Košarkaški klub Partizan (Serbian Cyrillic: Кошаркашки клуб Партизан, English: Partizan Basketball Club), commonly referred to as KK Partizan or simply Partizan, is a men's professional basketball club based in Belgrade, Serbia. It is part of the multi-sports Belgrade-based club Partizan. KK Partizan is a part of the Adriatic Basketball Association and competes in the ABA League, the EuroCup and in the Basketball League of Serbia.
|Nickname||Parni Valjak (Steamroller)
Crno-Beli (The Black-Whites)
|Leagues||Basketball League of Serbia
|Arena||Aleksandar Nikolić Hall|
|Team colors||Black and White
|Main sponsor||Naftna Industrija Srbije|
|General manager||Mlađan Šilobad|
|Team manager||Dušan Kecman|
|Head coach||Nenad Čanak|
3 Korać Cup
6 ABA League
21 National Championships
14 National Cups
Since 1945, Partizan has won around 45 trophies, and is the holder of the 21 national champion titles. They have also won 14 national basketball cups and 6 Adriatic championships, and notably the European Champion trophy at the Final Four of the EuroLeague in Istanbul in 1992. KK Partizan was the Euroleague Basketball champion in 1992, playing all but one of the games (including the quarter-final game against Knorr Bologna) on foreign grounds (in the Madrid suburb of Fuenlabrada); FIBA decided not to allow teams from the former Yugoslavia to play their home games at their home venues, because of open hostilities in the region. Same year club took national championship and cup, and won Triple Crown. KK Partizan was not allowed to defend the Euroleague title in the 1992–93 season, because of UN sanctions. They also won 3 Korać Cups in 1978, 1979 and 1989.
1945–1971: Formation and early yearsEdit
The club was founded on 4 October 1945, as a basketball section of the Sports Association of the Central House of the Yugoslav Army. The first club championship of Yugoslavia was held in 1946, and the Partizan team consisted mostly of players from Yugoslav Army basketball team, which in 1945 won the state championship tournament against teams of Yugoslav republics. KK Partizan officially ceased to be a club of the Army in 1953, since the entire sports society became independent and received the name of Partizan Yugoslav Sports Association (JSD Partizan).
Although with a strong roster, including players who played for the national team of Yugoslavia, Partizan waited for the first senior title of Yugoslav champion until 1976. In the first 30 years of history players for Partizan have included Mirko Marjanović, Božidar Munćan, Radomir Šaper, Vilmoš Loci, Lajoš Engler, Čedomir Stojičević, Borislav Stanković, Borislav Ćurčić, Branko Radović, Radovan Radović, Miloš Bojović, Dragutin Čermak, Slobodan Jelić and others. During this period Partizan finished five times as second-placed in the championship of Yugoslavia, and on two occasions it had the same number of points as the winner, but failed to reach the title of national champion.
1971–1981: Creating a powerhouseEdit
In the early 1970s, when former players started to run the club and when the coaching job was taken by national team coach Ranko Žeravica. He made a great selection of young players led by Dražen Dalipagić and Dragan Kićanović. Since Žeravica, as the national team coach (until 1965 as an assistant to Aleksandar Nikolić and then as head coach) followed the development of international basketball for more than ten years, including the American professional league, he tried to combine the best features of American and Soviet concepts of the game, while adapting them to the mentality of the Belgrade, Serbia and Yugoslav regions.
This period in the club's history included a few trophies. The first of these was the title of Yugoslav champion in 1975–76 season, followed by two victories in Korać Cup (1978 in Banja Luka, KK Bosna was defeated with 117–110, while in 1979 Partizan defeated Italian Arrigoni 108–98), first double in 1978–79 and another national championship title in 1980–81. In addition to coaches Žeravica, Ćorković and Ivković, notable players included Dražen Dalipagić and Dragan Kićanović, then Dragutin Čermak, Goran Latifić (captain of the first championship team in 1976), Josip Farčić, Dragan Todorić, Dušan Kerkez, Miodrag Marić, Boban Petrović, Arsenije Pešić, Boris Beravs, Milenko Savović, Jadran Vujačić, Nebojša Zorkić, Žarko Zečević and many others.
