Pallacanestro Olimpia Milano

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AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan
AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan logo
NicknameScarpette Rosse (Little Red Shoes)
Founded1930; 89 years ago (1930)
HistoryDopolavoro Borletti
Triestina Milano
Pallacanestro Olimpia Milano
ArenaMediolanum Forum
LocationMilan, Italy
Team colorsWhite, red
Main sponsorAX Armani Exchange
PresidentLivio Proli
Head coachSimone Pianigiani
Team captainAndrea Cinciarini
OwnershipGiorgio Armani
Championships28 Italian Championships
6 Italian Cups
3 Italian Supercups
3 EuroLeague
1 Intercontinental Cup
3 Saporta Cups
2 Korać Cup
Retired numbers2 (8, 18)
Kit body reddiagonals.png
Euroleague home jersey
Kit shorts redsides.png
Team colours
Kit body whitesides.png
Euroleague away jersey
Kit shorts whitesides.png
Team colours

Pallacanestro Olimpia Milano, also known as AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan after its title sponsor,[2] is an LBA Italian professional basketball team, based in Milan, Italy. Its colors are red and white, and the team is sometimes referred as "Scarpette Rosse" (Little Red Shoes) because team officials imported red Converse All-Star shoes for players from the United States. The tag line stuck, and the nickname is still used by many fans today.

As per custom in the Italian league, sponsorship has kept the team name changing frequently. From 1936 until 1955, it was called Borletti Milano. From 1956 to 1973, it was renamed Simmenthal. Other famous sponsorship names were Billy, Simac, Tracer, and Philips, in the 1980s. For past club sponsorship names, see the list below.

Olimpia is the most titled basketball club in Italy, having won 28 Italian League championships, 6 Italian National Cups, 3 Italian Super Cups, 3 EuroLeague, 1 FIBA Intercontinental Cup, 3 FIBA Saporta Cups, 2 FIBA Korać Cups and many junior titles.



Olimpia was founded in 1930, by Milan businessman Adolfo Bogoncelli. The team regularly won the LEGA Basket Serie A championship of Italian basketball in the 1950s and the 1960s, with players including Gabriele Vianello, Sandro Riminucci, Gianfranco Pieri, and Bill Bradley. In the 1970s, three teams were fighting across Europe for supremacy: Olimpia Milano, Ignis Varese, and Real Madrid. Pallacanestro Varese and Olimpia Milano were arch-rivals, as the two cities are 25 miles (40 km) apart. While Milano was a frequent Italian League champion, they were unable to win the prestigious FIBA European Champions Cup.

Late in the 1970s, the quality of the club declined, but Olimpia Milano still managed to win a FIBA Cup Winners' Cup. In the second half of the 1970s, the team signed several good players, including the Boselli twins (Franco and Dino), Mike Sylvester, Chas Menatti, Dino Meneghin, Mike D'Antoni, John Gianelli, Roberto Premier. Bob McAdoo, Joe Barry Carroll, Russ Schoene, Antoine Carr, and Mike Brown. American head coach Dan Peterson led the team back to prominence.


In the 1980s, the team was sold to the Gabetti family. During this time, they qualified for nine Serie A championships finals, winning five, with the 1987 team winning the Serie A title, the 1986–87 FIBA European Champions Cup (won also in 1988: both finals were won against Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv), the Italian Cup and the 1987 FIBA Club World Cup. This gave the club the coveted "Triple Crown" and the even rarer "Quadruple Crown".

Led by point guard Sasha Djordjević, the team won another FIBA Korać Cup in 1993. Bepi Stefanel purchased the team franchise in 1994, and signed-up notable European players like Dejan Bodiroga, Gregor Fučka, Sandro De Pol, and Nando Gentile. In 1996, the team won the Italian Cup and its 25th Italian National Championship, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the club.

Team management was inconsistent, as ownership groups from 1998 to 2004. Players of the team included Warren Kidd, Hugo Sconochini, Claudio Coldebella and Petar Naumoski. In 2005, owner Corbelli, which bought the club in 2002, from Sergio Tacchini, was flanked by Adriano Galliani (Managing Director of Italian Football club A.C. Milan), Massimo Moratti (President of rival club Internazionale), NBA star Kobe Bryant, and stylist Giorgio Armani, as sponsor with the Armani Jeans brand. After difficult years, led by coach Lino Lardo, Olimpia reached the national championship Finals, finally being beaten by Climamio Bologna.

