KK Crvena zvezda

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Crvena zvezda mts
2017–18 KK Crvena zvezda season
Crvena zvezda mts logo
Nickname Crveno-beli (The Red-Whites)
Zvezda (The Star)
Leagues EuroLeague
ABA League
Basketball League of Serbia
Founded 4 March 1945; 72 years ago (1945-03-04)
History KK Crvena zvezda
Arena Aleksandar Nikolić Hall
Kombank Arena
Arena Capacity 5,878[1]
Location Belgrade, Serbia
Team colors Red and White
Main sponsor Mobile Telephony of Serbia
President Nebojša Čović
Team manager Nebojša Ilić
Head coach Dušan Alimpijević
Championships 1 Saporta Cup
3 ABA League
18 National Championships
9 National Cups
Website www.kkcrvenazvezda.rs
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Home jersey
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Team colours
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Away jersey
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Team colours

KK Crvena zvezda (Serbian Cyrillic: КК Црвена звезда, English: Red Star BC) is a men's professional basketball club based in Belgrade, Serbia. It is part of the multi-sports Belgrade-based club Crvena zvezda. KK Crvena zvezda is a part of the Adriatic Basketball Association and competes in the ABA League, the EuroLeague and in the Basketball League of Serbia.

The Crvena zvezda squads have won 18 National League championships, including in 10-in-a-row sequence. They have played three different National League since 1945, including Yugoslav First Federal League (1945–1992), First League of Serbia and Montenegro (1992–2006) and Serbian League (2006 onward). They have also won 9 National Cup titles, 3 Adriatic League Championships, and one FIBA Saporta Cup. The team play domestic home matches in the Aleksandar Nikolić Hall, and the EuroLeague home matches in Kombank Arena. Zvezda's supporters are known as Delije.

Some of the club's star players over the years have included: Aleksandar Gec, Nebojša Popović, Aleksandar Nikolić, Borislav Stanković, Srđan Kalember, Vladimir Cvetković, Zoran Slavnić, Ljubodrag Simonović, Dragan Kapičić, Dragiša Vučinić, Zoran Radović, Slobodan Nikolić, Predrag Bogosavljev, Rajko Žižić, Boban Janković, Saša Obradović, Nebojša Ilić, Aleksandar Trifunović, Milenko Topić, Zlatko Bolić, Igor Rakočević, Milan Gurović, Nemanja Bjelica and Boban Marjanović.


1945–1968: Early years and ten consecutive championship titles[edit]

By winning the first of ten consecutive championship titles after the Second World War, the golden age of Red Star began. No domestic national selection could be imagined without seven or eight Red Star basketball players and the first quintet featured Nebojša Popović, Tullio Rochlitzer, Aleksandar Gec, Ladislav Demšar and Srđan Kalember. Their style was unique, they made basketball popular in Serbia and achieved first international results for former Yugoslavia, playing in an open-air court at Kalemegdan fortress. The greatness of this team cannot be disputed. They were pioneers of Yugoslavian basketball who achieved amazing results, entertaining the audience with their game style, just as with their squad harmony both on and off the court. After a decade filled with nothing but success, game scores started to decline, generation shift arrived and it took Red Star fourteen long years to win another trophy.

1968–1972: A giant reborn[edit]

That long-awaited eleventh title was won in the 1968–69 season, when Red Star won all six games against Jugoplastika, Zadar and Partizan, therefore proving to be better than all three fierce rivals. Led by Vladimir Cvetković, the title was won by Dragan Kapičić, Zoran Lazarević, Ivan Sarjanović, Ljubodrag Simonović, Srđan Skulić, Zoran Slavnić, Tihomir Pavlović, Nemanja Đurić, Miroslav Todosijević, Dragiša Vučinić and Dubravko Kapetanović. At that time, they were the youngest championship winning team in Yugoslavian basketball. The twelfth title was won in the 1971–72 season, after which Red Star's league success deteriorated gradually. In the 70s the club won the national cup three times, and most of the work in those years was done by Slavnić, Simonović, Kapičić, Vučinić and Živković. This generation of players definitely failed to certify their talent by winning only two national championships and three national cups, although they were widely considered capable of achieving much more.

1972–1990: Continental competitions[edit]

Crvena Zvezda also had significant international success, having played in five continental cup finals so far. They lost the first Cup Winners' Cup finals to Italian powerhouse Simmenthal Milano in 1972 by a score of 70–74. Then, in 1974, they defeated Jbrojovka Brno from Czechoslovakia by a score of 86–75. This team's third finals in the Cup Winners' Cup were lost to Spartak Leningrad by a score of 62–63 in 1975. In the club's first Korać Cup finals, in Paris in 1984, the French Orthez won by a 73–67 score. In the Korać Cup second finals in 1998 Zvezda played two matches with Rielo Mash Jeans Verona from Italy. They triumphed in the away match with 74–68 score, but lost the home match by 64–73. With the total score being 138–141, the precious trophy wasn't won.

