|Nickname||?aliai balti (The Green-Whites)|
|Leagues||Lithuanian Basketball League|
|Team colors||Dartmouth green, white|
|Team manager||Paulius Motiej?nas|
|Head coach||Martin Schiller|
|Team captain||Paulius Jank?nas|
|Championships||1 EuroLeague |
1 Saporta Cup
1 Intercontinental Cup
5 Soviet Union Leagues
1 Soviet Union Cup
1 North European League
22 Lithuanian Leagues
5 Lithuanian Cups
5 Baltic Leagues
1 Stepas Butautas Cup
3 King Mindaugas Cups
|Retired numbers||2 (5, 11)|
Basketball Club ?algiris (Lithuanian: Krep?inio klubas ?algiris) is a professional basketball team that is based in Kaunas, Lithuania, and competes domestically in the Lietuvos krep?inio lyga (LKL, Lithuanian Basketball League). Founded in 1944, it is one of the oldest teams in the EuroLeague. ?algiris is one of 11 European clubs to hold long-term licenses with the EuroLeague, which provides a guaranteed place in the regular-season phase of this league. Since the 2011-12 season, ?algiris plays its home games in ?algiris Arena, which was built just before EuroBasket 2011. The club's name commemorates the victorious Battle of ?algiris (Battle of Grunwald). Both ?algiris and Grunwald translate to "green wood".
?algiris has featured many Lithuanian basketball legends during its history, including Arvydas Sabonis, Modestas Paulauskas and ?ar?nas Jasikevi?ius. Eight of the twelve Lithuanian basketball players to play in the North American National Basketball Association (NBA) have played for ?algiris or were part of the ?algiris youth program at one point in their careers (Arvydas Sabonis, ?ar?nas Mar?iulionis, ?ar?nas Jasikevi?ius, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Donatas Motiej?nas, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Darius Songaila and Martynas Andriu?kevi?ius).
The team is the most-decorated Lithuanian basketball club, having won twenty Lithuanian championships, five Soviet championships, one European championship, and having reached the Lithuanian league finals every season since the league's 1993 formation.
Basketball Club ?algiris was formed in 1944. The team quickly rose to prominence, winning multiple Lithuanian basketball championships, also winning the USSR Premier Basketball League in 1947 and 1951. The team won silver medals in the 1949 and 1952 championships, and bronze in 1953, 1954, 1955 and 1956. ?algiris also won the USSR Basketball Cup in 1953. The team at the time was led by Stepas Butautas, Vytautas Kulakauskas, Justinas Lagunavi?ius, Kazimieras Petkevi?ius, and later, by Stasys Stonkus and Algirdas Laurit?nas.
In the 1960s, the team's play declined, and many new young players joined the team, such as Modestas Paulauskas, Romualdas Venzbergas, Henrikas Giedraitis, Algirdas Linkevi?ius and Serg?jus Jovai?a. The team won bronze medals in the Soviet Union championship in 1971, 1973 and 1978. In 1980, ?algiris won the silver medals, and debuted in the 1980-81 FIBA European Cup Winners' Cup the next season.
?algiris became the dominant club in Soviet Union and Europe when they added new talents to the team - Valdemaras Chomi?ius and Rimas Kurtinaitis - and coach Vladas Garastas. The biggest addition though was 17-year-old Arvydas Sabonis, who debuted in the club in 1981 at 209 centimetres (82 in) and grew another 12 centimetres (4.7 in) in the next couple years. Sabonis could do everything on the court: play defense, assist his teammates, shoot three-pointers, and dominate inside the paint.
During the 1980s, ?algiris won three consecutive Soviet Union National League championships, from 1985 to 1987, beating CSKA Moscow (English: Central Sports Club of Army) in the finals. In 1985, they reached the Saporta Cup final, but lost to FC Barcelona. Despite the loss, ?algiris participated in EuroLeague the next year as the Soviet Union champions, reaching the finals and losing to the rival Cibona. In 1986, ?algiris won the William Jones Intercontinental Cup, defeating Dra?en Petrovi?'s Cibona Zagreb in the semi-finals and Ferro Carril Oeste in the finals. They also participated in 1987 FIBA Club World Cup. ?algiris was emerging as one of the top clubs in Europe at the time.
In the mid-1980s, the finals between ?algiris Kaunas and CSKA Moscow served as a major inspiration for the Lithuanian national revival, especially when they played in Kaunas Sports Hall. From this emerged the S?j?dis national movement and the re-establishment of state independence.
