BC Žalgiris

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Žalgiris
Žalgiris logo
Nickname Žaliai balti (The Green-Whites)
Leagues Lithuanian Basketball League
Euroleague
Founded 1944
History BC Žalgiris
(1944–present)
Arena Žalgiris Arena
Arena Capacity 15,688
Location Kaunas, Lithuania
Team colors Green, White
         
Team manager Lithuania Paulius Motiejunas
Head coach Lithuania Gintaras Krapikas
Championships 1 Euroleague
1 Saporta Cup
1 Intercontinental Cup
5 Soviet Union Leagues
1 Soviet Union Cup
1 NEBL
17 Lithuanian Leagues
5 Lithuanian Cups
5 Baltic Leagues
1 Stepas Butautas Cup
Retired numbers 2 (11, 5)
Website zalgiris.lt
Uniforms
Kit body whiteshoulders.png
Home jersey
Kit shorts white stripes.png
Team colours
Home
Kit body thindarkgreensides.png
Away jersey
Kit shorts green stripes.png
Team colours
Away

Basketball Club Žalgiris (Lithuanian: Krepšinio Klubas Žalgiris) is a professional basketball team that is based in Kaunas, Lithuania. It is one of the oldest teams in the Euroleague and plays domestically in the Lietuvos krepšinio lyga (LKL). Žalgiris is one of 14 European clubs that currently hold Euroleague Basketball Company A Licenses, which provide their holders with a guaranteed place in the regular-season phase of the Euroleague.

Since the 2011–12 season, Žalgiris plays its home games in the new Žalgiris Arena, built just before the EuroBasket 2011.

Logo design: A green and white shield with the sign "BC Žalgiris", a basketball, and the letter "Ž". The club's name commemorates the victorious Battle of Žalgiris (Battle of Grunwald) (both names: Žalgiris and Grunwald are translated as "green grove").

History[edit]

1944–1982: Early dominance[edit]

Since 1944, BC Žalgiris is the main Lithuanian basketball team to produce top-flight talents for European basketball, such as the Olympic champions Modestas Paulauskas, Arvydas Sabonis, Rimas Kurtinaitis, Valdemaras Chomičius, and many others. The club was first formed from KKI Kaunas players and they won the first Soviet Union League title with that name. Club at that time was led by Stepas Butautas, Kazimieras Petkevičius, Justinas Lagunavičius, Vincas Sercevičius later came Stanislovas Stonkus, Arūnas Lauritėnas. They won the second Soviet Union championship in 1951 and had to wait for 34 years to do it again. Modestas Paulauskas, Romualdas Venzbergas, Algirdas Linkevičius later Sergėjus Jovaiša, were the stars of the team in the 1970s but they only managed to finish third couple of times in the Soviet Union championship.

1983–1987: The True Fame[edit]

Žalgiris became the dominant force in Soviet Union and in Europe when they added new talents to the team: first came Valdemaras Chomičius then Rimas Kurtinaitis and Vladas Garastas became the new team coach. But everything changed when the team noticed a talented young kid named Arvydas Sabonis, who was 17 years old 209 cm and he debuted in the club in 1981. He grew about 12 more cm in the next couple of years and could do everything on the court: play defense, assist his teammates, shoot 3 pointers and dominate inside the paint.

In the mid-1980s, the finals between BC Žalgiris Kaunas and CSKA Moscow (Central Sports Club of Army) served as a major inspiration for Lithuanian national revival that contributed to the emergence of the Sąjūdis national movement and re-establishment of state independence. Especially when they played in Kaunas Sports Hall.

During the 1980s, Žalgiris was competing in the top competitions with top clubs in Europe, such as FC Barcelona Bàsquet, Real Madrid and Cibona Zagreb. Stars Sabonis, Kurtinaitis, Chomičius and Jovaiša led the team to three consecutive Soviet Union National League championships from 1985 till 1987, beating CSKA Moscow in the finals. In 1985 the four stars led the team to the Saporta Cup final, but Žalgiris lost to FC Barcelona and Jovaiša was missed desperately because of injury in that final game. Despite the loss, Žalgiris participated in Euroleague the next year as the Soviet Union champions, reaching the finals and losing to the rival Cibona Zagreb. In 1986, Žalgiris won the William Jones Intercontinental Cup, defeating Dražen Petrović's Cibona Zagreb in the semifinals and Ferro Carril Oeste in the finals. They also participated in 1987 FIBA Club World Cup. Žalgiris was emerging as one of the top clubs in Europe at the time.

