016 regular season with a 5–5 record and qualified for the Top 16 phase for the seventh consecutive season.[76] After a poor start to the Top 16, head coach Krapikas was replaced by Šarūnas Jasikevičius, but injuries to Javtokas and the departure of Kalnietis lead the team to a huge slump, and a loss to Lietuvos Rytas in the King Mindaugas Cup final.[77] After strong criticism of the team management for not finding a center to replace Javtokas, Žalgiris signed new point guard Jerome Randle.[78] While the EuroLeague season ended with a 2–12 record, the team later recovered to take the LKL over Cup winners Lietuvos Rytas.[79] Žalgiris defeated Neptūnas Klaipėda with a 4–1 record in the LKL finals, winning a sixth consecutive LKL title.[80]

2016–present: Žalgiris in the new EuroLeague formatEdit

 
Šarūnas Jasikevičius, one of the all-time greatest Lithuanian basketball players, started coaching Žalgiris in 2016, and achieved many victories with the team.

In November 2015, a conflict between FIBA and Euroleague emerged. FIBA (International Basketball Federation) announced the formation of the Basketball Champions League, and courted EuroLeague teams to their side. However, the top teams, the A-license teams including Žalgiris, decided to sign a ten-year contract with the Euroleague Basketball Company.[81]

Žalgiris's preparation for the 2017 season began during the 2016 LKL finals, when the club signed point guard Léo Westermann to replace the departing Jerome Randle.[82] After the season, Pocius, Hanlan, Vougioukas, and long-time Žalgiris players Siim-Sander Vene and Kaspars Vecvagars, all left the team, while Žalgiris chose to retain the services of Seibutis and Motum.[83][84] Žalgiris also re-signed Edgaras Ulanovas.[85] Head coach Jasikevičius was pursued by FC Barcelona Lassa, but decided to remain with Žalgiris.[86] To correct the previous season's lack of a good shooter, Žalgiris signed Kevin Pangos; the team was loaned Augusto Lima from Real Madrid to replace Vougioukas at center.[87][88] Žalgiris also signed the returning Artūras Milaknis to a 3-year deal.[89] German prospect Isaiah Hartenstein was scheduled to make his professional debut after being signed in the previous season. In August, Žalgiris signed Antanas Kavaliauskas, the captain of Lietuvos Rytas who had previously promised to never play for Žalgiris; Kavaliauskas apologized to fans after the signing was announced.[90]

In February, Žalgiris won the first title of the 2017 season, winning the King Mindaugas Cup by defeating Neptūnas in the first round 81–58, Vytautas Prienai-Birštonas in the semi-finals 76–55, and Lietkabelis Panevėžys in the finals 84–63.[91] Edgaras Ulanovas won the tournament MVP.[92] In the EuroLeague, Žalgiris exceeded expectations with a 10th-place finish (14–16 record), scoring a win against defending champion CSKA Moscow and finishing ahead of FC Barcelona Lassa and Maccabi Tel Aviv.[93] Players Brock Motum, Léo Westermann, Edgaras Ulanovas and Lukas Lekavičius developed strongly, and team captain Paulius Jankūnas played one of his best seasons of his career, leading the team in scoring and rebounding.[94] Žalgiris easily finished in first place during the LKL regular season with just a few losses, swept rival Lietuvos rytas, with toughest competition from a powerful Lietkabelis team which included former Žalgiris leaders Darjuš and Kšyštof Lavrinovič. In the LKL playoffs, Žalgiris beat Dzūkija Alytus in the quarterfinals 3–0,[95][relevant? ] beat Neptūnas 3–1 in the semi-finals.[96][relevant? ] They faced Lietkabelis Panevėžys again in the LKL finals, winning the series 4–1, their seventh consecutive LKL championship.[97] The 2016–17 season is considered as one of the best in modern Žalgiris history.[by whom?][citation needed]