On January 25, 2006, in the midst of a disappointing season in the EuroLeague and domestically, Djordjevic was named as the team's new coach. He left as coach after the 2006–07 season, but not before securing Olimpia a berth in the 2007–08 Euroleague.


In 2008, Giorgio Armani bought the team from Giorgio Corbelli, standing as the only owner, entirely changing the management structure, naming Livio Proli as President, and Lucio Zanca as general manager. Piero Bucchi was chosen to coach the new team, leading Olimpia twice to second place in LEGA Basket, being defeated by Montepaschi Siena in both cases.

On January 2011, after 23 years, glorious coach Dan Peterson came back from retirement to replace Piero Bucchi as head coach. However, his stint at Olimpia Milano this time was quite short: after failing to reach the championship Finals, on June 9, Olimpia Milano announced Sergio Scariolo as new head coach for the 2011–12 season. The first player signed for the 2011–12 season was Omar Cook, an American-born play maker, who had played the previous season with Power Electronics Valencia. Due to the NBA lockout, Danilo Gallinari went back to his Alma Mater, playing 15 games (8 in the Italian League, 7 in EuroLeague): he left the team in December. Sergio Scariolo was replaced by Luca Banchi at the beginning of the 2013–14 season, and the team brought from Montepaschi Siena: David Moss, Kristjan Kangur, and Daniel Hackett.

The team reached the quarterfinals of EuroLeague, 16 years after its last appearance, but the team lost against the eventual league champions, Maccabi Electra. The team finished in the 1st position the LEGA Basket regular season, and in the 7th game of the playoff's finals, Olimpia won its 26th Italian League championship title, its first after 18 years. Alessandro Gentile, the captain of Olimpia, was named MVP of the finals.

On 29th of June 2017 Simone Pianigiani was hired as the new head coach and in June 15, 2018, Milano went to win his 28th title by beating Dolomiti Energia Trento in game 6 of the 2018 LBA Finals.[3]



Olimpia Milano used the OND Borletti outdoor court for almost 20 years in Via Costanza. In the mid-1940s, they moved to the PalaFiera Milano, which had a seating capacity of 18,000 people, and was then the largest indoor sports arena in Europe, and second only to the Madison Square Garden in New York City. At the end of the 1960s, the PalaFiera was abandoned, and Olimpia moved into the original structure of the PalaLido, which then had a smaller seating capacity of 3,500, but because of lack of security measures at the time, often was filled with up to 10,000 people.

At the end of the 1970s, Olympia moved into the newly built Palasport di San Siro, a multi-purpose facility built next to the Meazza Stadium, that was able to hold about 18,000 spectators. In 1985, Olimpia returned to PalaLido. They then moved to the 8,500 seat PalaTrussardi, where they played through the early 1990s.

The club then moved into its current home arena, the Mediolanum Forum, which has a seating capacity of 12,700.[4] The club has also played some home games at the 6,700 seat PalaDesio. Recently, the club considered moving back to the newly rebuilt and modernized PalaLido, after it was remodeled, and had its seating capacity expanded. However, the club ultimately decided to continue using the Mediolanum Forum as its home arena, due to its much larger seating capacity, as compared to PalaLido.


Domestic competitions[edit]

Winners (28): 1935–36, 1936–37, 1937–38, 1938–39, 1949–50, 1950–51, 1951–52, 1952–53, 1953–54, 1956–57, 1957–58, 1958–59, 1959–60, 1961–62, 1962–63, 1964–65, 1965–66, 1966–67, 1971–72, 1981–82, 1984–85, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1988–89, 1995–96, 2013–14, 2015–16, 2017–18
Runners-up (18): 1934, 1940–41, 1955–56, 1963–64, 1968–69, 1969–70, 1970–71, 1972–73, 1973–74, 1978–79, 1982–83, 1983–84, 1987–88, 1990–91, 2004–05, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2011–12
Winners (6): 1971–72, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1995–96, 2015–16, 2016–17
Runners-up (2): 1969–70, 2014–15
Winners (3): 2016, 2017, 2018
Runners-up (3): 1996, 2014, 2015