1987–1989: Setbacks[edit]

In 1987, however, Žalgiris suffered a setback. Biggest star of the club, Arvydas Sabonis, suffered a torn achilles tendon. Three months later, he tore it again, causing him to miss most of the 1987-88 season. That season, Žalgiris won a silver medal, losing to CSKA Moscow in the Soviet League finals. The next season, Sabonis came back, and the club managed to reach European Cup Winners Cup semifinals and win a silver medal in Soviet League, losing a dramatic finals to BC Budivelnik.

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 barred Lithuanian basketball talent from becoming internationals.

1989–1997: New generation[edit]

Former player Gintaras Krapikas later became the head coach of Žalgiris

In 1989-90 season Žalgiris led by new team captain Gintaras Krapikas, Algirdas Brazys and other talented young Lithuanian players coached by former team captain Hendrikas Giedraitis managed to reach Clubs Cup Winners Cup semifinals, where they lost a competitive 2 games series vs Real Madrid. Following the mass emigration of players, Žalgiris renewed their roster with youngsters such as Gintaras Einikis, Darius Lukminas, Arūnas Visockas. Žalgiris, led by Einikis and Lukminas, won their first LKL title in 1994, cruising past Atletas Kaunas 3–1 in a four-game series. For Next two years, Žalgiris again dominated LKL tournament and had success participating in the Saporta Cup for the 1995–96 season 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 semifinals, but fell to PAOK in the two games series. The season was successful, though, as Žalgiris once again won the LKL championship, beating Atletas 3-2. The 1996-1997 season, Žalgiris played successfully in the Saporta Cup, though lost to BC Racing in the 1/8 finals. The season ended with yet another win in the LKL, this time beating BC Olimpas 3-0.

1998–1999: Biggest success[edit]

Jonas Kazlauskas, coach of the 1998-99 Euroleague champions.

Žalgiris enjoyed the biggest success as a club during the 1997–98 and 1998–99 seasons. Led by a new generation of great Lithuanian talents Saulius Štombergas, Dainius Adomaitis, Eurelijus Žukauskas, Tomas Masiulis, Mindaugas Žukauskas, experienced foreign players Franjo Arapović and Ennis Whatley and coached by Jonas Kazlauskas, they defeated Stefanel Milano 82–67 in the 1998 Saporta Cup final in Belgrade. Saulius Štombergas scored 35 points in the final.

In the 1998–99 season Žalgiris was the biggest surprise in Euroleague. Coached again by Jonas Kazlauskas and led by former NBA players Tyus Edney, Anthony Bowie, George Zidek and great Lithuanian talents, they made it to the Euroleague Final Four in Munich for a first time in their history, where they were crowned European champions defeating front runners Olympiacos and Kinder Bologna in the semifinal and the final respectively. Tyus Edney was named Euroleague Final Four MVP. Žalgiris also won LKL and NEBL titles that same season. They won bronze in 1999 McDonald's Championship. After these two great seasons best players of the club went to the richest European clubs and Žalgiris is trying to duplicate that feat ever since.

2000–2004: Struggles and Sabonis comeback[edit]

The year after winning the Euroleague, Zalgiris suffered one of the worst seasons in club history, getting eliminated after the group stage in the Euroleague, finishing only 3rd in the NEBL and losing in the LKL finals for the first time. The 2001 season was more successful, as the team reached the Euroleague playoffs, but lost to AEK. The team regained the LKL championship though, beating BC Lietuvos Rytas 3-2. The 2002 season was again disappointing, as the team got eliminated in the Euroleague after the group stage. The LKL championship was also lost. In the 2003 season, history repeated itself in the Euroleague, as the team was eliminated after the group stage, though Zalgiris rebounded with an LKL championship victory, beating BC Lietuvos Rytas 4-2. Sabonis became the principal owner of the club in 2003, after having played for many years in the Spanish ACB League and the NBA. He also came back to play for the club for one last season in 2003–04. He again dominated European competition winning ULEB 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. The season ended in a high note, as Zalgiris easily swept Lietuvos Rytas in the LKL championship 4-0.

2004–2009: Post-Sabonis era[edit]

In 2005 Jonas Mačiulis began his Euroleague career as Žalgiris member.