 
Edgaras Ulanovas won four Finals MVP titles from 2015 to 2019

Prior the 2018 season, Žalgiris reached an agreement with club sponsor Avia Solutions Group to guarantee private flights for the team during away games in a refurbished business-class Boeing 737.[98][99][100][101] The off-season work began just a week after winning the LKL championship, when breakout player Brock Motum signing with Anadolu Efes S.K..[102] To replace Motum, Žalgiris signed Aaron White, who had played a season with Zenit Saint Petersburg.[103] Léo Westerman signed with CSKA Moscow, and was replaced by talented guard Vasilije Micić.[104][105] To replace Seibutis, Žalgiris originally signed Royce O'Neale, who terminated his deal just weeks later to sign with the Utah Jazz.[106] Žalgiris then signed Axel Toupane to replace him.[107] Because center Robertas Javtokas announced retirement and the loan of Augusto Lima ended, Žalgiris signed Brandon Davies of AS Monaco Basket in the center position.[108][109][110] The most-shocking departure came at the end of June, when breakout point guard Lukas Lekavičius signed a contract with Panathinaikos.[111] Needing a new point guard, Žalgiris signed Dee Bost, also of AS Monaco.[112] Coach Jasikevičius also re-signed with Žalgiris, while the retired Javtokas became the new sports director of the team.[113][114] On September 22, Žalgiris played a game in London against Polski Cukier Toruń, which Žalgiris won 87–61. Žalgiris won the King Mindaugas Cup for the second year in a row, defeating Lietuvos rytas 81–62 in the finals. Edgaras Ulanovas won the tournament MVP for the second straight year.

 
From 2017 to 2019, Brandon Davies has been the Žalgiris's game central piece and led the team to the first EuroLeague Final Four since the 1998-99 season.

In the 2017–18 EuroLeague, Žalgiris was again projected to be one of the last teams. During October–December, Žalgiris struggled with a 5–5 record, before winning a five-game streak to finish the first round 10–5, tied for third place in the standings. In the second round, Dee Bost was replaced by Beno Udrih. Žalgiris struggled for the first few weeks of the second round, but fought its way to an 18–12 record (sixth place) and qualified to the EuroLeague playoffs for the first time since 2001. The team qualified for the 2018 EuroLeague Final Four after beating Olympiacos in game 4 to clinch a 3–1 series win.[115] The team achieved this despite having the second-lowest budget in the league.[116] Žalgiris lost to Fenerbahçe in the semifinals, 76–67. In the third-place game, Žalgiris faced longtime rivals CSKA Moscow; Žalgiris lead by as much as 24 points, but CSKA rallied and Žalgiris narrowly won 79–77, achieving third place in the Euroleague. In the LKL, Žalgiris won the regular season, and beat Lietuvos rytas in the finals with a 4–1 record, earning their eighth consecutive LKL championship. This was the club's best season since 1999.[citation needed]

After a near-perfect season, the off-season was difficult. Žalgiris lost its front court as Pangos went to FC Barcelona Lassa and Micič signed with Efes. Žalgiris signed Nate Wolters as the team's new point guard. After the departure of Beno Udrih, Žalgiris signed Donatas Sabeckis from Šiauliai, who lead the LKL in assists. Toupane left the team to sign with Olympiacos; to replace him, Žalgiris signed former-teammate Marius Grigonis, who was having a successful career abroad, to a multi-year deal, as well as talented guard/forward Thomas Walkup. At center, Davies had re-signed in April, and Kavaliauskas was re-signed in June. To replace reserve Martynas Sajus, Žalgiris signed Laurynas Birutis, who was loaned and had a successful season with Šiauliai. Several more reserves, Paulius Valinskas and Gytis Masiulis, were loaned to other LKL teams so that they could gain more playing time. Ulanovas also signed a new contract. Like the previous season, the biggest concern was the future of coach Jasikevičius. Despite offers from other EuroLeague teams and the Toronto Raptors, Jasikevičius remained with Žalgiris, signing a new contract. Former player Tomas Masiulis replaced Darius Songaila in the coaching staff. In September, Žalgiris signed the returning Léo Westermann to fill the point guard spot.