1985–1991: The new "Dream Team"Edit
After a calm period due to a change of generations, by the end of the 1980s under the leadership of new club director, Dragan Kićanović involved young experts, such as Duško Vujošević (coaches in the mid 1980s were also Zoran Slavnić, Borislav Džaković and Vladislav Lučić).
The generation of Aleksandar Đorđević, Vlade Divac, Žarko Paspalj, Ivo Nakić, Miroslav Pecarski and Oliver Popović grew up, and with support of slightly older Željko Obradović, Milenko Savović and Goran Grbović, led by young coach Duško Vujošević, brought Partizan back to the top of Yugoslav and European basketball.
That generation won the title of national champion in 1986–87, and in 1988, after victories in the Euroleague over European clubs including FC Barcelona, Maccabi Elite, Aris and Tracer Milano, secured participation in the Final Four in the Belgian city of Ghent. After losing in the semifinals to Maccabi Tel Aviv (82–87), Partizan won over Aris (105–93) and won third place in Europe.
In 1989, enforced by young Predrag Danilović, Partizan won the FIBA Korać Cup for the third time, triumphing over Wiwa Vismara Cantù. After losing the first game in Italy (76–89), Partizan celebrated the return leg in Belgrade with 101–82. That same season, Partizan won the Yugoslav Cup over new European champions Jugoplastika (87–74).
European and worldwide recognition of this second generation of players attracted many talented young basketball players to the club, but at the same time, interest from financially powerful clubs in Europe and the United States for the best players significantly reduced their time spent in the club. Vlade Divac and Žarko Paspalj in late 1989, along with Dražen Petrović from Cibona became the first players from the territory of Yugoslavia who pursued their careers in the NBA league.
1991–1992: At the top of EuropeEdit
After the departure of Divac, Paspalj, Grbović, Savović and other main players of the previous seasons, Partizan created a new young team for the 1991–92 season, notably Aleksandar Đorđević and Predrag Danilović. For the new coach, management chose a team captain and former national team player with almost no coaching experience, Želimir Obradović. His professional counselor became former Partizan coach and player, top European basketball expert, professor Aleksandar Nikolić.
Obradović claimed that Partizan again had a very strong team, that the new tandem coaching of Đorđević and Danilović was the best backcourt pair in Europe and that his team would not be an outsider in Euroleague.
FIBA decided not to allow teams from the former Yugoslavia to play their home games at their home venues, because of open hostilities in the region. Belgrade's "Black and Whites" have opted to be "hosts" in the Madrid suburb of Fuenlabrada, in the Polideportivo Fernando Martín arena.
Obradović's team began a long season of European and domestic matches, often traveling thousands of kilometers in just a few days, with performance gradually improving. Partizan finished the competition in the group stage in the Euroleague in fourth place with nine wins and five defeats. That meant that Partizan in crucial matches to qualify for the Final Four had to play with Knorr Bologna. Bolognese had a strong team led by former Yugoslav national team player Jurij Zdovc. But Đorđević, Danilović, Ivo Nakić, Zoran Stevanović, Vladimir Dragutinović, Željko Rebrača, Mlađan Šilobad, Slaviša Koprivica, Nikola Lončar and Dragiša Šarić were better in three games and for the second time won the place in the Final Four. Partizan won the title of European champion, achieved on the Final Four in Istanbul in April 1992. The average age of the team was 21.7, and out of 17 games all but one (the quarter-final game against Knorr Bologna in Belgrade) were played on foreign grounds.
At the Final Four held in Abdi İpekçi Arena in Istanbul Partizan defeated, at that moment the two strongest European teams – in the semifinals Italian Philips Milano and in finals Spanish Montigalà Joventut (71–70), with three points in the last second by Aleksandar Đorđević. Partizan took the title of European champion. The season finished with victory in the national championship and Cup.