1990–2002: Another comeback[edit]

The 1990s started promisingly. Throughout the 1991–92 league season, which was the last one in SFR Yugoslavia, Red Star played some inspired basketball, reaching the play-off final versus arch-rival Partizan that coached by Željko Obradović won EuroLeague that season. In a twist of fate, Red Star was led that season by the legendary Partizan coach Duško Vujošević. Though they lost the finals series, the young Crveno-beli team showed plenty of promise. The thirteenth championship title was won after a gap of no less than 21 years, in 1993. In the fifth match of the playoff finals Red Star beat fierce rivals and Pionir Hall co-tenants Partizan. The players who won that championship title are: Saša Obradović, Nebojša Ilić, Zoran Jovanović, Mile Marinković, Nikola Jovanović, Mileta Lisica, Dejan Tomašević, Dragoljub Vidačić, Aleksandar Trifunović, Rastko Cvetković, Slobodan Kaličanin, Predrag Stojaković and Srđan Jovanović. In the next season Red Star won its fourteenth national championship title literally without any problems. In the playoff finals Partizan was beaten by 4–1 overall. Red Star won the championship for the fifteenth time in 1998. The main star of that team was without any doubt Yugoslavian national team power forward Milenko Topić, and other influential players were Igor Rakočević, Oliver Popović and Zlatko Bolić.

2002–2011: "European Red Star" project, struggles[edit]

In the early part of 2002, the club got a complete new management. Individuals from the political and business milieu close to ruling Democratic Party, such as Živorad Anđelković, Goran Vesić, and Igor Žeželj, took over key positions in the club.

From summer 2002 onward, the project called Evropska Zvezda (European Red Star) was thought up in order to slowly and methodically return the club on the path of its former glory by achieving results that would see the club play Euroleague again. To that end, new management hired Slovenian coach Zmago Sagadin who became Red Star's organizational centerpiece. In his first season Sagadin did not actually coach the team (the formal head coach role was given to Aleksandar Trifunović), but he did make all the important personnel decisions from the role of a sporting director. Under Sagadin's guidance Red Star entered the Adriatic League (a privately owned regional competition in which he holds ownership stake) for the 2002–03 season. In August 2003, ahead of the 2003–04 season, Sagadin took over the coaching duties formally as well. Despite all the efforts, the club did not manage to win any major trophies in this period, and in November 2004 Sagadin got fired.

In the last couple of years the club is struggling to get back on a winning streak, and managed to win the 2003 and 2006 national cup (Radivoj Korać Cup) finals. The first of them was held in Novi Sad, where Red Star beat the national champion Partizan, then the host Vojvodina and, finally, KK FMP from Železnik. All three matches were won in overtime, which is something to remember, especially when it is known that those matches were played without some of the best players, including the team captain Igor Rakočević who missed the final match. Besides Rakočević, the cup was won by Goran Jeretin, Vuk Radivojević, Milan Dozet, Miloš Mirković, Norman Richardson, Milko Bjelica, Aleksandar Đurić, Vladislav Dragojlović, Luka Bogdanović, Čedomir Vitkovac and Aleksej Nešović. The 2006 cup was won in Belgrade when Red Star won superiorly against Hemofarm Vršac by 80–65. The team was coached by Dragan Šakota and featured the likes of Jeretin, Milan Gurović, Gerrod Henderson, Miroslav Raičević, Larry O'Bannon, Igor Milošević, Vujadin Subotić, Nenad Mišanović, Vladislav Dragojlović, Čedomir Vitkovac, Vuk Radivojević and Pero Antić.

With the failure of the project "European Red Star" in 2008. Slobodan Vučićević became the president of Red Star and brought new life into the club. Svetislav Pešić became the head coach, and a new team was assembled, including some notable players such as Nemanja Bjelica, Vladimir Štimac, Lawrence Roberts, Marko Kešelj but the club failed to win a trophy that year, and at the end of the season, both Slobodan Vučićević and Svetislav Pešić left the club.

In the following two seasons, the club experienced a decline and financial problems, which culminated in the season 2010/11 when the club had a budget of only 500.000 euros. Red Star finished 13th in the Adriatic League, and 5th in the Serbian league, failing to qualify for the Adriatic League the following season.