Žalgiris struggled at the start of the 2018–19 EuroLeague season. Needing another point guard, Žalgiris signed Derrick Walton in October. By December, led by Westermann, Davies, Grigonis and White, Žalgiris reached sixth place with a 7–7 record. However, injuries decimated the team, leaving a void in the point guard position. Walton's disappointing play led to declining minutes, and a release in February 2019. Deon Thompson was signed in January to strengthen the front court. In February, Žalgiris suffered a fiasco in the King Mindaugas Cup to Rytas Vilnius, losing the tournament for the first time since 2016. By the start of March, Žalgiris was 13th with a 9–15 record, with minimal hopes of reaching the playoffs. Despite this, and a poor home record, Žalgiris led EuroLeague attendance by a large margin. The team's play started to improve when Walkup was pushed to the point guard position to replace Walton, Westermann returned after injury and improving play by Thompson led to a six-game winning streak, achieving a 15–15 record and the final spot in the playoffs. In the EuroLeague playoffs, Žalgiris lost to Fenerbahçe. Žalgiris broke the EuroLeague's home attendance record with an average of 14,808 spectators in the Žalgiris Arena. In the 2018–19 LKL season, Žalgiris finished in first place in the regular season, and swept the series finals against Rytas, winning the series 3–0, for a ninth consecutive LKL championship.

During the off-season, White, Davies, Wolters, Westermann and Thompson left, while Kavaliauskas announced retirement. Little used guard Sabeckis was also not re-signed. Lukas Lekavičius returned to the team after two seasons in Greece, and Alex Pérez was signed to replace Westermann. Jock Landale was signed to replace Davies, while Nigel Hayes was signed to replace White. Zach LeDay of Olympiacos was signed to complete the front court. Martinas Geben, signed to a long-term deal the previous summer, earned a spot on the roster after a successful season in Juventus Utena in the LKL, where he was named Season MVP. Grigonis, who had a great season, was resigned to new contract. Coach Jasikevičius remained with the team for one more season.

Video gamesEdit

Žalgiris basketball club was featured in the vido game NBA 2K14, along with thirteen other top EuroLeague teams.[117][118] The club was also featured in NBA 2K15, NBA 2K16 and NBA 2K17.[119][120][121]

PlayersEdit

Retired numbersEdit

Žalgiris retired numbers
No Nat. Player Position Tenure Ceremony date
HC   Jonas Kazlauskas HC 1994–2000 23 April 2019[122]
HC   Vladas Garastas HC 1979–1989 23 April 2017[123]
5   Modestas Paulauskas SF 1962–1976 25 March 2015[124]
11   Arvydas Sabonis C 1981–1989, 2001–2002, 2003–2004 27 September 2014[125]

Current rosterEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.

Žalgiris roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Nat. Name Ht. Wt. Age
SG 0   Walkup, Thomas 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in) 88 kg (194 lb) 26 – (1992-12-30)30 December 1992
PG 2   Pérez, Alex 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in) 86 kg (190 lb) 26 – (1993-07-01)1 July 1993
PG 4   Lekavičius, Lukas 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in) 76 kg (168 lb) 25 – (1994-03-30)30 March 1994
PF 10   Hayes, Nigel 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in) 116 kg (256 lb) 24 – (1994-12-16)16 December 1994
F 12   Venskus, Erikas 2.05 m (6 ft 9 in) 100 kg (220 lb) 19 – (2000-05-28)28 May 2000
PF 13   Jankūnas, Paulius (C) 2.05 m (6 ft 9 in) 107 kg (236 lb) 35 – (1984-04-29)29 April 1984
SG 16   Lukošiūnas, Karolis 1.95 m (6 ft 5 in) 94 kg (207 lb) 22 – (1997-08-04)4 August 1997
C 17   Birutis, Laurynas 2.13 m (7 ft 0 in) 110 kg (243 lb) 22 – (1997-08-27)27 August 1997
SG 21   Milaknis, Artūras 1.95 m (6 ft 5 in) 90 kg (198 lb) 33 – (1986-06-16)16 June 1986
C 23   Geben, Martinas 2.08 m (6 ft 10 in) 114 kg (251 lb) 25 – (1994-10-20)20 October 1994
PG 31   Jokubaitis, Rokas 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in) 84 kg (185 lb) 18 – (2000-11-19)19 November 2000
F/C 32   LeDay, Zach 2.02 m (6 ft 8 in) 108 kg (238 lb) 25 – (1994-05-30)30 May 1994
C 34   Landale, Jock 2.11 m (6 ft 11 in) 116 kg (256 lb) 24 – (1995-10-25)25 October 1995
G/F 40   Grigonis, Marius   1.98 m (6 ft 6 in) 93 kg (205 lb) 25 – (1994-04-26)26 April 1994
PG 77   Kriisa, Kerr 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in) 75 kg (165 lb) 18 – (2001-01-02)2 January 2001
SF 92   Ulanovas, Edgaras 1.99 m (6 ft 6 in) 94 kg (207 lb) 27 – (1992-01-07)7 January 1992
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)
Athletic trainer(s)
  •   Nerijus Navickas
  •   Justinas Grainys
Doctor
  •   Vytautas Kailius
Physiotherapist(s)
  •   Paulius Jacikas

