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Želimir “Željko” Obradović (Serbyan Cyrilic: Желимир Жељко Обрадовић) (born March 9 1960, in Čačakmarker, Serbiamarker, FPR Yugoslaviamarker) is a professional basketball coach and a former professional basketball player. He is currently the head coach of Panathinaikos Athens and is generally considered one of the best European coaches ever, having won seven Euroleague titles with four different clubs. In addition to his success at the club level, he's also won major trophies as the Serbian national basketball team head coach, such as the 1997 FIBA European Championship and the 1998 FIBA World Championship.

Playing career

Obradović started his career as a basketball player with Borac Čačak where he ended up playing 6 senior seasons from 1980 until 1986 as a point guard. Over the summer of 1986, he joined Partizan Belgrade at the age of 26. Eighteen-year-old Vlade Divac, 19-year-old Saša Đorđević, and 20-year-old Žarko Paspalj also joined the club during the same summer.

In Obradović's first season with the team, the team won the 1986-87 Yugoslavian Championship. The next season they reached the 1988 European Champions Cup Final Four. Finally, they won the Yugoslavian Cup and the Korać Cup in 1989. During this period of time, he established himself as one the better and more reliable point guards in Yugoslavia.

He was also a member of the Yugoslavian national basketball team that won the silver medal at the 1988 Olympics Basketball Tournament and the gold medal at the 1990 FIBA World Championship.

His playing career was put to a halt when he was sentenced to years in prison after causing the death of a pedestrian in a car accident. After serving his prison sentence, Obradović returned to the court as a player, and already in his latter days as a player he coached Partizan's youth team. He retired from playing basketball in 1991 and immediately signed as the head coach of the senior team of the club.

Coaching career

Obradović's greatness as a basketball head coach is fully confirmed by the great collection of titles he has acquired in his seventeen-year career as a coach: a record seven pro sports club European Champions Cups (with four different teams), two Saporta Cups, numerous domestic league championships and cups, the silver medal at the 1996 Olympics Basketball Tournament, the gold medal at the 1997 FIBA European Championship, the gold medal at the 1998 FIBA World Championship, and the bronze medal at the 1999 FIBA European Championship while coaching the FR Yugoslavian national basketball team, where he was the head coach from 1996-00. He was also the head coach of the Serbia and Montenegro national basketball team in 2004-05.

He has been the head coach of Panathinaikos Athens since the summer of 1999, and he has lead the team to become the top club in European club basketball during that time, while simultaneously maintaining the club at the top position in the HEBA A1 Greek national championship. In total, Obradović has won 9 Greek Championships, 6 Greek Cups and 4 Euroleague titles (2000, 2002, 2007, and 2009) with the "Greens". In 2007, he achieved winning the highly coveted Triple Crown championship for the second time as a head coach (the first was in 1992 with Partizan Belgrade). In 2009, he achieved it for a third time and a noteworthy fact is that his team achieved the feat that year by defeating their arch-rivals Olympiacos in all three cases: In the Greek Cup Final, in the Euroleague semi-final and, finally, in the Greek Championship Finals with a 3 games to 1 series win, despite having a home court disadvantage.

Trophies and medals

As a player: As a head coach:



Notes



External links




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