European competitions[edit]

Winners (3): 1965–66, 1986–87, 1987–88
Runners-up (2): 1966–67, 1982–83
Semifinalists (3): 1963–64, 1967–68, 1972–73, 1985–86
3rd place (1): 1991–92
Final Four (4): 1966, 1967, 1988, 1992
Winners (3): 1970–71, 1971–72, 1975–76
Runners-up (2): 1983–84, 1997–98
Semifinalists (1): 1976–77
Winners (2): 1984–85, 1992–93
Runners-up (2): 1994–95, 1995–96
Semifinalists (3): 1977–78, 1988–89, 1993–94
3rd place (2): 1985, 1989
4th place (2): 1986, 1987
Winners (1): 1966
Runners-up (1): 1953

Worldwide competitions[edit]

Winners (1): 1987
3rd place (2): 1967, 1968
3rd place (2): 1987, 1989


Winners (1): 1986–87
Winners (1): 1971–72


Current roster[edit]

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

Olimpia Milano roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Nat. Name Ht. Wt. Age
SG 00 Italy Della Valle, Amedeo 1.94 m (6 ft 4 in) 86 kg (190 lb) 25 – (1993-04-11)11 April 1993
PG 2 United States James, Mike 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) 88 kg (194 lb) 28 – (1990-08-18)18 August 1990
SF 5 Serbia Micov, Vladimir 2.01 m (6 ft 7 in) 101 kg (223 lb) 33 – (1985-04-16)16 April 1985
C 7 Lithuania Gudaitis, Artūras Injured 2.08 m (6 ft 10 in) 115 kg (254 lb) 25 – (1993-06-19)19 June 1993
SG 9 Latvia Bertāns, Dairis 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in) 91 kg (201 lb) 29 – (1989-09-09)9 September 1989
SF 13 Italy Fontecchio, Simone 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in) 91 kg (201 lb) 23 – (1995-12-09)9 December 1995
C 15 United States Tarczewski, Kaleb Injured 2.13 m (7 ft 0 in) 111 kg (245 lb) 25 – (1993-02-26)26 February 1993
SG 16 Serbia Nedović, Nemanja 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in) 87 kg (192 lb) 27 – (1991-06-16)16 June 1991
PF 19 Lithuania Kuzminskas, Mindaugas 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in) 98 kg (216 lb) 29 – (1989-10-19)19 October 1989
PG 20 Italy Cinciarini, Andrea (C) 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in) 84 kg (185 lb) 32 – (1986-06-21)21 June 1986
G/F 21 United States Nunnally, James 2.01 m (6 ft 7 in) 94 kg (207 lb) 28 – (1990-07-14)14 July 1990
F/C 23 Italy Burns, Christian 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in) 108 kg (238 lb) 33 – (1985-09-04)4 September 1985
PF 32 Italy Brooks, Jeff 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in) 98 kg (216 lb) 29 – (1989-06-12)12 June 1989
PG 55 United States Jerrells, Curtis 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) 88 kg (194 lb) 32 – (1987-02-05)5 February 1987
C 92 Slovenia Omić, Alen 2.16 m (7 ft 1 in) 110 kg (243 lb) 26 – (1992-05-06)6 May 1992
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)
  • Italy Mario Fioretti
  • Italy Massimo Cancellieri
  • Italy Andrea Turchetto
  • Italy Marco Esposito
Athletic trainer(s)
  • Italy Giustino Danesi
  • Italy Claudio Lomma
  • Italy Alessandro Colombo
  • Italy Marco Monzoni
Team manager
  • Italy Alberto Rossini

  • (C) Team captain
  • Injured Injured

Updated: January 29, 2019

Depth chart[edit]

Pos. Starting 5 Bench 1 Bench 2
C Artūras Gudaitis Kaleb Tarczewski Alen Omić
PF Jeff Brooks Mindaugas Kuzminskas Christian Burns
SF Vladimir Micov James Nunnally Simone Fontecchio
SG Nemanja Nedović Dairis Bertāns Amedeo Della Valle
PG Mike James Curtis Jerrells Andrea Cinciarini

Squad changes for the 2018-2019 season[edit]


Note: Flags indicate national team, as has been defined under FIBA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIBA nationality.