1992–1995: Time of isolationEdit
After the Istanbul triumph Đorđević and Danilović moved to Italy. They went to clubs that Partizan defeated the year before during its "conquest of Europe" – Danilović in Knorr and Đorđević in Phillips. The departure of these two proved to be an irreparable loss. Because of the UN sanctions against Yugoslavia, Partizan was not allowed to defend the European title in 1992–93 season. In 1992–93 season, led by coach Željko Lukajić Partizan won the national cup, and the next season was again very successful. The team coached by Borislav Džaković won both domestic league and cup. The new generation of players included Nikola Lončar, Miroslav Berić, Haris Brkić, Željko Rebrača, Predrag Drobnjak, Aleksandar Čubrilo. Additionally, in 1995 Yugoslav clubs were again able to compete in European competitions. Young players with no experience in Europe didn't achieve any significant results in their returning season in Europe, but under the guidance of Ranko Žeravica they took the national title in 1995–96 and secured another season in Europe's top competition.
1996–1998: Again at the top of EuropeEdit
In 1996–97 season Partizan, led by new coach Miroslav Nikolić, qualified for the Top 16 of Euroleague where it was eliminated by later European champion Olympiacos. Partizan defended the title in domestic league with players including Dejan Tomašević, Dejan Koturović, and Dragan Lukovski. Next season, 1997–98, was a success in Euroleague. Two years after their "return to Europe" Partizan won the third participation in the Final Four. After a series of defeats in group stage, Miroslav Nikolić resigned and was replaced by Milovan Bogojević. It eliminated the official champion Olympiacos, and then in the quarterfinals it bested the Russian champions CSKA. After the departure of Berić and Koturović, enforced with new backcourt pair Miroslav Radošević and Vladimir Đokić Partizan took fourth place. However, the season in domestic competition was failure, and some players including Predrag Drobnjak left the club.
1998–2006: The new beginningEdit
After a disappointing domestic league ending, Vladislav Lučić was appointed as a new head coach of the club. The domestic 1998–99 season was not completed following the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, but Partizan won the Yugoslav Cup, defeating KK FMP in the finals, in a game that was played to the sound civil defense sirens. At the end of the season most of players left the club, and another young squad was formed. Led by coach Nenad Trajković and players Radоšević, Đokić, Čubrilo, Nenad Čanak, Ratko Varda, Veselin Petrović, Dragan Marković Partizan defended the Yugoslav Cup title. 2000–01 season was marked by the comeback of players Berić, Nikola Bulatović, Aleksandar Glintić, Branko Milisavljević and Vlade Divac, Predrag Danilović, Žarko Paspalj as part of the club management. The coach was Darko Ruso, and Partizan managed the Top 16 of Euroleague. In December 2000 Haris Brkić, who returned to club just weeks earlier, was shot and killed outside of Pionir Hall.
Duško Vujošević returned at the beginning of a rise in the fortunes of the club. Since the 2001–02 season, Partizan has been the most successful club in Serbia and the wider region, winning thirteen consecutive national titles, six national cups (five consecutive), and six Adriatic league titles (five consecutive) in the Euroleague.
Alongside the University of North Carolina, Partizan has provided the most NBA players since 1991, with five of them were selected in the first round of the NBA draft. However, the financial situation in Serbia makes it impossible to keep young players together for long, thus affecting clubs' chances of fighting on equal terms with more financially powerful European clubs.
In the period between 2001 and 2006 Partizan struggled with its results in Euroleague. On the domestic front Partizan was highly successful and built up for European success in following years. During these years, notable players from Partizan champion squads included Miloš Vujanić, Nenad Krstić, Vule Avdalović, young national team players Uroš Tripković, Luka Bogdanović, Kosta Perović, Boris Bakić, Dejan Borovnjak, Novica Veličković. They were supported by more experienced players like Vlado Šćepanović, Đuro Ostojić, Dejan Milojević, Predrag Šuput, Petar Božić, Fred House and Vonteego Cummings.
2006–2012: European successes and domination in domestic competitionsEdit
In the 2006–07 season, In addition to the sixth consecutive title in Serbia, Partizan won its first Adriatic league trophy, defeating the Serbian club FMP, in the finals. Dušan Kecman, Milenko Tepić, Nikola Peković, with Veličković, Cummings, Perović, Bakić, Bogdanović managed to TOP 16 of Euroleague. Ever since that season Partizan regularly reaches at least the play-off stage of Euroleague. On August 17, 2007 Partizan signed an agreement with Bosnian club KK Igokea on technical cooperation, known as "Partizan Igokea". The season 2007–08 was a big come back to the top of European basketball. Partizan Igokea was successful in Euroleague, and strengthened with Milt Palacio, Slavko Vraneš, Čedomir Vitkovac Partizan Igokea knocked out of the competition European champions Panathinaikos, but was stopped in the quarterfinals by TAU Cerámica in a close fought encounter.