In 1987, however, ?algiris suffered a setback when star player Sabonis suffered a torn achilles tendon. Three months later, he tore it again, causing him to miss most of the 1987-88 season. That season, ?algiris won a silver medal, losing to CSKA Moscow in the Soviet League finals. The next season, Sabonis managed to reach the European Cup Winners' Cup semi-finals and won a silver medal in Soviet League, losing a dramatic finals to Stroitel Kiev.
Just before the start of the 1989-90 season ?algiris lost all of its leaders and half of its team: Sabonis, Kurtinaitis, Jovai?a, Chomi?ius and head coach Garastas all left the club, free from the Iron Curtain that had barred Lithuanian basketball talent from becoming internationals.
In the 1989-90 season, ?algiris reached the Clubs Cup Winners' Cup semi-finals, where they lost to Real Madrid. After the Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania, ?algiris left the USSR championship. Over the next few seasons, ?algiris won Lithuanian championships in 1991, 1992 and 1993, and the LKF Cup in 1990. ?algiris won the ProfBasket Cup tournament, featuring many former USSR teams, in 1992. They won their first LKL title in 1994, beating Atletas Kaunas 3-1 in a four-game series. Over the following two years, ?algiris again dominated LKL tournaments, beating Atletas Kaunas 3-0 in 1995 and 3-2 (after being down 0-2 in the series) in 1996, and had success participating in the 1995-96 FIBA European Cup when Rimas Kurtinaitis returned to play for his home team. After finishing with a 9-3 record in the regular season, ?algiris advanced to the semi-finals, but fell to PAOK in the two-game series. In 1997, ?algiris again won the LKL championship, beating Olimpas ?emaitija Plung? 3-0 in the finals, and reached round 16 in the Saporta Cup, losing to Paris Basket Racing. Players including Darius Lukminas, Gintaras Einikis, K?stutis ?e?tokas, Dainius Adomaitis, and Darius Maskoli?nas played for the club during this period, coached by Jonas Kazlauskas.
?algiris enjoyed its greatest success as a club during the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons. They were coached by Jonas Kazlauskas with a new generation of Lithuanian talent including Saulius ?tombergas, Dainius Adomaitis, Eurelijus ?ukauskas, Tomas Masiulis, and Mindaugas ?ukauskas, and experienced foreign players Franjo Arapovi? and Ennis Whatley. The team defeated Stefanel Milano 82-67 in the 1998 FIBA Saporta Cup final in Belgrade. Saulius ?tombergas scored 35 points in the final. ?algiris also won a fifth-consecutive LKL title, this time against Atletas Kaunas.
In the 1998-99 season ?algiris made it to the EuroLeague Final Four for the first time in the club's history, and were crowned European champions after defeating Olympiacos and Kinder Bologna in the semi-final and the final, respectively. Tyus Edney was named EuroLeague Final Four MVP. ?algiris also won LKL and North European Basketball League (NEBL) titles that season. They won bronze in the 1999 McDonald's Championship. The rivalry against Lietuvos rytas also began.
The year after winning the EuroLeague, in 2000, ?algiris suffered one of its worse seasons. The club was eliminated after the group stage in the EuroLeague, finishing third in the NEBL and losing the LKL finals to Lietuvos Rytas for the first time. In the 2001 season, the team reached the new EuroLeague playoffs, but lost to AEK. ?algiris regained the LKL championship, beating Lietuvos Rytas 3-2. The 2002 season was again disappointing, as the team was eliminated in the EuroLeague after the group stage and lost the LKL championship. In the 2003 season, they were again eliminated in the EuroLeague playoffs, but achieved the LKL championship, beating Lietuvos Rytas 4-2.
Sabonis became the principal owner of the club in 2003, after playing for many years in the Spanish ACB League and the North American National Basketball Association (NBA). He also came back to play for the club for the 2003-04 season. He dominated European competition winning EuroLeague Regular Season and Top 16 MVP. ?algiris almost made it to the EuroLeague Final Four, but were stopped by Maccabi Tel Aviv, who tied the game on Derrick Sharp's last second three-pointer at the end of regulation and went on to lose in overtime. The season ended in a high note, as ?algiris swept Lietuvos Rytas 4-0 in the LKL championship.