No. Position Player
Italy SG Amedeo Della Valle (from ItalyReggio Emilia)
Italy PF Jeff Brooks (from SpainUnicaja Malaga)
Serbia SG Nemanja Nedović (from SpainUnicaja Malaga)
Italy PF Christian Burns (from ItalyCantù)
United States PG Mike James (from GreecePanathinaikos)
Slovenia C Alen Omić (from MontenegroKK Budućnost)
United States SF James Nunnally (from United StatesHouston Rockets)


Note: Flags indicate national team, as has been defined under FIBA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIBA nationality.

No. Position Player
Lithuania PG Mantas Kalnietis (to France ASVEL)
France PF Amath M'Baye (to Italy Virtus Bologna)
Italy C Marco Cusin (to Italy FIAT Turin)
Italy PF Davide Pascolo (to Italy Aquila Basket Trento)
United States SG Andrew Goudelock (to China Shandong Golden Stars)
United States PG Jordan Theodore (to free agent)
Italy SF Awudu Abass (to Italy Basket Brescia Leonessa)

Retired numbers[edit]

Olimpia Milano retired numbers
No Nat. Player Position Tenure Date retired
8 United States Mike D'Antoni PG 1977–1990 2015
18 United States Art Kenney PF/C 1970–1973 2013

Season by season[edit]

Season Tier League Pos. Cup European competitions
2006–07 1 Serie A 3rd Semifinalist
2007–08 1 Serie A 7th 1 Euroleague RS
2008–09 1 Serie A 2nd 1 Euroleague T16
2009–10 1 Serie A 2nd Quarterfinalist 1 Euroleague RS
2010–11 1 Serie A 3rd Quarterfinalist 1 Euroleague RS
2011–12 1 Serie A 2nd Semifinalist 1 Euroleague T16
2012–13 1 Serie A 6th Quarterfinalist 1 Euroleague RS
2013–14 1 Serie A 1st Quarterfinalist 1 Euroleague QF
2014–15 1 Serie A 3rd Runner-up 1 Euroleague T16
2015–16 1 Serie A 1st Champion 1 Euroleague RS
2016–17 1 LBA 3rd Champion 1 EuroLeague 16th
2017–18 1 LBA 1st Quarterfinalist 1 EuroLeague 15th
2018–19 1 LBA 1 EuroLeague

Top performances in European & Worldwide competitions[edit]