On domestic front, Partizan Igokea won the first of four consecutive triple crowns, uniting the trophies in national league, national cup and regional league.
In the 2008–09 season Partizan defended all three trophies. New players Aleksandar Rašić, Stéphane Lasme, Jan Veselý played well with Veličković, Tepić, Tripković, Vraneš, Božić and reached the quarterfinals of Euroleague again, where they were eliminated by CSKA. On 5 March 2009, Partizan and its fans became record holders, setting a record crowd of 22,567 in a game against Panathinaikos, the highest ever attendance for any basketball game held indoors in Europe. Coach Vujošević was given the highest coaching award in Europe, the Euroleague Coach of the Year Award, and Partizan was chosen by Euroleague to go on tour against NBA teams, becoming one of the selected few clubs to represent European basketball in the United States.
The 2009–10 season was one of the most successful seasons in the history of KK Partizan. Main players from the previous seasons Uroš Tripković, Novica Veličković, Milenko Tepić, Stéphane Lasme left the club. Experienced Dušan Kecman returned and Aleks Marić, Bo McCalebb, Lawrence Roberts were brought in. Partizan played better from game to game, and Pionir Hall remained impregnable fortress for many European greats like Efes Pilsen or FC Barcelona. Partizan again went to quarterfinals and this time faced Israeli giants Maccabi Tel Aviv. Partizan went past their opponent in big style and secured the fourth Final Four of Euroleague. In the final tournament of Euroleague held in Paris, Partizan played even with their much richer rivals but was unlucky in both semi-final against Olympiacos 80–83 and for 3rd place with CSKA Moscow 88–90. Both games were decided in overtime. Partizan again defended national league and cup titles.
The final game of Adriatic league in front of the sold-out Arena Zagreb was against longtime rivals from Croatia Cibona. Cibona trailed 68–72 with a few seconds left, but back-to-back triples by Marko Tomas and Bojan Bogdanović gave their team a 74–72 lead with just 0.6 seconds left. Cibona players and the crowd already began to celebrate the title, but Partizan had the game's final possession and Dušan Kecman banked in a game-winning triple from midcourt at the buzzer, to make Partizan win another Adriatic League title in front of the shocked crowd and opposition players.
Before the 2010–11 season, Duško Vujošević, the most successful Partizan coach in history left the club after nine seasons. Vlada Jovanović, previously his assistant, became the new head coach. The change in coaching position was followed by changes in playing squad as Marić, McCalebb, Roberts, Vraneš, Rašić left the club. New players were brought in Nathan Jawai, James Gist, Curtis Jerrells, Raško Katić. Along with Jan Veselý these players made the first five, so it was for the first time that Partizan relied mainly on foreign players. The departure of Vujošević initially affected the results, but as the season went on Partizan's play improved and the team again won three trophies – national double and the regional league. In Euroleague, Partizan achieved its main goal and qualified for the Top 16 phase.
Again, most of the starters left the team before the 2011–12 season began. Serbian national team players Milan Mačvan and Miroslav Raduljica were loaned in, and young players Vladimir Lučić and Dragan Milosavljević got more playing time. Partizan took advantage of the NBA lockout to bring in its former player, center Nikola Peković. With most of the play revolving around him, Partizan got close to securing another Euroleague Top 16 spot, but due to an end of the lockout Peković returned to the NBA in early December. Without him, Partizan lost all three remaining fixtures and after five consecutive years, failed to qualify further. In the regional Adriatic League, Partizan was stopped in the semifinals, ending its five-year reign in the competition. On the domestic front however, Partizan extended its success, winning another double.