After the departure of Sabonis at the conclusion of the 2004 season, ?algiris faced a series of ups and downs. In the 2005 season, mainstays Tanoka Beard, Mindaugas Timinskas, Dainius ?alenga and new addition Robert Pack, enabled ?algiris to have a respectable season. In the EuroLeague, ?algiris finished the regular season with an 8-6 record, including wins on the road against heavy favorites Maccabi Tel Aviv and FC Barcelona. However, in the Top 16 phase, ?algiris entered a long slump and finished with an 0-6 record. ?algiris recovered on the domestic front, easily defeating ULEB Cup winner Lietuvos Rytas in the LKL finals with a 4-0 sweep, and also won the inaugural Baltic Basketball League (BBL) championship, beating Lietuvos Rytas in the finals 64-60.
In the 2006 season, the team suffered many changes. Mindaugas Timinskas, Dainius ?alenga and Robert Pack all departed the team, and ?algiris built a younger team while signing Ed Cota to return. With the emergence of Darju? Lavrinovi?, and strong teamwork, ?algiris started the season very solidly, finishing the EuroLeague regular season with a 9-5 record. Off-court, ?algiris had many issues, resulting in a huge slump for the team, ending the Top 16 phase with another 0-6 record and losing both the LKL and BBL titles to Lietuvos Rytas. The lone bright spot became the play of emerging point guard Mantas Kalnietis, who was signed both as a replacement for the released Cota and due to very poor play from new point guard and longtime NBA player Kenny Anderson.
For the 2007 season they had a new coach, Ainars Bagatskis, but suffered a fiasco in the EuroLeague regular season, with a disastrous 2-12 record. After Ainars Bagatskis was replaced by assistant coach Rimantas Grigas and the signing of new point guard DeJuan Collins, ?algiris won the newly established LKF Cup.
Before the 2008 season, ?algiris signed longtime EuroLeague player Marcus Brown. ?algiris also played against NBA teams for the first time. The team had a successful regular season in the EuroLeague, finishing with an 8-6 record, but suffered another disappointment in the Top16, finishing with a 1-5 record. ?algiris also won the LKF Cup for the second year in a row, beating Lietuvos Rytas 83-72 in the finals, after a monster game by Collins. In the BBL finals, ?algiris defeated Lietuvos Rytas 86-84 in the finals on a last-second shot by Collins. ?algiris retained the LKL title, beating Lietuvos Rytas 4-1 in the LKL finals in which Brown was named MVP.
The 2009 season started on a very high note, with the resignation of Jonas Ma?iulis and Loren Woods, retaining leader Marcus Brown and signing of new point guard Willie Deane, who replaced the departed DeJuan Collins. However, financial difficulties lead to poor play from the team and the firing of coach Grigas, who was replaced by longtime player and assistant coach Gintaras Krapikas. Willie Deane was soon released, in large part due to his poor performance in the EuroLeague, which led to a seven-game losing streak. The team recovered under point guard Mantas Kalnietis, and finished the EuroLeague regular season with a 2-8 record, missing the Top 16. Despite growing financial difficulties, and the departure of Loren Woods, the team made the LKL and BBL finals, as well as the LKF Cup finals. Despite this, this was the most ?algiris could accomplish, as they lost to Lietuvos Rytas. Jonas Ma?iulis, who became the team leader during the season, left after the season ended.
During the 2009 season ?algiris was facing significant financial difficulties and sought a new investor. In 2009, Sabonis sold most of his stake to the local ?kio banko investment group (?BIG), headed by Vladimir Romanov, who then held a 75% stake in the club. Sabonis retained a 21.5% interest in the club; 3% was owned by a minority group, while the remaining 0.5% was owned by the Kaunas City municipality.
In the 2010 season, Romanov soon became unpopular with ?algiris fans. After the departures of Jonas Ma?iulis and Paulius Jank?nas, the team extended the contract of Marcus Brown and also signed Martynas Pocius, who quickly became one of the best players for the team. The team also re-signed point guard Mantas Kalnietis, who turned down an offer from Benneton Treviso. The team started the season by winning the new BBL Cup against Lietuvos Rytas. However, subsequent poor performances led to head coach Krapikas being replaced by former Lithuanian National team coach Ram?nas Butautas, who lead the team to the EuroLeague Top 16 phase with a 3-7 regular season record. After the team entered a slump, Romanov controversially fired Butautas, replacing him with assistant coach and former captain Darius Maskoli?nas. Under Maskoli?nas, ?algiris came its closest to the EuroLeague Top 8 phase, finishing with a 2-4 record. ?algiris won back the BBL title by beating Lietuvos Rytas in the finals, but lost the LKL finals to Rytas by 4-3. Romanov had fired coach Maskoli?nas during this series, leading to speculation that Romanov had intentionally lost the finals to allow Lietuvos Rytas to qualify for the EuroLeague season. The season is widely considered as the most controversial in club history.