After the departure of Sabonis at the conclusion of the 2003–04 season, Žalgiris faced a series of ups and downs. In the 2004-2005 season, thanks to very solid play from mainstays Tanoka Beard, Mindaugas Timinskas, Dainius Šalenga and new addition Robert Pack, Žalgiris had a very solid season. 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 Top16 phase, Žalgiris entered a long slump and finished with an 0-6 record. 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 championship, beating Lietuvos Rytas in the finals 64-60.

In the 2005-2006 season, the team suffered many changes. With Mindaugas Timinskas, Dainius Šalenga and Robert Pack all leaving after the previous season, Žalgiris built a younger team and also resigned Ed Cota, and had high hopes for the season. 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. Off-court, Žalgiris had many issues, resulting in a huge slump for the team, ending the Top16 phase with an 0-6 record again and losing both the LKL and BBL titles to Lietuvos Rytas. The lone bright spot became the play of emerging point guard Mantas Kalnietis, who was signed both as a replacement for the released Ed Cota and due to very poor play from new point guard and longtime NBA player Kenny Anderson.

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

After the catastrophic ending to the previous season, many fans had optimistic hopes for the 2006-2007 season. Under new coach Ainars Bagatskis and signings of Marko Popović, Marcelinho Machado and Hanno Möttölä (who replaced the departing Darjuš Lavrinovič), Žalgiris put together a very competitive team. Despite high hopes, the season started very poorly. Due to emphasis of offence instead of defence, Žalgiris had very poor defence, and finished the Euroleague regular season with a catastrophic 2-12 record. After Ainars Bagatskis was replaced by assistant coach Rimantas Grigas, Žalgiris started to show signs of improvement. Late additions of Loren Woods and DeJuan Collins improved defence, and with the emergence of Jonas Mačiulis and Paulius Jankūnas, Žalgiris recovered. The wars against Lietuvos Rytas continued, with both teams splitting the first two titles - with Žalgiris winning the newly established LKF Cup, and Lietuvos Rytas winning the BBL title. In the LKL finals, Žalgiris regained the LKL title after a hard fought series, winning against Lietuvos Rytas 4-2.

Before the 2007-2008 season, Žalgiris signed longtime Euroleague player Marcus Brown. Having a very solid team, Žalgiris also faced off against NBA teams for the first time in club history, playing the Golden State Warriors (88:107), the Toronto Raptors (99:105) and the Washington Wizards (96:115). The team had a very successful season in the Euroleague, finishing with an 8-6 record in a very strong group. The season is also remembered for the departure of longtime player and former captain Tanoka Beard. Žalgiris also won the LKF Cup for the second year in a row, beating Lietuvos Rytas in the finals due to a phenomenal performance from DeJuan Collins. Despite high hopes entering the Top16, the team entered in to a slump, playing poorly and finishing the Top16 with a 1-5 record. This lead to strong criticism against coach Grigas. Žalgiris recovered quickly and again due to incredible performance from DeJuan Collins, won the BBL title against Lietuvos Rytas, with Collins hitting the game-winner in the final seconds. The team finished the season on a very high note, beating Lietuvos Rytas in the LKL finals 4-1 and retaining the LKL title.

The 2008-09 season started on a very high note, with the resigning of Jonas Mačiulis and Loren Woods, retaining leader Marcus Brown and signing of new point guard Willie Deane, who replaced the departed DeJuan Collins. However, financial difficulties soon started to apper, leading to poor play from the team and the firing of coach Grigas, who was replaced by longtime player and assistant coach Gintaras Krapikas. Willie Deane was soon released, in large part due to his catastrophic play in the Euroleague, which lead to a 7-game losing streak. The team recovered under point guard Mantas Kalnietis, and finished the Euroleague regular season with a 2-8 record and missing the Top16. Despite growing financial difficulties, and the departure of Loren Woods, the team started to fight back, making the LKL and BBL finals. Despite beating new ULEB/Eurocup champions Lietuvos Rytas in the regular season, Žalgiris lost in the finals, and ended the season with a disappointing note.

2009–2013: V. Romanov era[edit]

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

During the 2008–09 season Žalgiris was facing significant financial difficulties which lead to a search of a new investor. The solution was found and in 2009 Sabonis sold most of his stake to the local investment group, Ūkio banko investicinė grupė (ŪBIG) which was headed by Vladimir Romanov, who then held a majority stake of 75% of the club. Sabonis retained a 21.5% interest in the club; 3% was owned by a minority group, while the remaining 0.5% were owned by the Kaunas City municipality.