2011–2017: New era of success and Radonjić's titles[edit]

A huge debt of 15 million euros threatened the very existence of the club.[3] The club was saved from bankruptcy when Nebojša Čović became president of KK Crvena Zvezda.[4] He prepared a plan for the financial reorganization. In the first year of his presidency, Svetislav Pešić became a head coach for the second time.[5] Even though the season was without success in the Adriatic League, Pesic managed to bring his team to the finals, eventually losing to a much stronger Partizan team 3–1 in the series. Pesic left the club at the end of the season, and his assistant Milivoje Lazic became the new head coach.[6] Red Star had big ambitions for the 2012–13 season, bringing back Igor Rakočević for the 3rd time, and signing players such as DeMarcus Nelson, Elton Brown, Boris Savović. But Lazić was fired after only 2 games in the season after losing the games against KK Zadar and KK Split, and Vlada Vukoičić was brought in to replace him.[7] Vukoicic managed to win the Serbian cup, and managed to advance to the Last 16 EuroCup stage, but he was sacked as well after a very bad start in the domestic league. Dejan Radonjić replaced him,[8] but he was unable to win the Adriatic League and the Serbian League, losing to Partizan in both finals.

The season of 2013–14 was a historic one for the club, as Red Star was back in the EuroLeague after 15 years. The club had a very successful season in the European competitions, led by the new signings Charles Jenkins, Blake Schilb, Jaka Blažič and Boban Marjanović and had a record of 4–6 in the group stage of the EuroLeague. This wasn't enough to advance to the knockout phase, but the team did reach the semifinals of the EuroCup. Red Star was eventually eliminated in the semifinals of the Adriatic league, losing to Cibona, and failed to win the domestic title yet again, losing to Partizan in a series which will be remembered more by incidents and a brawl in game 1.[9]

In the summer of 2014, Red Star signed Nikola Kalinić[10] and Stefan Jović[11] from KK Radnički Kragujevac, NBA prospect Nemanja Dangubić,[12] center Maik Zirbes[13] and finalized a huge signing of point guard Marcus Williams.[14] In season 2014–15, the club participated in EuroLeague,[15] winning 6 out of 10 games in regular season, reaching Top 16 and seeing its average home attendance rising to 14483.[16] In Adriatic league, it set a new record of 20 consecutive victories,[17] ending league competition with score 24–2, losing only to Krka and Partizan. In the playoffs, Zvezda triumphed over Partizan 3–1 in the semifinals,[18] and 3–1 over Cedevita Zagreb in the finals,[19] winning its first trophy in this competition and securing a place in Euroleague in the 2015–2016 season. Zvezda also won Radivoj Korać Cup for the third time in a row.[20] In Basketball League of Serbia, Zvezda entered playoffs with 13 wins and only one lost game. In the semifinals, it defeated Mega Leks 2–0, and in the final triumphed over great rival Partizan, 3–0.[21]

Team started preparing for season 2015–16 by re-signing coach Radonjić[22] and guard Branko Lazić[23] for two years each. Team captain Luka Mitrović extended his contract until summer 2017. Williams, Marjanović, Kalinić, Jenkins and Blažič left the club, and roster was reinforced by Sofoklis Schortsanitis, Stefan Nastić, Ryan Thompson and Gal Mekel. From its development team KK FMP, Zvezda promoted MVP of 2015 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship, Marko Gudurić. First part of the season was marked by mixed results and a lot of squad changes. Due to serious injuries of Mitrović and Dangubić, club brought back Marko Simonović, and later on landed Quincy Miller. Out-of-form Schortsanitis and Mekel were replaced by Vladimir Štimac and returning Marcus Williams. Mid-season, club also released Williams and Thompson, replacing them with Vasilije Micić and Tarence Kinsey. Results improved, and Red Star ended group stage of EuroLeague with a 5–5 score, reaching third place of group A, qualifying for Top 16 stage.[24] Successful European season continued as Zvezda ended fourth in Top 16 Group E, with a score of 7 wins and seven losses.[25] In the playoffs, it was stopped by CSKA Moscow, who eventually went on to lift EuroLeague trophy. In ABA league, Zvezda entered playoffs from the second position, facing another EuroLeague team - Cedevita - and, defeating them twice, advanced to final series.[26] In the finals, Zvezda pulled a 3-0 against Mega Leks, defending the ABA league title. Zvezda ended another spectacular season by defending the Serbian league title beating Partizan 3-1 in the finals.[27]