Before the 2011 season, ?algiris re-signed Paulius Jank?nas and DeJuan Collins, and also signed Aco Petrovi? as the new head coach for the team and Tomas Delininkaitis as shooting guard. The season began with ?algiris playing very strongly, but after a slump in form Romanov fired head coach Petrovi?. They qualified to the Top 16 phase only in the final games, with a 5-5 record. After a controversial departure from center Mirza Begi?, the slump continued under new coach Ilias Zouros, with a poor 1-5 record in the Top 16 phase and the VTB United League (not qualifying to the Final Four). However, the losses motivated the team, and after the recovery of Marcus Brown (who was injured for most of the season), ?algiris won back the LKF Cup from Lietuvos Rytas and defeated VEF Riga in the BBL finals. In the LKL finals, ?algiris easily defeated Lietuvos Rytas 4-1, regaining the LKL title for the first time since 2008.
Due to the NBA lockout, for the 2012 season, the team signed Sonny Weems and former Denver Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson. The team also re-signed long time fan-favorite Marko Popovi?. The team also signed longtime Lietuvos Rytas player and former Lithuanian National team captain Robertas Javtokas as center. However, the season started very poorly for ?algiris. Hoping to end the slump, Romanov fired coach Ilias Zouros and replaced him with former Lietuvos Rytas head coach Aleksandar Trifunovi?. Despite initial improvement, with the team finishing the EuroLeague regular season with a 4-6 record and a trip to the Top 16, the slump continued in the Top 16, with the team ending the EuroLeague season with 0-6 record. After Ty Lawson left the team, Mantas Kalnietis became a true leader for ?algiris, and played his perhaps best season. The team slowly recovered, winning the LKF Cup. After being eliminated in the VTB playoffs, ?algiris made the BBL Final Four, winning against Lietuvos Rytas in the finals despite losing leader Sonny Weems (who was released due to injury) and DeJuan Collins (who was released due to failing a drug test). With very solid play from Marko Popovi? and Tomas Delininkaitis, ?algiris retained the LKL title, defeating Lietuvos Rytas in the finals 4-1. The club had achieved a second consecutive 'triple crown' of Lithuanian League, Lithuanian Cup and Baltic Cup.
For the 2013 season, ?algiris signed Lithuanian national team players Rimantas Kauk?nas, Darju? Lavrinovi? and K?y?tof Lavrinovi?, Unicaja Malaga leader Tremmell Darden, and Oliver Lafayette at point guard. The season began by winning the newly established LKF SuperCup against Lietuvos Rytas. During the season, Mantas Kalnietis left the team and was replaced by Ibrahim Jaaber. Under new coach Joan Plaza, ?algiris had their best EuroLeague start with five consecutive wins. ?algiris finished at the top of the group for the first time in 13 years, with an 8-2 record. ?algiris won the LKL and the VTB League. In their 76-66 home victory against CSKA Moscow, ?algiris broke their attendance record, with 15,812 spectators. Following the collapse of ?kio bankas, owner Vladimir Romanov left ?algiris. Financial troubles returned to the club, and Tremmell Darden and Ibrahim Jabber departed. Paulius Motiejunas was named the team director on 20 March. ?algiris finished the Top 16 with a 6-8 record, the best in club history. ?algiris also won the group stage in the VTB United League. In May, ?algiris won their third straight LKL title, sweeping Lietuvos Rytas 4-0 in the finals.
After winning the LKL title, ?algiris competed in the VTB United League playoffs, defeating Nizhny Novgorod in the quarterfinals but losing to Lokomotiv Kuban in the semi-finals. Despite the loss, ?algiris was awarded the bronze medal for the first time since 2010. After losing head coach Joan Plaza, ?algiris rehired Ilias Zouros as head coach for the 2014 season. ?algiris left the VTB United League because of the changes in the EuroLeague format, which meant that the teams that didn't qualify for the Top 16 would have a chance to play in the EuroCup playoffs.