In the 2009-2010 season, however, Romanov soon became disliked by Žalgiris fans. After the departures of Jonas Mačiulis and Paulius Jankūnas, the team resigned the returning Marcus Brown and also signed Martynas Pocius, who quickly became one of the best players for the team. The team also resigned point guard Mantas Kalnietis, who turned down the offer of Benneton Treviso. The team started the season successfully, winning the new BBL Cup against Lietuvos Rytas. However, soon the team began to play poorly, leading to Krapikas resigning as head coach and being replaced by former Lithuanian National team coach Ramūnas Butautas, who lead the team to the Euroleague Top16 phase with a 3-7 regular season record. After the team entered a slump, Romanov fired coach Butautas in a controversial move, replacing him with assistant coach and former captain Darius Maskoliūnas. Under Maskoliūnas, Žalgiris nearly made the Top8 phase for the first time in club history, and finished with a solid 2-4 record. Žalgiris won back the BBL title by beating Lietuvos Rytas in the finals, but more controversy quickly arose during the LKL finals. During the series, Romanov fired coach Maskoliūnas in a very shocking move, a move that incensed Žalgiris fans to no end. Lietuvos Rytas won the controversial series 4-3, leading to speculation that Romanov intentionally tanked the finals, as Lietuvos Rytas qualified to the Euroleague season because of it, while Žalgiris already had been qualified. The season is widely considered as the most controversial in club history.

Before the 2010-2011 season, Žalgiris resigned the returning Paulis Jankūnas and DeJuan Collins, also retaining leaders of the previous season Marcus Brown, Martynas Pocius, Mantas Kalnietis, Dainius Šalenga and Tadas Klimavičius. Žalgiris 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, dominating in the LKL, BBL and leading in the Euroleague. However, the team entered in to a slump, and Romanov fired head coach Petrović despite still solid results. The move cost the team a lot of momentum, as they qualified to the Top16 phase only in the final games, with a 5-5 record. After a controversial departure from center Mirza Begić, the slump continued even under new coach Ilias Zouros, with disastrous records in the Top16 (1-5 record) phase and the VTB United League (not qualifying to the Final Four). The VTB League fiasco became even more frustrating, as Žalgiris won the bronze medals the previous season. However, the losses motivated the team, and after recovery from Marcus Brown (who was injured for most of the season), Žalgiris won back the LKF Cup from Lietuvos Rytas and defeated VEF Riga in BBL finals. In the LKL finals, Žalgiris easily defeated Lietuvos Rytas 4-1, regaining the LKL title for the first time since 2008.

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

Since the 2011–12 season, Žalgiris plays its home games in the new Žalgiris Arena, built just before the EuroBasket 2011. The new arena was built to accommodate almost 16 000 spectators and is regarded as one of the best in Europe. Due to the NBA lockout, the team signed Sonny Weems and Ty Lawson. The team also resigned long time fan-favorite Marko Popovič. The team also signed longtime Lietuvos Rytas player and former Lithuanian National team captain Robertas Javtokas as center. With a very solid roster, many fans believed the team could even be stronger than the 1998-1999 Euroleague champion team. However, the season started very poorly for Žalgiris. Hoping to end the slump, Romanov fired coach Zouros and replaced him with former Lietuvos Rytas head coach Aleksandar Trifunović, a move that many Žalgiris fans disliked. Despite initial improvement, with the team finishing the Euroleague regular season with a 4-6 record and a trip to the Top16, the slump continued in the Top16, with the team ending the disastrous Euroleague season with 0-6 record. After Ty Lawson left the team, Mantas Kalnietis played his perhaps best season, becoming a true leader for Žalgiris. The team slowly recovered, winning the LKF Cup. 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). With very solid play from Marko Popovič and Tomas Delininkaitis, Žalgiris retained the LKL title, defeating Lietuvos Rytas in the finals 3:0 and ending a difficult season on a high note.

