Belgrade Crvena Zvezda
Košarkaški klub Crvena zvezda (transl. Red Star Basketball Club), commonly referred to as KK Crvena zvezda mts for sponsorship reasons or simply Crvena zvezda, is a men's professional basketball club based in Belgrade, Serbia and the major part of the Red Star multi-sports club. The club is a founding member and shareholder of the Adriatic Basketball Association, and competes in the Serbian League (KLS), the ABA League, and the top-tier Europe-wide EuroLeague.
Crvena zvezda is regarded as one of the most successful clubs in Serbia history; their squads have won 22 National League championships, including 10-in-a-row and current 7-in-a-row sequences. They have played in three different National Leagues since 1945, including the Yugoslav First Federal League (1945–1992), the First League of Serbia and Montenegro (1992–2006) and the Serbian League (2006 onwards). They have also won 11 National Cup titles, 6 Adriatic League Championships, one Adriatic Supercup, and one FIBA Saporta Cup. The club plays domestic home matches in the Aleksandar Nikolić Hall. Zvezda's supporters are known as Delije.
The Zvezda's rise to dominance began in their inaugural season by winning the 1946 Yugoslav Championship. FIBA Hall of Fame player-coach Nebojša Popović and Aleksandar Gec, along with a talented supporting cast of future Hall of Famers Aleksandar Nikolić and Borislav Stanković, would lead Crvena zvezda into the greatest period in club history, winning ten consecutive Yugoslav championships in as many seasons throughout the 1940s and early 1950s. After the retirement of Popović in 1956, Zvezda entered a period of rebuilding. Led by forward Vladimir Cvetković and future FIBA Hall of Fame point guard Zoran Slavnić, Zvezda returned to championship caliber, winning two Yugoslav championships in 1969 and 1972. Crvena zvezda won the only European-wide competition in club history, the FIBA European Cup Winner's Cup in 1974. The club struggled throughout the 1980s with a talented cast led by point guard Zoran Radović and FIBA Hall of Fame coach Ranko Žeravica.
Zvezda again returned to dominance in the 1990s following the dissolution of Yugoslavia and joining the league with Serbian and Montenegrin clubs. Led by guard Saša Obradović, Crvena zvezda won the 1993 and 1994 championships. The club also won one more title in 1998. After winning 15 championships throughout the 20th century, Zvezda, now competing in the Adriatic and the Serbian League, after struggling through the 2000s, rose again to dominance in the late 2010s. The Crvena zvezda squads won seven consecutive Serbian championships (2015–2022) and six Adriatic championships in the same seven-year span.[n 1]
Zvezda has a notable rivalry with Partizan. The rivalry started immediately after the creation of the two clubs in 1945 and the two clubs have been dominant in domestic basketball since then. The Partizan legends and future Hall of Fame players Dražen Dalipagić and Vlade Divac had their stints with Zvezda in the 1990s.
Crvena zvezda is the only club in the world to have produced two members now in the Hall of Fame (Stanković and Nikolić) and four in the FIBA Hall of Fame (Stanković, Popović, Radomir Šaper, and Nikolić). The four of them have the highest Order of Merit from FIBA.