Season 2016–2017 saw Zvezda parting ways with its two star players, Zirbes and Miller, as well as Kinsey, Štimac and Micić. During the pre-season, the club signed Ognjen Kuzmić,[28] Milko Bjelica[29] and Charles Jenkins,[30] brought talented Petar Rakićević[31] and promoted Ognjen Dobrić from its development team.[32] When the season already began, the club brought on Nate Wolters who was waived by Detroit Pistons.[33] Squad was finally completed mid-season, with the addition of Deon Thompson to the roster.[34] Building on previous years tactics, Zvezda's trademark became its strong, aggressive defense, pressure on the ball, intercepting passes, steals and resulting fast breaks.[35][36] In January 2017. coach Dejan Radonjić achieved his 200th victory leading Zvezda.[37] He also brought another Radivoj Korać Cup to the team.[38] Zvezda has ended the regular ABA league season with 25 wins on their record, while losing only once, which was the best regular season record made by any team in the history of the regional competition so far.[39] Team narrowly stayed out of Top 8, ending up on 9th place, having the same number of victories as 8th placed Darussafaka, but having worse head-to-head record. However, it decisively defended ABA league trophy, defeating Budućnost (2-1) and Cedevita (3-0) on its way.[40] In the domestic championship, Zvezda ended league part with the score of 13-1, defeated Mega Leks (2-0) and FMP (3-0) in the playoffs, and lifted another trophy.

2017–present: After coach Radonjić[edit]

During summer of 2017, the head coach Radonjić didn't sign new contract. Key players in the last couple of years such as Simonović, captain Mitrović, Jenkins, Jović, Kuzmić and Gudurić also left Zvezda. Young prospect Dušan Alimpijević was named as the head coach.[41][42] Depleted roster was reinforced by James Feldeine, veteran Marko Kešelj and a quartet of young players: Mathias Lessort, Nikola Radičević, Stefan Janković and Nikola Jovanović.



Total titles: 31

Honours No. Years
League - 18
Yugoslav League (1946–1992) Winners 12 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1968–69, 1971–72
Serbia and Montenegro League (1992–2006) Winners 3 1992–93, 1993–94, 1997–98
Serbian League (2006–present) Winners 3 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17
Cups - 9
Yugoslav Cup (1959–2002) Winners 3 1970–71, 1972–73, 1974–75
Radivoj Korać Cup (2002–present) Winners 6 2003–04, 2005–06, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2016–17
Regional - 3
Adriatic League Winners 3 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17
European - 1
FIBA Saporta Cup Winners 1 1973–74

Source: Crvena zvezda

Accomplishments and records[edit]

Home arenas[edit]

Crvena zvezda players practice under the command of head coach Svetislav Pešić in September 2008

The Crvena zvezda plays their domestic 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 the Aleksandar Nikolić Hall hosted many different sport events (volleyball, handball) it became known as a basketball arena. It has a seating capacity of 5,878.[46] The Aleksandar Nikolić Hall is also the home of Zvezda's main rival Partizan.

The Crvena zvezda plays domestic the EuroLeague home matches in Kombank Arena.[47] Club holds the highest attendance records for three EuroLeague seasons: 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17.


Delije is an umbrella name referring to the supporters of various sports clubs that compete under the Red Star Belgrade Sports Society banner. The name is derived from the Serbian word delija, meaning "brave, hero". Though Red Star multi-sports club has clubs in over twenty sports, Delije mostly focus on football (FK Crvena zvezda) and basketball. The name Delije first began to be used by hardcore Red Star supporters during the late 1980s, with official inauguration taking place on 7 January 1989.


Current roster[edit]