Season Achievement Notes
1957–58 Quarter-finals eliminated by Honvéd, 80-72 (W) in Milan and 85-95 (L) in Budapest
1962–63 Quarter-finals eliminated by Dinamo Tbilisi, 70-65 (W) in Tbilisi and 68-74 (L) in Milan
1963–64 Semi-finals eliminated by Real Madrid, 82-77 (W) in Milan and 78-101 (L) in Madrid
1965–66 Champions defeated CSKA Moscow 68–57 in the semi-final, defeated Slavia VŠ Praha 77–72 in the final of the Final Four in Bologna / Milan
1966–67 Final defeated Slavia VŠ Praha 103-97 in the semi-final, lost to Real Madrid 83-91 in the final (Madrid)
1967–68 Semi-finals eliminated by Spartak ZJŠ Brno, 64-63 (W) in Milan, 86-103 (L) in Brno
1972–73 Semi-finals eliminated by Ignis Varese, 72-97 (L) in Milan, 100-115 (L) in Varese
1982–83 Final lost to Ford Cantù, 68-69 in the final (Grenoble)
1985–86 Semi-final group stage 3rd place in a group with Cibona, Žalgiris, Real Madrid, Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv and Limoges CSP
1986–87 Champions defeated Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv, 71-69 in the final of European Champions Cup in Lausanne
1987–88 Champions defeated Aris 87-82 in the semi-final, defeated Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv 90-84 in the final of the Final Four in Ghent
1989–90 Quarter-finals 5th place in a group with FC Barcelona, Jugoplastika, Limoges CSP, Aris, Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv, Commodore Den Helder and Lech Poznań
1991–92 Final Four 3rd place in Istanbul, lost to Partizan 75–82 in the semi-final, defeated Estudiantes Caja Postal 99-81 in the 3rd place game
1996–97 Quarter-finals eliminated 2–1 by Smelt Olimpija, 94–90 (W) in Milan, 69–73 (L) in Ljubljana, 61-77 (L) in Milan
2013–14 Quarter-finals eliminated 3-1 by Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv, 99-101 (L) and 91-77 (W) in Milan, 63-75 (L) and 66-86 (L) in Tel Aviv
FIBA Saporta Cup
1970–71 Champions defeated Spartak Leningrad 56–66 (L) in Leningrad and 71-52 (W) in Milan in the double final of FIBA European Cup Winners' Cup
1971–72 Champions defeated Crvena zvezda 74-70 in the final of FIBA European Cup Winners' Cup in Thessaloniki
1975–76 Champions defeated ASPO Tours 88-83 in the final of FIBA European Cup Winners' Cup in Turin
1976–77 Semi-finals eliminated by Forst Cantù, 78-101 (L) in Cantù and 98-95 (W) in Milan
1983–84 Final lost to Real Madrid 81–82 in the final (Ostend)
1997–98 Final lost to Žalgiris 67–82 in the final (Belgrade)
FIBA Korać Cup
1977–78 Semi-finals eliminated by Bosna, 79-76 (W) in Milan and 81-101 (L) in Sarajevo
1984–85 Champions defeated Ciaocrem Varese, 91–78 in the final of FIBA Korać Cup in Brussels
1988–89 Semi-finals eliminated by Wiwa Vismara Cantù, 81-95 (L) in Cantù and 70-65 (W) in Milan
1992–93 Champions defeated Virtus Roma, 95-90 (W) in Rome and 106-91 (W) in Milan in the double finals of FIBA Korać Cup
1993–94 Semi-finals eliminated by Stefanel Trieste, 79-96 (L) in Trieste and 103-96 (W) in Milan
1994–95 Final lost to Alba Berlin, 87-87 (D) in Milan and 79-85 (L) in Berlin
1995–96 Final lost to Efes Pilsen, 68-76 (L) in Istanbul and 77-70 (W) in Milan
EuroCup Basketball
2015–16 Quarter-finals eliminated by Dolomiti Energia Trento, 73-83 (L) in Trento and 79-92 (L) in Milan
FIBA Intercontinental Cup
1967 3rd place 3rd place in Rome, lost to Ignis Varese 70–79 in the semi-final, defeated Corinthians 90-89 in the 3rd place game
1968 3rd place 3rd place in Philadelphia, lost to Real Madrid 84–93 in the semi-final, defeated Botafogo 82-54 in the 3rd place game
1983 5th place 5th place with a 2-3 record in a league tournament in Buenos Aires
1987 Champions defeated FC Barcelona 100-84 in the final of FIBA Club World Cup in Milan
McDonald's Championship
1987 3rd place 3rd place in a three teams Tournament in Milwaukee with Milwaukee Bucks and Soviet Union
1989 3rd place 3rd place in Rome, lost to Jugoplastika 97-102 in the semi-final, defeated FC Barcelona 136-104 in the 3rd place game

Matches against NBA teams[edit]

23 October 1987
United States Milwaukee Bucks 123–111 Italy Tracer Milano
3 October 2010
United States New York Knicks 125–113 Italy Armani Jeans Milano
7 October 2012
United States Boston Celtics 105–75 Italy EA7 Emporio Armani Milano
6 October 2015
United States Boston Celtics 124–91 Italy EA7 Emporio Armani Milano

Sponsorship names[edit]

Logo of Armani Jeans Milano (2004–2011)

Through the years, due to sponsorship deals, it has been also known as:[5]

Notable players[edit]


  1. ^ CHI SIAMO (in Italian).
  2. ^ "AX Armani Exchange sarà lo sponsor dell'Olimpia Milano in EuroLeague" [AX Armani Exchange will be the sponsor of Olimpia Milano in EuroLeague]. (in Italian). 13 October 2017. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Domestic leagues roundup: June 15, 2018". 15 June 2018. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  4. ^ CHI SIAMO (in Italian).
  5. ^ Lega A page on the history of Olimpia Milano. (in Italian) Archived 2010-01-02 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Milano cambia "volto", sarà AX Armani Exchange anche in campionato" [Milan changes his "face", it will be AX Armani Exchange also in the Italian League]. (in Italian). 21 June 2018. Retrieved 22 June 2018.

External links[edit]