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

The 2012-13 season saw Žalgiris' shift towards building a team with less foreign players, leading to the acquisitions of Rimantas Kaukėnas, Darjuš Lavrinovič and Kšyštof Lavrinovič. Under the heading of new coach Joan Plaza Žalgiris started the Euroleague season with impressive 5 wins in 5 games, the best start in club's history in Euroleague. The streak included a 90:62 win against KK Cedevita, marking the club's all-time record for a largest winning margin in Euroleague and remarkable 79:61 win at Piraeus, Greece against the running Euroleague Champions Olympiacos B.C.. On November 23, playing at its home Kaunas Žalgiris Arena, Žalgiris demolished Caja Laboral 82:45, and secured its place in Top 16. Žalgiris finished first in the group for the first time in 13 years, with an 8-2 record. Žalgiris also dominated the LKL and the VTB League, taking first places in each of the tournaments. In the VTB League, Žalgiris beat old rivals CSKA Moscow both times. In a 76:66 home victory, Žalgiris broke records in attendance in the arena, with an incredible 15,779 spectators.

In 2013, after the collapse of Ūkio bankas - owner Vladimir Romanov left Žalgiris. Financial troubles began for Žalgiris again, as the team lost crucial Top 16 matches to Panathinaikos and Real Madrid. Players like Tremmell Darden and Ibrahim Jabber left the club. The new team director Paulius Motiejunas was announced on March 20. Žalgiris regained its strengths, and 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. On May, Žalgiris won there 3rd straight LKL title, effortlessly sweeping Lietuvos Rytas 4-0 in the finals, marking the end of the Romanov era with being the undisputedly strongest team in Lithuania. Head coach Joan Plaza was widely respected for his will to stay in Žalgiris and for his constant players motivation to finish the season in Žalgiris, despite all the financial struggles.

2013–present: A new direction[edit]

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

After becoming the new director of the club, Paulius Motiejunas announced that the next season, Žalgiris will be a much younger team. After winning the LKL title, Žalgiris moved on to the VTB United League playoffs, playing Nizhny Novgorod in the quarterfinals. As sign of things to come, Žalgiris signed Lithuanian younger talents, Tomas Dimša and Marius Grigonis to play. Žalgiris eliminated Nizhny Novgorod in the 1/4 finals, but lost to PBC Lokomotiv-Kuban in the semifinals. Despite the loss, Žalgiris was awarded the bronze medals for the first time since 2010. After losing head coach Joan Plaza, Žalgiris rehired Ilias Zouros as head coach. Rumors of Žalgiris leaving the VTB United League began circulating in July, and were confirmed on July 9th. This was because of the changes in the Euroleague format, which means that the teams that didn't qualify for the Top 16 will have a chance to play in the Eurocup playoffs. Despite having a young team, Žalgiris remained strong, getting revenge on PBC Lokomotiv-Kuban in one of the preseason tournament finals.

Justin Dentmon, leader of the team for the 2013-2014 season.

In September, Žalgiris signed European legend Šarūnas Jasikevičius to a one-year deal. After a very slow start in the season, Ilias Zouros was fired as head coach, replaced by Saulius Štombergas. Žalgiris made the Top 16 for the 5th consecutive time (with a 5-5 record). However, Žalgiris also earned criticism for their efforts in the LKL, as the team became known for showing minimal effort in the games. The Top 16 proved to be a difficult stage, with Žalgiris losing many games by 5 points or less (a 2-12 record overall). After a few losses in the LKF Cup and the LKL, Saulius Štombergas was replaced by Gintaras Krapikas as interim head coach. In the last week of Top 16 playing at home Žalgiris beat Real Madrid for only the third loss of the season for Spanish champions at that time. Justin Dentmon scored 36 points in that game - the most by Žalgiris player in modern Euroleague. Dentmon also made 74 three-pointers during the season - Euroleague all-time record. After a loss to BC Lietuvos rytas on the final regular season game in the LKL, Žalgiris entered the playoffs as the 4th seed, the worst in club history. Making to the semifinals, Žalgiris faced Lietuvos rytas again-for the first time in 15 years these teams have not met in the LKL finals. After losing the first game, Žalgiris rebounded and won Game 2 to even the series. In the final third game, Žalgiris finished off Lietuvos rytas in thrilling game, winning the series 2:1 and qualifying for the finals for the 21st time in a row. In the first game of the finals Žalgiris lost to BC Neptūnas, who were in there first LKL Finals, in an upset. But Žalgiris, winning 3 straight games and entering game five, had a 3-1 lead, had a chance to win the series in Klaipeda, though ended up losing a close game 86:87. The sixth game was only close for the first five minutes, with Žalgiris dominating and winning 90:70, taking the series 4:2 and winning 4th straight (16th overall) LKL championship.