2012–2014: Rejuvenated squadEdit
The beginning of the 2012–13 season saw the return of Duško Vujošević to the club. Petar Božić, long-term captain and the player with the most appearances for the club, retired. Vladimir Lučić was appointed as captain, and Dragan Milosavljević became vice-captain. Dušan Kecman and Milan Mačvan were also among the players who left. The squad was rejuvenated, with the oldest player Marko Čakarević being just 24 years old. Initially, the results in Euroleague suffered, with Partizan's inexperienced squad being knocked-out of the group stage. After mixed performances in the ABA League regular season, Partizan performed well in the final four, winning its sixth regional title, and securing another season in Euroleague. In the Serbian championship, Partizan successfully defended the trophy and brought its record to twenty national titles, the last twelve being consecutive. The 2013–14 season was marked by the rise of young players such as Dāvis Bertāns, Bogdan Bogdanović, Joffrey Lauvergne and Léo Westermann. Despite failure at the Final Four of the Adriatic League, Partizan finished the season by winning its thirteenth consecutive title, again defeating their archrivals Crvena zvezda by 3-1 in the final series.
2014–present: Financial troubles, constant rebuildingEdit
In 2014–15 season, Partizan finished fourth in the regular season of the Adriatic League, only to be eliminated in the playoff semifinals. Partizan was also eliminated in the Serbian Cup and failed to defend the Serbian League title, losing to Red Star Belgrade in the final series. Without a single trophy won, the season was the worst in fourteen years.
The summer of 2015 included many organizational and roster changes. The board of directors suggested Nikola Peković, former Partizan player, for the next team president, after the resignation of Predrag Danilović. Soon after that, Petar Božić was offered a head coach position, with longtime head coach Vujošević departing. Several team veterans and foreign players also left the club, with Vanja Marinković becoming the new team captain.
At the beginning of 2016, Partizan resign contract with Petar Božić after very bad results (worst half-season in Partizan history). Partizan new coach was Aleksandar Džikić, who managed to finish Adriatic League season on 5th position, and finish the Serbian League as a second, losing to Crvena zvezda in finals.
In 2016–17 season Partizan played in Basketball Champions League, after withdrawal from Eurocup. The team captain was Novica Veličković. In group E, Partizan finished as 3rd and passed to the play-off where they were eliminated by PAOK. After being eliminated in the Adriatic League in the playoff semifinals and Serbian League too in semifinals Partizan ended up without a single trophy won for a third consecutive year.
In the summer of 2017, club's president Peković stepped down, and Ostoja Mijailović replaced him. Partizan started the 2017–18 season with Miroslav Nikolić as new head coach. However, due to poor results, he was sacked in December 2017. In the same month, president Ostoja Mijailović stated that Partizan owes around 7.19 million euros, and that creditors are considering blocking its bank account.
Grobari (Serbian Cyrillic: Гробари, English: The Gravediggers) are supporters of the Belgrade football club Partizan. They generally support all clubs within the Partizan multi-sport club, especially football and basketball club. According to the "Ultras World" organization, which gathers over 400,000 fans on social networks, they are ranked in the TOP 10 supporters in the world. In March 2009, in Kombank Arena in the Euroleague TOP 16 game between Partizan and Panathinaikos, Grobari appointed the league's attendance record – 22,567. Partizan has the most watched team for many years in a row in Adriatic League.
Awards and recordsEdit
Partizan play their home games at Aleksandar Nikolić Hall, located in the Belgrade municipality of Palilula. The arena, then named Pionir Hall, was built in 1973 in eleven months, by Energoprojekt. Basketball was popular in Yugoslavia at the time, and although Hall Aleksandar Nikolić hosted many different sport events (volleyball, handball) it became known as a basketball arena. It has a seating capacity of 5,878. Aleksandar Nikolić Hall is also the home of Partizan's main rival Red Star Belgrade. In the first twenty-three years (1945–1968), the club played their home games at Open basketball courts on Belgrade Fortress before moving to Ranko Žeravica Hall. For 24 seasons (1968–1992), Partizan played their home games at Ranko Žeravica Hall, located in Belgrade municipality of New Belgrade. In the 2008–09 season, Partizan played their home games of the Euroleague Top 16 in the Kombank Arena. On 5 March 2009 against Greek team Panathinaikos, a record crowd of 22,567 was set for the Euroleague.
Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.
|Partizan NIS Belgrade roster|
Squad changes for the 2017–18 seasonEdit
|+||Denotes player who has been selected for at least one All-Star Game|
|#||Denotes player who never played in the NBA regular season or playoffs|
|C||Vlade Divac+||1989||1st round||26th||Los Angeles Lakers|
|SG||Predrag Danilović||1992||2nd round||43rd||Golden State Warriors|
|C||Željko Rebrača||1994||2nd round||54th||Seattle SuperSonics|
|C||Predrag Drobnjak||1997||2nd round||48th||Washington Bullets|
|C||Nenad Krstić||2002||1st round||24th||New Jersey Nets|
|PG||Miloš Vujanić#||2002||2nd round||36th||New York Knicks, traded to Phoenix Suns|
|C||Kosta Perović||2006||2nd round||38th||Golden State Warriors|
|C||Nikola Peković||2008||2nd round||31th||Minnesota Timberwolves|
|PF||Jan Veselý||2011||1st round||6th||Washington Wizards|
|PF / C||Joffrey Lauvergne||2013||2nd round||55th||Memphis Grizzlies, traded to Denver Nuggets|
|SG||Bogdan Bogdanović||2014||1st round||27th||Phoenix Suns, traded to Sacramento Kings|
|C||Nikola Milutinov#||2015||1st round||26th||San Antonio Spurs|
There have been twenty-six head coaches for Partizan since the founding of the club in 1945. The first head coach was Božo Grkinić who coached Partizan for two seasons. The first coach to bring Partizan an official trophy was Borislav Ćorković. He won Yugoslav League with Partizan in 1976. Club won the first international trophy in 1978, while being coached by Ranko Žeravica. Željko Obradović lead the club to the most significant trophy, Euroleague in 1992. Duško Vujošević is the most successful coach in the club's history. In his four stints with Partizan he won a total of twenty-three trophies. Borislav Stanković and Ranko Žeravica are members of FIBA Hall of Fame, while Aleksandar Nikolić is a member of Basketball Hall of Fame. Nikolić, Dušan Ivković and Željko Obradović have been named among 50 Greatest Euroleague Contributors.
Partizan has won thirty-five domestic trophies, including twenty-one championships, of which the last twelve were won consecutively, and fourteen cups, of which the last five were won consecutively. They have also won six Adriatic championships, first five of them consecutive. In European competitions in the late 1970s, they won two back-to-back Korać Cups in 1978 and 1979. They also won another Korać Cup in 1989. In 1992, Partizan won the club's first – and to date only – EuroLeague title, downing Joventut Badalona 70–71 on a miraculous buzzer-beater by Aleksandar Đorđević, which ranks among the most amazing shots in European basketball history. Overall, Partizan has won forty-four trophies, which makes it the most successful basketball club in Serbia.
|League – 21|
|Yugoslav League||Winners||5||1975–76, 1978–79, 1980–81, 1986–87, 1991–92|
|Serbia and Montenegro League||Winners||8||1994–95, 1995–96, 1996–97, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2005–06|
|Serbian League||Winners||8||2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014|
|Cups – 14|
|Yugoslav Cup||Winners||3||1979, 1989, 1992|
|Serbia and Montenegro Cup||Winners||5||1994, 1995, 1999, 2000, 2002|
|Radivoj Korać Cup||Winners||6||2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2018|
|European – 4|
|Korać Cup||Winners||3||1978, 1979, 1989|
|Regional – 6|
|Adriatic League||Winners||6||2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013|
Season by seasonEdit
|Season||Tier||League||Pos.||Adriatic League||Radivoj Korać Cup||European competitions|
|2016–17||1||KLS||3rd||Semifinalist||Runner-up||3 Champions League||PO|
In European and worldwide competitionsEdit
Matches against NBA teamsEdit
|Official Shirt Sponsor||NIS|
|Official Shirt Sponsor||mt:s|
|Official Shirt Sponsor||Tesla|
|Official Shirt Sponsor||Citroën|
|Official Sport Clothing Manufacturer||Under Armour|
|Official Sport Drink||Jazak Water|
|Official Travel Provider||Air Serbia|
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