?algiris signed Justin Dentmon and ?ar?nas Jasikevi?ius to one-year deals. After a very slow start to the season, Zouros was fired as head coach, replaced by Saulius ?tombergas. ?algiris made the Top 16 for the fifth consecutive time (with a 5-5 record). However, ?algiris began to struggle in the LKL. The Top 16 proved to be a difficult stage, with ?algiris losing many games by 5 points or less (a 2-12 record overall). After a few losses in the LKF Cup and the LKL, ?tombergas resigned and was replaced by Gintaras Krapikas as interim head coach. In the last week of Top 16 play at home, ?algiris beat Spanish champions Real Madrid. Justin Dentmon scored 36 points in that game, the most by a ?algiris player in modern EuroLeague, and Dentmon also made 74 three-pointers during the season (a EuroLeague record since 2000).
After a loss to Lietuvos rytas in the final regular LKL season game, ?algiris entered the playoffs as the fourth seed, the worst in club history. They faced Lietuvos rytas again in the semi-finals - the first time in 15 years that they did not meet in the final round. ?algiris advanced to the finals against Nept?nas Klaip?da, taking the series 4-2 and winning their fourth consecutive LKL championship.
During the 2015 preseason, ?algiris made significant changes for the squad, replacing Justin Dentmon with Maalik Wayns, who was in turn replaced by Will Cherry. ?algiris also signed Darius Songaila from rivals Lietuvos Rytas and James Anderson from the NBA. ?ar?nas Jasikevi?ius retired and became an assistant coach, and more young players were brought to the team. Young point guard Lukas Lekavi?ius was the main bright spot as the team began the LKL. In the EuroLeague, a 5-5 record qualified ?algiris to the Top 16 phase where the team finished with a 5-9 record. In February, ?algiris won the LKF Cup for the first time in three years. ?algiris finished the LKL regular season in dominating fashion, with 12 straight wins, taking the top seed, and defeated Lietuvos rytas in the finals 4-0. This win was the club's fifth consecutive LKL title and their 17th overall.
?algiris finished the 2016 regular season with a 5-5 record and qualified for the Top 16 phase for the seventh consecutive season. After a poor start to the Top 16, head coach Krapikas was replaced by ?ar?nas Jasikevi?ius, but injuries to Javtokas and the departure of Kalnietis lead the team to a huge slump, and a loss to Lietuvos Rytas in the King Mindaugas Cup final. After strong criticism of the team management for not finding a center to replace Javtokas, ?algiris signed new point guard Jerome Randle. While the EuroLeague season ended with a 2-12 record, a hugely disappointing result, the team later recovered, finishing in 1st place in the LKL regular season, over Cup winners Lietuvos Rytas. ?algiris defeated Nept?nas Klaip?da with a 4-1 record in the LKL finals, winning a sixth consecutive LKL title.
In November 2015, a conflict between FIBA and Euroleague emerged. FIBA (International Basketball Federation) announced the formation of the Basketball Champions League, and courted EuroLeague teams to their side. However, the top teams, the A-license teams including ?algiris, decided to sign a ten-year contract with the Euroleague Basketball Company.
?algiris's preparation for the 2016-17 season began during the 2016 LKL finals, when the club signed point guard Léo Westermann to replace the departing Jerome Randle. After the season, Pocius, Hanlan, Vougioukas, and long-time ?algiris players Siim-Sander Vene and Kaspars Vecvagars, all left the team, while ?algiris chose to retain the services of Seibutis and Motum. ?algiris also re-signed Edgaras Ulanovas. Head coach Jasikevi?ius was pursued by FC Barcelona Lassa, but decided to remain with ?algiris. To correct the previous season's lack of a good shooter, ?algiris signed Kevin Pangos; the team was loaned Augusto Lima from Real Madrid to replace Vougioukas at center. ?algiris also signed the returning Art?ras Milaknis to a 3-year deal. German prospect Isaiah Hartenstein was scheduled to make his professional debut after being signed in the previous season. In August, ?algiris signed Antanas Kavaliauskas, the captain of Lietuvos Rytas who had previously promised to never play for ?algiris; Kavaliauskas apologized to fans after the signing was announced.
In February, ?algiris won the first title of the 2016-17 season, winning the King Mindaugas Cup by defeating Nept?nas in the first round 81-58, Vytautas Prienai-Bir?tonas in the semi-finals 76-55, and Lietkabelis Panevys in the finals 84-63. Edgaras Ulanovas won the tournament MVP. In the EuroLeague, ?algiris exceeded expectations with a 10th-place finish (14-16 record), scoring a win against defending champion CSKA Moscow and finishing ahead of FC Barcelona Lassa and Maccabi Tel Aviv. Players Brock Motum, Léo Westermann, Edgaras Ulanovas and Lukas Lekavi?ius developed strongly, and team captain Paulius Jank?nas played one of his best seasons of his career, leading the team in scoring and rebounding. ?algiris easily finished in first place during the LKL regular season with just a few losses, swept rival Lietuvos rytas, with toughest competition from a powerful Lietkabelis team which included former ?algiris leaders Darju? and K?y?tof Lavrinovi?. In the LKL playoffs, ?algiris beat Dz?kija Alytus in the quarterfinals 3-0,[relevant? ] beat Nept?nas 3-1 in the semi-finals.[relevant? ] They faced Lietkabelis Panevys again in the LKL finals, winning the series 4-1, their seventh consecutive LKL championship. The 2016-17 season is considered as one of the best in modern ?algiris history.[by whom?]