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  •   Injured

Updated: October 24, 2019

Depth chartEdit

Pos. Starting 5 Bench 1 Bench 2 Bench 3
C Jock Landale Martinas Geben Laurynas Birutis Erikas Venskus
PF Zach LeDay Nigel Hayes Paulius Jankūnas
SF Edgaras Ulanovas Artūras Milaknis
SG Marius Grigonis Thomas Walkup Karolis Lukošiūnas
PG Alex Pérez Lukas Lekavičius Rokas Jokubaitis Kerr Kriisa

Squad changes for the 2019–20 seasonEdit

InEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team, as has been defined under FIBA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIBA nationality.

No. Position Player
  C Jock Landale (from   KK Partizan)
  PF Nigel Hayes (from   Galatasaray S.K.)
  PG Lukas Lekavičius (from   Panathinaikos)
  PG Alex Pérez (from   Bandırma Banvit)
  F/C Zach LeDay (from   Olympiacos)
  C Martinas Geben (from   BC Juventus)
  SG Karolis Lukošiūnas (from   BC Šiauliai)

OutEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team, as has been defined under FIBA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIBA nationality.

No. Position Player
0   C Brandon Davies (to   FC Barcelona)
3   G Nate Wolters (to   Maccabi Tel Aviv)
30   PF Aaron White (to   Olimpia Milano)
2   F/C Deon Thompson (to   Unicaja Málaga)
44   C Antanas Kavaliauskas (retired)
9   PG Léo Westermann (to   Fenerbahçe)
8   PG Donatas Sabeckis (to   KK Cibona)
7   SG Martynas Varnas (to   BC Prienai)
23   SF Matas Jogėla (to   BC Neptūnas)
66   G Paulius Valinskas (to   BC Lietkabelis)

Out on loanEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team, as has been defined under FIBA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIBA nationality.

No. Position Player
21   PF Gytis Masiulis (to   BC Neptūnas)
8   PG Arnas Velička (to   BC Prienai)
0   SG Tom Digbeu (to   BC Prienai)
10   SG Lukas Uleckas (to   BC Prienai)
19   F Vitalijus Kozys (to   BC Žalgiris-2)
21   PF Erikas Venskus (to   BC Žalgiris-2)
77   PG Kerr Kriisa (to   BC Prienai)

HonoursEdit

[citation needed]

Domestic competitionsEdit

Winners (11): 1946, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1957, 1958, 1991, 1992, 1993
Winners (21): 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Winners (6): 1990, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2015
Winners (5): 1947, 1951, 1985, 1986, 1987 [1]
Winners (1): 1953
Winners (2): 2017, 2018

European competitionsEdit

 
Žalgiris fans supporting their team in an away game
Winners (1): 1998–99
Runners-up (1): 1985–86
Semifinalists (1): 1986–87
3rd place (1): 2017–18
Final Four (2): 1999, 2018
Winners (1): 1997–98
Runners-up (1): 1984–85
Semifinalists (3): 1988–89, 1989–90, 1995–96

Worldwide competitionsEdit

Winners (1): 1986

Regional competitionsEdit

Winners (1): 1999
Winners (5): 2005, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012
Winners (1): 2009

Other competitionsEdit

Winners (1): 2008
Runners-up (1): 2010
  • Gloria Cup
Winners (1): 2018

Season-by-seasonEdit

Scroll down to see more.
Season League Cup
LKF / KING Mindaugas
Regional competitions Europe Head Coach Roster
1992–93 Champion No tournament No tournament EuroLeague
FIBA EuroLeague 1992–93
Henrikas Giedraitis

