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In Italian professional basketball, the Lega Basket Serie A is the highest level club competition where play determines the national champion. The season consists of a home-and-away schedule of 30 games, followed by an eight-team playoff round. Quarterfinals and semifinals series are best-of-five, and the finals series is best-of-seven. The bottom two clubs are relegated, and replaced by the top team from the regular-season phase and the eight-team playoff round winner of the second-level LegADue. The Italian League is one of the 3 "A" level ranked European domestic leagues in the ULEB League Rankings system.

History

The national basketball league was first organized for play in Italy in 1920. The first title was won by SEF Costanza Milano, and the team holding the record for title championships is Olimpia Milano, who have won 25 championships. Twenty different teams have won the championship since its inception. In recent years, the league has been dominated by a handful of teams:
  • Benetton Treviso, with five scudetti (league titles) since 1992.
  • Virtus Bologna, with five scudetti between 1993 and 2001.
  • Virtus' crosstown rivals Fortitudo (who have since dropped completely from the professional ranks); although only with two scudetti, they had an 11-year run from 1996 to 2006 in which they appeared in the championship series 10 times.
  • Montepaschi Siena, with four scudetti since 2004, and the three-time defending champions.


Until the 2000s, the Italian Championship was the most important national domestic league in Europe, but now the Spanish ACB League is considered to be stronger than Serie A. Nonetheless, the league is still considered to be one of the three premiere European pro national domestic basketball leagues, along with the Spanish ACB and the Greek A1 League.

Through the 2007-08 season, 18 teams competed; however, in September 2008, two clubs, Basket Napoli (not related to the current NSB Napoli, which moved from Rietimarker to Naplesmarker after the 2008–09 season) and Orlandina, were forcibly relegated from the professional ranks for financial irregularities and were not replaced for the 2008-09 season. Today, 16 teams compete in the highest level of play.

2009-10 teams

Team City/Area Region Colours
Air Avellino Avellinomarker Campania white/green
Angelico Biella Biellamarker Piedmont white/blue
Armani Jeans Milano Milanomarker Lombardy white/red
Bancatercas Teramo Teramomarker Abruzzo white/red
Benetton Basket Treviso Trevisomarker Veneto white/green
Carife Ferrara Ferraramarker Emilia-Romagna white/black
Cimberio Varese Varesemarker Lombardy white/red
Lottomatica Roma Romamarker Lazio red/yellow/blue
Martos Napoli Rietimarker (legal domicile)
Napolimarker (home arena)
Lazio
Campania
amaranth/sky-blue
Montepaschi Siena Sienamarker Tuscany white/green
NGC Medical Cantù Cantùmarker Lombardy white/blue
Pepsi Caserta Casertamarker Campania white/black
Scavolini-Gruppo Spar Pesaro Pesaromarker Marche white/red
Sigma Coatings Montegranaro Montegranaromarker Marche white/black
Vanoli Soresina Soresinamarker (legal domicile)
Cremonamarker (home arena)
Lombardy blue/black
Virtus Forza Bologna Bolognamarker Emilia-Romagna white/black


Champions

Season Champion Runner-up Champion's Coach
1948-49 Virtus Bologna Pallacanestro Varese Renzo Poluzzi
1949-50 Borletti Milano Virtus Bologna Cesare Rubini
1950-51 Borletti Milano Ginnastica Roma Cesare Rubini
1951-52 Borletti Milano Virtus Bologna Cesare Rubini
1952-53 Borletti Milano Virtus Bologna Cesare Rubini
1953-54 Borletti Milano Gira Bologna Cesare Rubini
1954-55 Minganti Bologna Ginnastica Triestina Larry Strong
1955-56 Minganti Bologna Borletti Milano Vittorio Tracuzzi
1956-57 Simmenthal Milano Minganti Bologna Cesare Rubini
1957-58 Simmenthal Milano Minganti Bologna Cesare Rubini
1958-59 Simmenthal Milano Oransoda Bologna Cesare Rubini
1959-60 Simmenthal Milano Oransoda Bologna Cesare Rubini
1960-61 Ignis Varese Idrolitina Bologna Enrico Garbosi
1961-62 Simmenthal Milano Ignis Varese Cesare Rubini
1962-63 Simmenthal Milano Ignis Varese Cesare Rubini
1963-64 Ignis Varese Simmenthal Milano Vittorio Tracuzzi
1964-65 Simmenthal Milano Ignis Varese Cesare Rubini
1965-66 Simmenthal Milano Ignis Varese Cesare Rubini
1966-67 Simmenthal Milano Ignis Varese Cesare Rubini
1967-68 Oransoda Cantù Ignis Sud Napoli Borislav Stanković
1968-69 Ignis Varese Simmenthal Milano Nico Messina
1969-70 Ignis Varese Simmenthal Milano Aza Nikolić
1970-71 Ignis Varese Simmenthal Milano Aza Nikolić
1971-72 Simenthal Milano Ignis Varese Cesare Rubini
1972-73 Ignis Varese Simmenthal Milano Aza Nikolić
1973-74 Ignis Varese Innocenti Milano Alessandro Gamba
1974-75 Forst Cantù Ignis Varese Arnaldo Taurisano
1975-76 Sinudyne Bologna Mobilgirgi Varese Dan Peterson
1976-77 Mobilgirgi Varese Sinudyne Bologna Alessandro Gamba
1977-78 Mobilgirgi Varese Sinudyne Bologna Nico Messina
1978-79 Sinudyne Bologna Billy Milano Terry Driscoll
1979-80 Sinudyne Bologna Gabetti Cantù Terry Driscoll
1980-81 Squibb Cantù Sinudyne Bologna Valerio Bianchini
1981-82 Billy Milano Scavolini Pesaro Dan Peterson
1982-83 Banco Roma Billy Milano Valerio Bianchini
1983-84 Granarolo Bologna Simac Milano Alberto Bucci
1984-85 Simac Milano Scavolini Pesaro Dan Peterson
1985-86 Simac Milano Mobilgirgi Caserta Dan Peterson
1986-87 Tracer Milano Mobilgirgi Caserta Dan Peterson
1987-88 Scavolini Pesaro Tracer Milano Valerio Bianchini
1988-89 Philips Milano Enichem Livorno Franco Casalini
1989-90 Scavolini Pesaro Ranger Varese Sergio Scariolo
1990-91 Phonola Caserta Philips Milano Franco Marcelletti
1991-92 Benetton Treviso Scavolini Pesaro Petar Skansi
1992-93 Buckler Bologna Benetton Treviso Ettore Messina
1993-94 Buckler Bologna Scavolini Pesaro Alberto Bucci
1994-95 Buckler Bologna Benetton Treviso Alberto Bucci
1995-96 Stefanel Milano Teamsystem Bologna Bogdan Tanjević
1996-97 Benetton Treviso Teamsystem Bologna Mike D'Antoni
1997-98 Kinder Bologna Teamsystem Bologna Ettore Messina
1998-99 Pallacanestro Varese Benetton Treviso Carlo Recalcati
1999-00 Paf Bologna Benetton Treviso Carlo Recalcati
2000-01 Kinder Bologna Paf Bologna Ettore Messina
2001-02 Benetton Treviso Skipper Bologna Mike D'Antoni
2002-03