Prior the 2017-18 season, ?algiris reached an agreement with club sponsor Avia Solutions Group to guarantee private flights for the team during away games in a refurbished business-class Boeing 737. The off-season work began just a week after winning the LKL championship, when breakout player Brock Motum signing with Anadolu Efes S.K.. To replace Motum, ?algiris signed Aaron White, who had played a season with Zenit Saint Petersburg. Léo Westerman signed with CSKA Moscow, and was replaced by talented guard Vasilije Mici?. To replace Seibutis, ?algiris originally signed Royce O'Neale, who terminated his deal just weeks later to sign with the Utah Jazz. ?algiris then signed Axel Toupane to replace him. Because center Robertas Javtokas announced retirement and the loan of Augusto Lima ended, ?algiris signed Brandon Davies of AS Monaco Basket in the center position. The most-shocking departure came at the end of June, when breakout point guard Lukas Lekavi?ius signed a contract with Panathinaikos. Needing a new point guard, ?algiris signed Dee Bost, also of AS Monaco. Coach Jasikevi?ius also re-signed with ?algiris, while the retired Javtokas became the new sports director of the team. On September 22, ?algiris played a game in London against Polski Cukier Toru?, which ?algiris won 87-61. ?algiris won the King Mindaugas Cup for the second year in a row, defeating Lietuvos rytas 81-62 in the finals. Edgaras Ulanovas won the tournament MVP for the second straight year.
In the 2017-18 EuroLeague, ?algiris was again projected to be one of the last teams. During October-December, ?algiris struggled with a 5-5 record, before winning a five-game streak to finish the first round 10-5, tied for third place in the standings. In the second round, Dee Bost was replaced by Beno Udrih. ?algiris struggled for the first few weeks of the second round, but fought its way to an 18-12 record (sixth place) and qualified to the EuroLeague playoffs for the first time since 2001. The team qualified for the 2018 EuroLeague Final Four after beating Olympiacos in game 4 to clinch a 3-1 series win. The team achieved this despite having the second-lowest budget in the league. ?algiris lost to Fenerbahçe in the semifinals, 76-67. In the third-place game, ?algiris faced longtime rivals CSKA Moscow; ?algiris lead by as much as 24 points, but CSKA rallied and ?algiris narrowly won 79-77, achieving third place in the Euroleague. In the LKL, ?algiris won the regular season, and beat Lietuvos rytas in the finals with a 4-1 record, earning their eighth consecutive LKL championship. This was the club's best season since 1999.
After a near-perfect season, the off-season was difficult. ?algiris lost its front court as Pangos went to FC Barcelona Lassa and Mici? signed with Efes. ?algiris signed Nate Wolters as the team's new point guard. After the departure of Beno Udrih, ?algiris signed Donatas Sabeckis from ?iauliai, who lead the LKL in assists. Toupane left the team to sign with Olympiacos; to replace him, ?algiris signed former-teammate Marius Grigonis, who was having a successful career abroad, to a multi-year deal, as well as talented guard/forward Thomas Walkup. At center, Davies had re-signed in April, and Kavaliauskas was re-signed in June. To replace reserve Martynas Sajus, ?algiris signed Laurynas Birutis, who was loaned and had a successful season with ?iauliai. Several more reserves, Paulius Valinskas and Gytis Masiulis, were loaned to other LKL teams so that they could gain more playing time. Ulanovas also signed a new contract. Like the previous season, the biggest concern was the future of coach Jasikevi?ius. Despite offers from other EuroLeague teams and the Toronto Raptors, Jasikevi?ius remained with ?algiris, signing a new contract. Former player Tomas Masiulis replaced Darius Songaila in the coaching staff. In September, ?algiris signed the returning Léo Westermann to fill the point guard spot.