Gintaras Einikis, Arvydas Straupis, Gintaras Staniulis, Gintautas Šivickas, Rimas Kurtinaitis, Arūnas Visockas, Saulius Štombergas, Darius Lukminas, Darius Maskoliūnas, Algirdas Brazys, Vaidas Jurgilas, Tauras Stumbrys, Aurimas Tomas Palšis

1993–94 Champion No tournament No tournament FIBA EuroLeague 1993–94 Second round Jaak Salumets Gintaras Einikis, Romanas Brazdauskis, Erikas Bublys, Antwon Harmon, Arūnas Visockas, Gert Kullamäe, Darius Lukminas, Gintautas Šivickas, Kęstutis Šeštokas, Darius Maskoliūnas, Algirdas Brazys, Vaidas Jurgilas, Tauras Stumbrys
1994–95 Champion No tournament No tournament 1994–95 FIBA European League Second Round Jonas Kazlauskas Gintaras Einikis, Kęstutis Šeštokas, Tomas Masiulis, Arūnas Visockas, Nerijus Karlikanovas, Darren Henrie, Darius Lukminas, Marijus Kavoliukas, Tautvydas Lydeka, Darius Maskoliūnas, Algirdas Brazys, Tauras Stumbrys, Michael Coleman
1995–96 Champion No tournament No tournament 1995–96 FIBA European League Second Round Jonas Kazlauskas Torgeir Bryn, Eurelijus Žukauskas, Joey Hooks, Rimas Kurtinaitis, Kęstutis Šeštokas, Tomas Masiulis, Arūnas Visockas, Miloš Babić, Darius Lukminas, Erikas Bublys, Darius Maskoliūnas, Nerijus Karlikanovas, Tauras Stumbrys, Darius Sirtautas
1996–97 Champion No tournament No tournament EuroCup
Last 16
Jonas Kazlauskas Franjo Arapović, Tomas Masiulis, Kęstutis Šeštokas, Gintautas Šivickas, Dainius Adomaitis, Erikas Bublys, Darius Maskoliūnas, Anthony Miller, Veljko Mršić, Andre Reid, Tauras Stumbrys, Darius Sirtautas
1997–98 Champion No tournament No tournament EuroCup
Champion
Jonas Kazlauskas Franjo Arapović, Eurelijus Žukauskas, Mindaugas Žukauskas, Tomas Masiulis, Kęstutis Šeštokas, Saulius Štombergas, Dainius Adomaitis, Virginijus Praškevičius, Darius Maskoliūnas, Ennis Whatley, Tauras Stumbrys, Darius Sirtautas
1998–99 Champion No tournament NEBL Champion EuroLeague
Champion
Jonas Kazlauskas George Zidek, Eurelijus Žukauskas, Mindaugas Žukauskas, Tomas Masiulis, Kęstutis Šeštokas, Saulius Štombergas, Dainius Adomaitis, Anthony Bowie, Darius Maskoliūnas, Tyus Edney, Giedrius Gustas
1999–00 Finalist No tournament EuroLeague
Last 24
Jonas Kazlauskas George Zidek, Eurelijus Žukauskas, Ivan Grgat, Mindaugas Žukauskas, Mindaugas Timinskas, Tauras Stumbrys, Tomas Masiulis, Kęstutis Šeštokas, Donatas Slanina, Darren Henry, Corey Beck, Mitchell Butler, Chris Garner
2000–01 Champion No tournament NEBL Finalist EuroLeague
Last 16
Algirdas Brazys Grigorij Khizhnyak, Artūras Masiulis, John White, Martynas Andriukaitis, Andrius Jurkūnas, Dainius Šalenga, Tomas Masiulis, Steve Woodberry, Donatas Slanina, Giedrius Gustas, Kęstutis Marčiulionis, Nerijus Karlikanovas, Marius Bašinskas, Vidas Ginevičius
2001–02 Finalist No tournament EuroLeague
Last 32
Algirdas Brazys Grigorij Khizhnyak, Artūras Masiulis, Rolandas Matulis, Andrius Jurkūnas, Dainius Šalenga, Tomas Masiulis, Steve Woodberry, Donatas Slanina, Giedrius Gustas, Sherman Hamilton, Kęstutis Marčiulionis, Vidas Ginevičius, Arvydas Sabonis, Martynas Andriukaitis, Kenneth Inge