During the preaseason, Žalgiris made significant squad changes, with the most important one being Justin Dentmon leaving, being replaced by Maalik Wayns. Žalgiris also signed Darius Songaila from rivals Lietuvos Rytas and James Anderson, who had a standout season in the NBA before. Šarūnas Jasikevičius retired and became an assistant coach and more young players were brought to the team. Žalgiris won a few preseason tournaments, and also won their 70th Anniversary Cup, defeating powerhouse teams Panathinaikos B.C. and PBC Lokomotiv-Kuban. The team started the LKL slowly, with one of the main bright spots becoming the very solid play of point guard Lukas Lekavicius, who is in his first season. After a few important wins against Nizhny Novgorod, BC UNICS and Dinamo Basket Sassari, Žalgiris qualified to the Top 16 phase, thanks mostly to strong play from James Anderson. After Maalik Wayns suffered an injury, he was replaced with Will Cherry as the point guard. After a slow start in the LKL, Žalgiris had an incredible 23 game win streak. In February, Žalgiris won they're first title - the LKF Cup for the first time in three years, easily winning the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, before defeating Lietuvos rytas in the finals. Žalgiris had a very successful run in the Top16 phase, finishing with a 5-9 record. Žalgiris finished the LKL regular season in dominating fashion, with 12 straight wins, winning the top seed. After easy victories in the first and semifinal rounds, Žalgiris once again qualified to the LKL finals. In the finals, Žalgiris met long rival BC Lietuvos rytas. Žalgris swept BC Lietuvos rytas winning the series 4-0 and their 5 straight (17th overall) LKL championship.

Video game[edit]

Žalgiris basketball club was featured in NBA 2K14 video game with top thirteen other Euroleague teams for the first time in the club history.[1][2] On May 15, 2014 it was announced that Žalgiris will be included in NBA 2K15 video game as well.[3]

Players[edit]

Retired numbers[edit]

Kaunas Žalgiris retired numbers
No. Player Position Tenure Ceremony Date
11 Lithuania Arvydas Sabonis C 1981–89, 2001–02, 2003–05 9/27/2014[4]
5 Lithuania Modestas Paulauskas SF 1962–1976 3/25/2015[5]

Current roster[edit]

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

BC Žalgiris roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Ht. Wt. Age
PG 4 Lithuania Lekavičius, Lukas 70001830000000000001.83 m (6 ft 0 in) 700176000000000000076 kg (168 lb) 21 – (1994-03-30)30 March 1994
F 5 Estonia Vene, Siim-Sander 70002029999999999992.03 m (6 ft 8 in) 700197000000000000097 kg (214 lb) 24 – (1990-11-12)12 November 1990
F/C 7 Lithuania Gudaitis, Artūras 70002080000000000002.08 m (6 ft 10 in) 7002115000000000000115 kg (254 lb) 22 – (1993-06-19)19 June 1993
SF 10 Lithuania Lipkevičius, Vytenis 70001980000000000001.98 m (6 ft 6 in) 700198000000000000098 kg (216 lb) 26 – (1989-05-19)19 May 1989
PF 13 Lithuania Jankūnas, Paulius (C) 70002049999999999992.05 m (6 ft 9 in) 7002107000000000000107 kg (236 lb) 31 – (1984-04-29)29 April 1984
C 15 Lithuania Javtokas, Robertas 70002110000000000002.11 m (6 ft 11 in) 7002117000000000000117 kg (258 lb) 35 – (1980-03-20)20 March 1980
G 20 Latvia Vecvagars, Kaspars 70001930000000000001.93 m (6 ft 4 in) 700183000000000000083 kg (183 lb) 21 – (1993-08-03)3 August 1993
G/F 21 Lithuania Milaknis, Artūras 70001950000000000001.95 m (6 ft 5 in) 700190000000000000090 kg (198 lb) 29 – (1986-06-16)16 June 1986
PF 27 Lithuania Tarolis, Donatas 70002020000000000002.02 m (6 ft 8 in) 700191000000000000091 kg (201 lb) 21 – (1994-04-30)30 April 1994
SG 33 Lithuania Dimša, Tomas 70001950000000000001.95 m (6 ft 5 in) 700188000000000000088 kg (194 lb) 21 – (1994-01-02)2 January 1994
SF 92 Lithuania Ulanovas, Edgaras 70001980000000000001.98 m (6 ft 6 in) 700194000000000000094 kg (207 lb) 23 – (1992-01-07)7 January 1992
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)
Athletic trainer(s)
Physiotherapist(s)
Team manager