?algiris struggled at the start of the 2018-19 EuroLeague season. Needing another point guard, ?algiris signed Derrick Walton in October. By December, led by Westermann, Davies, Grigonis and White, ?algiris reached sixth place with a 7-7 record. However, injuries decimated the team, leaving a void in the point guard position. Walton's disappointing play led to declining minutes, and a release in February 2019. Deon Thompson was signed in January to strengthen the front court. In February, ?algiris suffered a fiasco in the King Mindaugas Cup to Rytas Vilnius, losing the tournament for the first time since 2016. By the start of March, ?algiris was 13th with a 9-15 record, with minimal hopes of reaching the playoffs. Despite this, and a poor home record, ?algiris led EuroLeague attendance by a large margin. The team's play started to improve when Walkup was pushed to the point guard position to replace Walton, Westermann returned after injury and improving play by Thompson led to a six-game winning streak, achieving a 15-15 record and the final spot in the playoffs. In the EuroLeague playoffs, ?algiris lost to Fenerbahçe. ?algiris broke the EuroLeague's home attendance record with an average of 14,808 spectators in the ?algiris Arena. In the 2018-19 LKL season, ?algiris finished in first place in the regular season, and swept the series finals against Rytas, winning the series 3-0, for a ninth consecutive LKL championship.
During the off-season, White, Davies, Wolters, Westermann and Thompson left, while Kavaliauskas announced retirement. Little used guard Sabeckis was also not re-signed. Lukas Lekavi?ius returned to the team after two seasons in Greece, and Alex Pérez was signed to replace Westermann. Jock Landale was signed to replace Davies, while Nigel Hayes was signed to replace White. Zach LeDay of Olympiacos was signed to complete the front court. Martinas Geben, signed to a long-term deal the previous summer, earned a spot on the roster after a successful season in Juventus Utena in the LKL, where he was named Season MVP. Grigonis, who had a great season, was resigned to new contract. Coach Jasikevi?ius remained with the team for one more season. Pérez, however, spent just a few months with ?algiris, and was released in November due to his weak play, with Walkup taking his point-guard position. ?algiris also signed shooting-guard K. C. Rivers in November.
?algiris won the King Mindaugas Cup where they beat Rytas Vilnius 80-60 in the finals. Ulanovas was named the MVP of the tournament, his fourth MVP award in Lithuanian Cup competitions. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the 2019-20 LKL season was ended prematurely, and with ?algiris firmly leading the standings, ?algiris was announced as champions, winning their 10th consecutive LKL championship. In the 2019-20 EuroLeague, ?algiris struggled for most of the season, including plummeting to the end of the standings, but recovered by February 2020. With the EuroLeague season stopped due to the COVID-19 outbreak, ?algiris finished in ninth place.
With the season ending very early due to the COVID-19 situation, ?algiris started their off-season work early. LeDay, Landale, Ulanovas, Rivers all left the team during the summer, but the biggest departure was of coach Jasikevi?ius, who left ?algiris and signed with FC Barcelona in July. With the rest of the coaching staff following Jasikevi?ius to Barcelona, ?algiris was forced to look for a new head coach. On July 14, ?algiris announced the signing of Martin Schiller as the team's new head coach. Schiller had previously worked with the NBA G League team Salt Lake City Stars, and was named the NBA G League Coach of the Year for the 2019-20 season. Schiller brought in Arne Woltmann and Tautvydas Sabonis as his assistant coaches, with Evaldas Ber?ininkaitis being the only person remaining on the team from Jasikevi?ius old staff, as an assistant coach. ?algiris signed Steve Vasturia and the returning Tomas Dim?a as the new guards. Patricio Garino replaced Ulanovas, while Joffrey Lauvergne and Augustine Rubit replaced LeDay and Landale. The most surprising signing happened in June, as ?algiris bought out Marek Bla?evi?, a talented prospect, out of rivals Rytas Vilnius. Grigonis, Lekavi?ius, Walkup, Jank?nas, Geben, Hayes and Milaknis remained with the team.