2002–03 Champion No tournament EuroLeague
Last 24
Antanas Sireika Gintaras Einikis, Tanoka Beard, Darius Šilinskis, Artūras Masiulis, Tadas Klimavičius, Saulius Štombergas, Dainius Šalenga, Kornél Dávid, Mindaugas Timinskas, Chris Carrawell, Giedrius Gustas, Ed Cota, Vidas Ginevičius
2003–04 Champion No tournament No tournament EuroLeague
Last 16
Antanas Sireika Tanoka Beard, Darjuš Lavrinovič, Arvydas Sabonis, Paulius Jankūnas, Artūras Javtokas, Miroslav Beric, Dainius Šalenga, Simonas Serapinas, Mindaugas Timinskas, Ainars Bagatskis, Giedrius Gustas, Ed Cota
2004–05 Champion No tournament BBL Champion EuroLeague
Last 16
Antanas Sireika Tanoka Beard, Darjuš Lavrinovič, Paulius Jankūnas, Martynas Andriuškevičius, Dainius Šalenga, Simonas Serapinas, Jonas Mačiulis, Mindaugas Timinskas, Ainars Bagatskis, Vidas Ginevičius, Robert Pack, Artūras Javtokas, Arvydas Sabonis, Gediminas Navickas
2005–06 Finalist No tournament BBL Finalist EuroLeague
Last 16
Antanas Sireika Tanoka Beard, Darjuš Lavrinovič, Paulius Jankūnas, Darius Šilinskis, Reggie Freeman, Simonas Serapinas, Jonas Mačiulis, Mantas Kalnietis, Ed Cota, Vidas Ginevičius, Larry Ayuso, Kenny Anderson, Vilmantas Dilys
2006–07 Champion Winner BBL Finalist EuroLeague
Last 24
Rimantas Grigas Tanoka Beard, Darius Šilinskis, Hanno Möttölä, Paulius Jankūnas, Marcelo Machado, Kirk Penney, Jonas Mačiulis, Vladimir Štimac, Artūras Milaknis, Mantas Kalnietis, DeJuan Collins, Marko Popović, Vidas Ginevičius, Vaidotas Pečiukas, Vytenis Jasikevičius
2007–08 Champion Winner BBL Champion EuroLeague
Last 16
Rimantas Grigas Eurelijus Žukauskas, Tanoka Beard, Paulius Jankūnas, Goran Jurak, Dainius Šalenga, Jonas Mačiulis, Marcus Brown, Artūras Milaknis, Mantas Kalnietis, DeJuan Collins, Marko Popović, Damir Markota, Mamadou N'Diaye, Donatas Motiejūnas, Vilmantas Dilys, Žygimantas Janavičius
2008–09 Finalist Finalist BBL Finalist EuroLeague
Last 24
Gintaras Krapikas Eurelijus Žukauskas, Loren Woods, Paulius Jankūnas, Tomas Masiulis, Tadas Klimavičius, Dainius Šalenga, Jonas Mačiulis, Darius Šilinskis, Artūras Milaknis, Mantas Kalnietis, Vytenis Čižauskas, Šarūnas Vasiliauskas, Žygimantas Janavičius, Ratko Varda, Willie Deane, Rokas Čepanonis
2009–10 Finalist Finalist BBL Champion EuroLeague
Last 16
Darius Maskoliūnas Mirza Begić, Travis Watson, Tadas Klimavičius, Mario Delaš, Dainius Šalenga, Martynas Pocius, Artūras Milaknis, Marcus Brown, Aleksandar Ćapin, Mantas Kalnietis, Siim-Sander Vene, Povilas Butkevičius, Povilas Čukinas, Šarūnas Vasiliauskas, Adas Juškevičius
2010–11 Champion Winner BBL Champion EuroLeague
Last 16
Ilias Zouros Mirza Begić, Boban Marjanović, Travis Watson, Omar Samhan, Paulius Jankūnas, Tadas Klimavičius, Trent Plaisted, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Dainius Šalenga, Martynas Pocius, Artūras Milaknis, Marcus Brown, Aleksandar Ćapin, Tomas Delininkaitis, Mantas Kalnietis, DeJuan Collins