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • Injured Injured

Roster
Updated: June 7, 2015

Depth chart[edit]

Pos. Starting 5 Bench 1 Bench 2 Bench 3
C Robertas Javtokas Artūras Gudaitis
PF Paulius Jankūnas Siim-Sander Vene Donatas Tarolis
SF Edgaras Ulanovas Vytenis Lipkevičius
SG Artūras Milaknis Tomas Dimša
PG Lukas Lekavičius Kaspars Vecvagars

Squad changes for the 2014–15 season[edit]

In[edit]

No. Position Player


Out[edit]

No. Position Player


9 Lithuania PF Darius Songaila (retired)
22 Lithuania C Mindaugas Kupšas (to)
8 Lithuania PG Vaidas Kariniauskas (to GS Kymis)
1 United States PG Will Cherry (to)
23 United States G/F James Anderson (to)

Out on loan[edit]

No. Position Player


Honours[edit]

Total titles: 36

Domestic competitions[edit]

Lithuanian League

  • Winners (20): 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

Soviet Union League

  • Winners (5): 1947, 1951, 1985, 1986, 1987

Lithuanian Cup

  • Winners (6): 1990, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2015

Soviet Union Cup

  • Winners (1): 1953

European competitions[edit]

Euroleague

  • Winners (1): 1999
  • Runners-up (1): 1986

FIBA Saporta Cup

  • Winners (1): 1998
  • Runners-up (1): 1985

Worldwide competitions[edit]

FIBA Intercontinental Cup

Regional competitions[edit]

NEBL Championship

  • Winners (1): 1999

BBL Championship

  • Winners (5): 2005, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012

BBL Cup

  • Winners (1): 2009

Season-by-season[edit]

Season League LKF Cup Regional Competitions Europe Coach Roster
1992/93 Champion No tournament No tournament Euroleague
FIBA Euroleague 1992-93

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 Europe champions Cup Basketball 1993-94 Semifinal Jonas Kazlauskas 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 Euro Cup champions cup Semifinal 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 Euro Cup winner's cup Basketball Semifinal 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, Christopher 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, Kornel David, 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 Mottola, 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, Paulius Jankūnas, 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 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

Notable players[edit]

To appear in this section a player must have either:
  • Played at least one season for the club.
  • Set a club record or won an individual award while at the club.
  • Played at least one official international match for their national team at any time.
  • To perform very successfully during period in the club or at later/previous stages of his career.
Žalgiris-Šiauliai in 2007
Žalgiris warming-up before the game
Žalgiris fans during LKL game in Vilnius
Former Žalgiris jersey

Head coaches[edit]

Jonas Kazlauskas was the head coach of Žalgiris during the 1998/99 season. Žalgiris won the Euroleague that season.

Statistical leaders[edit]

All time points per game in European Cup games (PPG)[edit]

Only players with significant amount of games played or points scored.

Position Player Seasons Games Points Total Points Per Game
1
Paulius Jankūnas
11
192
1648
8.5
2
Rimas Kurtinaitis
6
70
1321
18.9
3
Arvydas Sabonis
5
63
1281
20.3
4
Tanoka Beard
6
73
1107
15.2
5
Dainius Šalenga
10
129
1107
8.6
6
Valdemaras Chomičius
5
53
934
17.6
7
Marko Popović
4
62
797
12.9
8
Saulius Štombergas
3
55
763
13.9
9
Mindaugas Timinskas
4
64
697
10.9
10
Jonas Mačiulis
4
64
665
10.4
11
Tomas Masiulis
7
91
665
7.3
12
Sergejus Jovaiša
5
51
635
12.5
13
Darjuš Lavrinovič
4
57
601
10.5
14
Mantas Kalnietis
7
90
593
6.6
15
Kęstutis Šeštokas
6
57
567
9.9
Last updated: 2014-12-21.[6]

Matches against NBA teams[edit]

15 October 2007
Golden State Warriors United States 107–88 Lithuania BC Žalgiris
17 October 2007
Toronto Raptors Canada 105–99 Lithuania BC Žalgiris
19 October 2007
Washington Wizards United States 115–96 Lithuania BC Žalgiris

References[edit]

External links[edit]