?algiris basketball club was featured in the video game NBA 2K14, along with thirteen other top EuroLeague teams. The club was also featured in NBA 2K15, NBA 2K16 and NBA 2K17.
|?algiris retired numbers|
|HC||Jonas Kazlauskas||HC||1994-2000||23 April 2019|
|HC||Vladas Garastas||HC||1979-1989||23 April 2017|
|5||Modestas Paulauskas||SF||1962-1976||25 March 2015|
|11||Arvydas Sabonis||C||1981-1989, 2001-2002, 2003-2004||27 September 2014|
Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.
|Pos.||Starting 5||Bench 1||Bench 2||Inactive|
|C||Joffrey Lauvergne||Martinas Geben||Marek Bla?evi?|
|PF||Nigel Hayes||Augustine Rubit||Paulius Jank?nas|
|SF||Marius Grigonis||Patricio Garino|
|SG||Art?ras Milaknis||Rokas Jokubaitis||Karolis Luko?i?nas||Steve Vasturia|
|PG||Thomas Walkup||Lukas Lekavi?ius|
|32||G/F||Steve Vasturia||Rasta Vechta||End of contract||June 2020|||
|33||SG||Tomas Dim?a||Lietkabelis Panevys||End of contract||June 2020|||
|1||C||Marek Bla?evi?||Rytas Vilnius||Buyout||June 2020|||
|77||F/C||Joffrey Lauvergne||Fenerbahçe Basketball||End of contract||July 2020|||
|24||F/C||Augustine Rubit||Olympiacos Piraeus||Parted ways||July 2020|||
|7||SF||Patricio Garino||Baskonia||End of contract||July 2020|||
|77||PG||Kerr Kriisa||Arizona Wildcats||Parted ways1||April 2020|||
|11||C||Laurynas Birutis||Monbus Obradoiro||End of contract1||June 2020|||
|1||PG||Arnas Veli?ka||Champagne Châlons-Reims||End of contract1||June 2020|||
|1||G/F||K. C. Rivers||Zenit Saint Petersburg||End of contract||July 2020|||
|92||SF||Edgaras Ulanovas||Fenerbahçe Istanbul||End of contract||July 2020|||
|20||PF||Gytis Masiulis||Lietkabelis Panevys||End of contract1||July 2020|||
|32||F/C||Zach LeDay||AX Armani Exchange Milan||Buyout||July 2020|||
|34||F/C||Jock Landale||Melbourne United||Parted ways||July 2020|||
|F/C||Erikas Venskus||Lietkabelis Panevys||Loan||June 2020|||
|SG||Tomas Dim?a||Herbalife Gran Canaria||Loan||September 2020|||
|SF||Tom Digbeu||CBet Prienai||Loan||September 2020|||
Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.
To appear in this section a player must have either:
The uniform colors of ?algiris are green and white. The home games are played in green uniforms and the away games are played in white. Since 2012, Adidas was the manufacturer of the club uniforms. In 2018, ?algiris started manufacturing their own uniforms, in attempt to spread the brand image of the team while also making them more affordable to fans.
Only players with a significant number of games played or points scored.?
|Position||Nat.||Player||Seasons||Games||Points total||Points per game|
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During the Soviet era, ?algiris had a huge rivalry with CSKA Moscow, the multiple-time champions and Red Army symbol, drawing huge crowds in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. The rivalry peaked during the 1980s, with the teams meeting in the USSR championship finals six times, which ?algiris won in 1985, 1986 and 1987. It is considered to be the top rivalry in USSR basketball. CSKA remains one of the most-hated teams in Kaunas to this day. During the 2000s and 2010s, the teams have met many times in the EuroLeague, with CSKA winning most of the matches. In 2018, during the match for third place, ?algiris narrowly defeated CSKA, 79-77. Over the years, the two teams also met in the NEBL, as well as the VTB United League, with the matches drawing huge crowds. In 2012, one such VTB match drew a record attendance of 15,812 for the competition and for the ?algirio Arena.
After the Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania and the Independence of Lithuania in 1990, and the establishment of the Lithuanian Basketball League in 1993, ?algiris had a derby rivalry with BC Atletas, coached by former-?algiris head coach Vladas Garastas, with both teams fighting for the LKL championship. The teams met in the LKL finals four times, with ?algiris winning each time. Starting in 1998, the biggest rival of ?algiris has been BC Lietuvos rytas, also known as BC Rytas, from Vilnius. The matches draw the biggest interest in all of LKL, with the teams meeting in the finals 17 times, with ?algiris winning 12 times, while Rytas won 5. The teams constantly fight for first place in the standings, and also fought in the LKF Cup, King Mindaugas Cup, Baltic Basketball League finals and the NEBL, with ?algiris winning most of the games. During the 2010s, ?algiris has largely dominated the rivalry, with sweeps in the finals in 2012, 2013, 2015, 2019 and in the regular season in 2017. In the 2018-19 season, ?algiris swept Rytas in both the regular season and the finals' series, making it one of only few times this has happened.