2011–12 Champion Winner VTB United League EuroLeague
Last 16
Aleksandar Trifunović Robertas Javtokas, Milovan Raković, Paulius Jankūnas, Tadas Klimavičius, Sonny Weems, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Marko Popović, Tomas Delininkaitis, Mantas Kalnietis, DeJuan Collins, Reeves Nelson, Dainius Šalenga, Vytenis Lipkevičius, Ty Lawson
2012–13 Champion Not participated VTB United League 3 place EuroLeague
Last 16
Joan Plaza Robertas Javtokas, Paulius Jankūnas, Tadas Klimavičius, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Marko Popović, Kšyštof Lavrinovič, Darjuš Lavrinovič, Jeff Foote, Mario Delaš, Tremmell Darden, Vytenis Lipkevičius, Rimantas Kaukėnas, Oliver Lafayette, Ibrahim Jaaber, Adas Juškevičius, Donnie McGrath
2013–14 Champion Third place Not participated EuroLeague
Last 16
Saulius Štombergas Robertas Javtokas, Paulius Jankūnas, Tadas Klimavičius, Martynas Pocius, Justin Dentmon, Kšyštof Lavrinovič, Siim-Sander Vene, Artūras Milaknis, Šarūnas Jasikevičius, Mindaugas Kupšas, Vytenis Lipkevičius, Tauras Jogėla, Tomas Dimša, Kaspars Vecvagars, Vytenis Čižauskas, Artūras Gudaitis
2014–15 Champion Winner Not participated EuroLeague
Last 16
Gintaras Krapikas Robertas Javtokas, Paulius Jankūnas, Siim-Sander Vene, Artūras Milaknis, Vytenis Lipkevičius, Tomas Dimša, Kaspars Vecvagars, Artūras Gudaitis, Lukas Lekavičius, Donatas Tarolis, Vaidas Kariniauskas, Edgaras Ulanovas, Darius Songaila, James Anderson, Will Cherry
2015–16 Champion Runner-up Not participated EuroLeague
Last 16
Gintaras Krapikas, Šarūnas Jasikevičius Robertas Javtokas, Paulius Jankūnas, Siim-Sander Vene, Vytenis Lipkevičius, Kaspars Vecvagars, Lukas Lekavičius, Edgaras Ulanovas, Martynas Pocius, Renaldas Seibutis, Olivier Hanlan, Brock Motum, Ian Vougioukas, Martynas Sajus, Jerome Randle, Mantas Kalnietis
2016–17 Champion Winner Not participated EuroLeague
Regular Season
Šarūnas Jasikevičius Robertas Javtokas, Paulius Jankūnas, Lukas Lekavičius, Edgaras Ulanovas, Renaldas Seibutis, Brock Motum, Leo Westermann, Kevin Pangos, Augusto Lima, Artūras Milaknis, Antanas Kavaliauskas, Paulius Valinskas, Isaiah Hartenstein, Martynas Varnas, Gytis Masiulis
2017–18 Champion Winner Not participated EuroLeague
Third place
Šarūnas Jasikevičius Paulius Jankūnas, Edgaras Ulanovas, Kevin Pangos, Artūras Milaknis, Antanas Kavaliauskas, Paulius Valinskas, Gytis Masiulis, Aaron White, Vasilije Micić, Brandon Davies, Dee Bost, Axel Toupane, Martynas Sajus, Martynas Arlauskas, Beno Udrih
2018–19 Champion Finalist Not participated EuroLeague
Quarterfinal
Šarūnas Jasikevičius Paulius Jankūnas, Edgaras Ulanovas, Artūras Milaknis, Antanas Kavaliauskas, Aaron White, Brandon Davies, Leo Westermann, Nate Wolters, Marius Grigonis, Laurynas Birutis, Thomas Walkup, Donatas Sabeckis, Derrick Walton, Lukas Uleckas, Rokas Jokubaitis, Erikas Venskus
Detailed information of former rosters and results.[126][127][128]