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

Crvena zvezda mts roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Ht. Wt. Age
F/C Serbia Apić, Dragan 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in) 105 kg (231 lb) 21 – (1995-10-03)3 October 1995
F/C 51 Montenegro Bjelica, Milko 2.07 m (6 ft 9 in) 102 kg (225 lb) 33 – (1984-06-04)4 June 1984
SF 6 Serbia Dangubić, Nemanja 2.04 m (6 ft 8 in) 88 kg (194 lb) 24 – (1993-04-13)13 April 1993
F Serbia Davidovac, Dejan 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in) 95 kg (209 lb) 22 – (1995-01-17)17 January 1995
G/F 13 Serbia Dobrić, Ognjen 2.00 m (6 ft 7 in) 93 kg (205 lb) 22 – (1994-10-27)27 October 1994
SG Dominican Republic Feldeine, James 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in) 91 kg (201 lb) 29 – (1988-06-26)26 June 1988
F/C Serbia Janković, Stefan 2.11 m (6 ft 11 in) 107 kg (236 lb) 24 – (1993-08-04)4 August 1993
F/C Serbia Jovanović, Nikola 2.11 m (6 ft 11 in) 109 kg (240 lb) 23 – (1994-01-06)6 January 1994
SF Serbia Kešelj, Marko 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in) 94 kg (207 lb) 29 – (1988-01-02)2 January 1988
SF Serbia Lazarević, Stefan 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in) 93 kg (205 lb) 21 – (1996-08-20)20 August 1996
G/F 10 Serbia Lazić, Branko (C) 1.95 m (6 ft 5 in) 91 kg (201 lb) 28 – (1989-01-12)12 January 1989
F/C France Lessort, Mathias 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in) 113 kg (249 lb) 21 – (1995-09-29)29 September 1995
G/F Serbia Radanov, Aleksa 2.02 m (6 ft 8 in) 91 kg (201 lb) 19 – (1998-02-01)1 February 1998
PG Serbia Radičević, Nikola 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in) 91 kg (201 lb) 23 – (1994-04-25)25 April 1994
G/F 20 Serbia Rakićević, Petar 2.04 m (6 ft 8 in) 81 kg (179 lb) 22 – (1995-06-04)4 June 1995
PF 12 Serbia Simanić, Boriša 2.13 m (7 ft 0 in) 92 kg (203 lb) 19 – (1998-03-20)20 March 1998
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)
Strength & conditioning coach(es)
  • Serbia Milorad Ćirić
Team manager

  • (C) Team captain
  • Injured Injured

Updated: August 11, 2017

Depth chart[edit]

Pos. Starting 5 Bench 1 Bench 2 Bench 3
C Mathias Lessort Stefan Janković Dragan Apić
PF Milko Bjelica Nikola Jovanović Boriša Simanić
SF Nemanja Dangubić Marko Kešelj Aleksa Radanov Dejan Davidovac
SG James Feldeine Branko Lazić Ognjen Dobrić Stefan Lazarević
PG Nikola Radičević Petar Rakićević

On loan[edit]

KK Crvena zvezda players out on loan
Nat. Player Position Team On loan since
Serbia Marko Tejić PF Serbia Mega Bemax June 2016
Serbia Marko Radovanović PF Serbia FMP June 2017

Squad changes for the 2017–18 season[edit]

Players on the NBA draft[edit]

# Denotes player who never played in the NBA regular season or playoffs
Position Player Year Round Pick Drafted by
PG Serbia and Montenegro Igor Rakočević 2000 2nd round 51st Minnesota Timberwolves
PF Serbia Tadija Dragićević# 2008 2nd round 53rd Utah Jazz, traded to Chicago Bulls
PF / SF Serbia Nemanja Bjelica 2010 2nd round 35th Washington Wizards, traded to Minnesota Timberwolves
PF Serbia Luka Mitrović# 2015 2nd round 60th Philadelphia 76ers, traded to Sacramento Kings

Team captains[edit]

Notable coaches[edit]

See: List of Red Star Belgrade basketball coaches

Notable players[edit]

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


Kit manufacturers[edit]

Period Kit Manufacturer
1986–1990 Sport
1990–1992 Dribling
1992–1993 Reebok
1993–1995 ASICS
1995–2000 Nike
2000–2003 Rang
2003–2010 AND1
2010–2011 Anta
2011–2013 Adidas
2013–2017 Champion
2017– Nike


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  2. ^ http://www.kombankarena.rs/en/page/61/Kombank+Arena+Profile
  3. ^ ČOVIĆ: Zvezda duguje 15 miliona evra, Milan Beko "oprostio" milion | Telegraf – Najnovije vesti. Telegraf.rs (2012-05-29). Retrieved on 2016-01-06.
  4. ^ Crvena zvezda Beograd: Čović predsednik | Mondo Sport. Mondo.rs. Retrieved on 2016-01-06.
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  39. ^ j.t.d., ABA liga. "Zvezda beats Budućnost and sets the all-time regular season record : ABA League". ABA Liga. Retrieved 2017-03-14. 
  40. ^ j.t.d., ABA liga. "Zvezda again crowned as ABA League champions : ABA League". ABA Liga. Retrieved 2017-04-15. 
  41. ^ Aлимпијевић је нови тренер КК Црвена звезда!
  42. ^ NASLEDIO RADONJIĆA Čović: Alimpijević novi trener Zvezde!
  43. ^ Živorad Anđelković, pomoćnik gradonačelnika Beograda - Biografija
  44. ^ Mirko Petrović novi predsednik KK Zvezda
  45. ^ Slobodan Vučićević novi predsednik Zvezde, rts.rs
  46. ^ http://www.tasmajdan.rs/hala-aleksandar-nikolic
  47. ^ Kombank Arena Events

External links[edit]