details
Benetton Treviso Skipper Bologna Ettore Messina
2003-04

details
Montepaschi Siena Skipper Bologna Carlo Recalcati
2004-05

details
Climamio Bologna Armani Jeans Milano Jasmin Repeša
2005-06

details
Benetton Treviso Climamio Bologna David Blatt
2006-07

details
Montepaschi Siena VidiVici Bologna Simone Pianigiani
2007-08
details
Montepaschi Siena Lottomatica Roma Simone Pianigiani
2008-09
details
Montepaschi Siena Armani Jeans Milano Simone Pianigiani


Final Appearances

Num Team W L
34 Olimpia Milano 20 14
24 Virtus Bologna 12 12
20 Pallacanestro Varese 10 10
10 Fortitudo Bologna 2 8
9 Benetton Treviso 5 4
6 Scavolini Pesaro 2 4
4 Montepaschi Siena 4 0
4 Pallacanestro Cantù 3 1
3 Juvecaserta Basket 1 2
2 Virtus Roma 1 1
1 Partenope Napoli 0 1
1 Libertas Livorno 0 1


Notable players

Well-known basketball players who play, or have played, in the league include: Phill Jones, Radivoj Korac, Bill Bradley, Aldo Ossola, Manuel Raga, Dino Meneghin, Bob Morse, Drazen Dalipagic, Pierluigi Marzorati, Bob McAdoo, Joe "Belly Bean" Bryant, Krešimir Ćosić, Renato Villalta, Dragan Kicanovic, Larry Wright, Roberto Brunamonti, Walter Szczerbiak, George Gervin, Aleksandar Petrovic, Clarence Kea, Antonello Riva, Joe Arlauckas, Roberto Premier, Corny Thompson, Mike D'Antoni, Oscar Schmidt, Joe Barry Carroll, Riccardo Pittis, Dino Radja, Micheal Ray Richardson, Toni Kukoč, Johnny Rogers, Jurij Zdovc, Sasha Djordjević, Vincenzo Esposito, Vinnie Del Negro, Anthony Bowie, Alexander Volkov, Petar Naumoski, Arijan Komazec, Ferdinando Gentile, Predrag Danilović, Stefano Rusconi, Dejan Bodiroga, Tanoka Beard, Zan Tabak, Carlton Myers, Zeljko Rebraca, Henry Williams, Gregor Fučka, Zoran Savic, Orlando Woolridge, Hugo Sconochini, Gianmarco Pozzecco, David Rivers, Antoine Rigaudeau, Dominique Wilkins, Radoslav Nesterovic, Marcelo Nicola, Artūras Karnišovas, Warren Kidd, Zarko Paspalj, Stojko Vrankovic, Christian Welp, Sasa Obradovic, Roberto Chiacig, Saulius Stombergas, Daniel Santiago, Manu Ginóbili, Melvin Booker, Denis Marconato, Eurelijus Zukauskas, Marko Jaric, Louis Bullock, Matjaz Smodis, Nikos Ekonomou, Marcus Brown, David Andersen, Tyus Edney, Mike Batiste, Sasha Vujačić, Anthony Parker, Mindaugas Zukauskas, Jorge Garbajosa, Milan Tomic, Maurice Evans, Carlos Delfino, Alphonso Ford, Bostjan Nachbar, Charles Smith, Vlado Scepanovic, Michalis Kakiouzis, Gianluca Basile, David Vanterpool, Vrbica Stefanov, Beno Udrih, Trajan Langdon, Nikolaos Zisis, Rimantas Kaukenas, Scoonie Penn, Erazem Lorbek, Lynn Greer, Mirsad Turkcan, Travis Best, Milos Vujanic, Bootsy Thornton, Ramunas Siskauskas, Andrew Nicholas, Sani Becirovic, Yakhouba Diawara, Roko Ukic, Lazaros Papadopoulos, Earl Boykins, Andrea Bargnani, Terrell McIntyre, Marco Belinelli, Primoz Brezec, Arriel McDonald, Kšyštof Lavrinovič, Danilo Gallinari and many others.

See also



External links




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