Turkey’s Anadolu Efes names legendary Ivkovic as head coach
Ivkovic, who was included in Euroleague’s 50 Greatest Contributors, a list also including Obradovic, is among the most decorated coaches in the continent’s history.Anadolu Efes has agreed terms for European basketball legend Dusan Ivkovic to take over as head coach, the club announced on May 30.
The Istanbul club said it would officially unveil Ivkovic in a ceremony on June 3.
The move means that the Turkish basketball league will boast arguably the two greatest working coaches in European basketball, with Zeljko Obradovic at Fenerbahçe Ülker set to rival Ivkovic next season.
Ivkovic, who was included in Euroleague’s 50 Greatest Contributors, a list also including Obradovic, is among the most decorated coaches in the continent’s history.
The Serb is the only manager to win all four major European titles, and was named “the dean of European coaches” on the Euroleague website.
The 70-year-old Ivkovic has spent his whole playing career with Yugoslavia’s Radnicki Belgrade and started coaching with Partizan in 1978. He won the Korac Cup with Partizan in his first season, led Olympiacos to two Euroleague titles, clinched the Saporta Cup in 2000 and won the Eurocup with Dynamo Moscow in 2006 – completing a one-of-a-kind foursome of continental club competition triumphs.
Ivkovic also led the Yugoslavian national team to the top of Europe in three competitions, 1989, 1991 and 1995, as well as the world title in 1990. He was the head coach of the silver medalist Yugoslavian team in 1988 Summer Olympic Games in Seoul and coached the Serbian team to a runner-up finish in the EuroBasket 2009 in Poland.
He has been dominant on club level as well, leading Olympiacos to two European titles, separated by 15 years, in 1997 and 2012. He also won the Greek League in the same years, in addition to his Greek Cup victories in 1997 and 2011. His successes in Greece include a Greek League title with PAOK (in 1992) and two Greek Cups with AEK (2000 and 2001).
He also had a successful three year stint with CSKA Moscow, winning the Russian League in all three campaigns, from 2002 to 2005.
Ivkovic faces the task of rejuvenating Anadolu Efes, an undisputable giant of Turkish basketball that has enjoyed little glory in the last decade. Although the country’s most successful team with a total 13 titles, Efes has only been able to win the league once in the last decade.
In Istanbul, Ivkovic will face his nemesis Zeljko Obradovic, who despite being a generation younger, challenges “Duda”s heights.
Obradovic has won a total of eight Euroleague titles and 11 Greek League titles in his illustrious coaching career.
After several years challenging each other as parts of Greece’s storied Olympiacos vs. Panathinaikos rivalry, Ivkovic and Obradovic will again face off in Istanbul.