Notable playersEdit

 
Žalgiris vs. Golden State Warriors in 2007
 
Žalgiris vs. Šiauliai in 2007
 
Žalgiris warming up before the game
 
Žalgiris fans during LKL game in Vilnius
 
Former Žalgiris jersey

Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.

Head coachesEdit

 
Jonas Kazlauskas was the head coach of Žalgiris during the 1998–1999 season. Žalgiris won the EuroLeague that season.
Source of the information.[129]

Previous kitsEdit

The uniform colors of Žalgiris are green and white. The home games are played in green uniforms and the away games are played in white. Since 2012, Adidas was the manufacturer of the club uniforms.[130] In 2018, Žalgiris started manufacturing their own uniforms, in attempt to spread the brand image of the team while also making them more affordable to fans.[131]

 
 
 
 
13–15
 
 
 
 
15–16
 
 
 
 
16-18
 
 
 
 
13–15
 
 
 
 
15–16
 
 
 
 
16–18

Statistical leadersEdit

All-time points per game in European Cup games (PPG)Edit

Only players with a significant number of games played or points scored.

Position Nat. Player Seasons Games Points total Points per game
1
 
Paulius Jankūnas
16
304
2861
9.4
2
 
Rimas Kurtinaitis
6
70
1321
18.9
3
 
Artūras Milaknis
10
187
1292
6.9
4
 
Arvydas Sabonis
5
63
1281
20.3
5
 
Tanoka Beard
6
73
1107
15.2
6
 
Dainius Šalenga
10
129
1107
8.6
7
 
Edgaras Ulanovas
6
153
1063
7.0
8
 
Valdemaras Chomičius
5
53
934
17.6
9
 
Brandon Davies
2
70
818
11.7
10
 
Marko Popović
4
62
797
12.9
11
 
Saulius Štombergas
3
55
763
13.9
12
 
Kevin Pangos
2
66
716
10.8
13
 
Mindaugas Timinskas
4
64
697
10.9
14
 
Mantas Kalnietis
8
104
688
6.6
15
 
Jonas Mačiulis
4
64
665
10.4
15
 
Tomas Masiulis
7
91
665
7.3
Last updated: 2019-11-03.[132]

Individual awardsEdit

RivalriesEdit

During the Soviet era, Žalgiris had a huge rivalry with CSKA Moscow, the multiple-time champions and Red Army symbol, drawing huge crowds in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. The rivalry peaked during the 1980s, with the teams meeting in the USSR championship finals six times, which Žalgiris won in 1985, 1986 and 1987. It is considered to be the top rivalry in USSR basketball. CSKA remains one of the most-hated teams in Kaunas to this day. During the 2000s and 2010s, the teams have met many times in the EuroLeague, with CSKA winning most of the matches. In 2018, during the match for third place, Žalgiris narrowly defeated CSKA, 79–77. Over the years, the two teams also met in the NEBL, as well as the VTB United League, with the matches drawing huge crowds. In 2012, one such VTB match drew a record attendance of 15,812 for the competition and for the Žalgirio Arena.

After the Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania and the Independence of Lithuania in 1990, and the establishment of the Lithuanian Basketball League in 1993, Žalgiris had a derby rivalry with BC Atletas, coached by former-Žalgiris head coach Vladas Garastas, with both teams fighting for the LKL championship. The teams met in the LKL finals four times, with Žalgiris winning each time. Starting in 1998, the biggest rival of Žalgiris has been BC Lietuvos rytas, also known as BC Rytas, from Vilnius. The matches draw the biggest interest in all of LKL, with the teams meeting in the finals 17 times, with Žalgiris winning 12 times, while Rytas won 5. The teams constantly fight for first place in the standings, and also fought in the LKF Cup, King Mindaugas Cup, Baltic Basketball League finals and the NEBL, with Žalgiris winning most of the games. During the 2010s, Žalgiris has largely dominated the rivalry, with sweeps in the finals in 2012, 2013, 2015, 2019 and in the regular season in 2017. In the 2018–19 season, Žalgiris swept Rytas in both the regular season and the finals' series, making it one of only few times this has happened.

Since 2014, after BC Neptūnas and BC Lietkabelis had made the LKL finals in 2014, 2016 and 2017, they, along with Rytas, have became the main teams fighting with Žalgiris for the championship.

Matches against NBA teamsEdit

15 October 2007
Golden State Warriors   107–88   BC Žalgiris
17 October 2007
Toronto Raptors   105–99   BC Žalgiris
19 October 2007
Washington Wizards   115–96   BC Žalgiris
Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.

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External linksEdit