Olimpia Milano

Olimpia Milano

Professional basketball team

Pallacanestro Olimpia Milano, commonly known as Olimpia Milano or as EA7 Emporio Armani Milan after its title sponsor,[2] is an LBA Italian professional basketball team, based in Milan, Italy. Its colors are white and red, 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.

Quick Facts Nickname, Leagues ...

As per custom in the Italian league, sponsorship has kept the team name changing frequently. From 1930 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 successful basketball club in Italy and one of the most successful in Europe, having won 30 Italian League Championships, 8 Italian National Cups, 4 Italian Super Cups, 3 EuroLeague, 1 FIBA Intercontinental Cup, 3 FIBA Saporta Cups, 2 FIBA Korać Cups and many junior titles.

In 2016, the club was included in the Italian Basketball Hall of Fame.


The birth and the Borletti era (1930–1955)

The birth of Pallacanestro Olimpia Milano is traditionally dated 1936, year of the first Italian League Championship title. Actually it was founded 6 years earlier (in 1930) as "Dopolavoro Borletti" by Fratelli Borletti managers.[3] Borletti team won 4 consecutive Italian League Championships from 1936 to 1939.

In 1947, Milan businessman Adolfo Bogoncelli merged Pallacanestro Como and Borletti to form a new society,[4] commonly known as "Borolimpia". "Borletti" brand was the main sponsor of the team, becoming the first sponsor in the history of Italian sport.[5]

In 1955, after 9 Italian League Championships, Borletti brand leaves Olimpia Milano jersey.

The Simmenthal era (1956–1973)

The team regularly won the Italian League Championship in the 1950s and the 1960s, with players including Gabriele Vianello, Sandro Riminucci, Gianfranco Pieri, and Bill Bradley. In 1966, Olimpia won its first FIBA European Champions Cup.

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 again 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 1973, Simmenthal brand leaves Olimpia jersey after 17 years and 10 Italian League Championships.


In the 1970s through the 1980s, the team acquired several notable 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. After this, 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 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.

Alessandro Gentile

In January 2011, after 23 years away from coaching, Dan Peterson came back from retirement at the request of team owner Giorgio Armani to replace Piero Bucchi, who was fired in mid-season.[6] Peterson was hired on an interim basis and agreed to coach only the remainder of the season, in which he guided the team to the semi-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. Owing 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 Tel Aviv. 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 June 29, 2017, Simone Pianigiani was hired as the new head coach and on June 15, 2018, Milano went to win his 28th title by beating Dolomiti Energia Trento in game 6 of the 2018 LBA Finals.[7]

On June 11, 2019, legend Ettore Messina signed a deal as the new head coach of the club and president of all basketball operations for the following three seasons.[8]

On May 4, 2021, the club reached the Euroleague Final Four after 29 years (1992 Final Four).[9]



Mediolanum Forum during 2014 Euroleague Final Four final match
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Secondary Arenas

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Olimpia Milano used the OND Borletti outdoor court of Via Costanza for almost 20 years. In the mid-1940s, they moved to the Palazzo dello Sport della Fiera, 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. In 1960, the Palazzo dello Sport della Fiera 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, Olimpia 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 15,000 spectators. In 1985, the roof of the Palasport di San Siro collapsed and Olimpia returned to PalaLido for a season, waiting for the construction of a provisional arena. In 1986, they moved into the recently built 10,045 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.[10] 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 (named Allianz Cloud), 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 the new Allianz Cloud. However, the new arena is used when Mediolanum Forum is unavailable.


Domestic competitions

Winners (30): 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, 2021–22, 2022–23
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, 2020–21
Winners (8): 1971–72, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1995–96, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2020–21, 2021–22
Runners-up (3): 1969–70, 2014–15, 2023–24
Winners (4): 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020
Runners-up (3): 1996, 2014, 2015, 2021

European competitions

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 (2): 1991–92, 2020–21
Final Four (5): 1966, 1967, 1988, 1992, 2021
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

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


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

Other Competitions

  • Castellanza, Italy Invitational Game
Winners (1): 2007
  • Memoriale di Tulio Rochlitzer
Winners (1): 2007
  • Torneo Caorle
Winners (2): 2007, 2011
  • Reggio Emilia, Italy Invitational Game
Winners (1): 2008
  • Torneo Lombardia
Winners (2): 2009, 2016
  • Torneo Castelleto Ticino
Winners (3): 2009, 2018, 2019
  • Verona, Italy Invitational Game
Winners (1): 2011
  • Trofeo de Ejea de los Caballeros
Winners (1): 2011
  • Belgrade, Serbia Invitational Game
Winners (1): 2014
  • Torneo del Circuito della Valtellina
Winners (1): 2014
  • Trofeo Memorial Gianni Brusinelli
Winners (1): 2016
  • Torneo Lovari
Winners (1): 2017
  • Torneo Lucca
Winners (1): 2019
  • Milan, Italy Invitational Game
Winners (1): 2019


Current roster

More information Players, Coaches ...

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

Depth chart

6+6 format (colours: Italian or homegrown players; foreign players; young players; injured or inactive players)

Retired numbers

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Season by season

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Top performances in European & Worldwide competitions

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Matches against NBA teams

23 October 1987
United States Milwaukee Bucks 123111 Italy Tracer Milano
3 October 2010
United States New York Knicks 125113 Italy Armani Jeans Milano
7 October 2012
United States Boston Celtics 10575 Italy EA7 Emporio Armani Milano
6 October 2015
United States Boston Celtics 12491 Italy EA7 Emporio Armani Milano

Sponsorship names

Logo of Armani Jeans Milano (2004–2011)

Through the years, due to sponsorship deals, it has been also known as:[16]

Notable players

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

More information Criteria ...


  1. Season cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic.


  1. "CI SIAMO: L'OLIMPIA TORNA EA7 E DOMANI SCATTA LA CAMPAGNA ABBONAMENTI "TUTTI #INSIEME"" [Here we go: Olimpia gets EA7 back and starts the season ticket campaign "All #together" tomorrow]. (in Italian). 7 July 2022. Retrieved 14 July 2022.
  2. "Le sedici squadre della Divisione Nazionale" [The sixteen teams of the National Division]. Il Littoriale (in Italian). 20 November 1936. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  3. "Olimpia, a star is born". 15 July 2021. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  4. Giuseppe Liotta,Laura Santoro (2009). Giuffrè Editore (ed.). Lezioni di diritto sportivo [Sports law lessons]. p. 146. ISBN 978-88-14-14568-1.
  5. "Dan Peterson Night". Retrieved December 13, 2023.
  6. "Domestic leagues roundup: June 15, 2018". 15 June 2018. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  7. "Legend Messina takes reins in Milan". 11 June 2019. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  8. "The Arthur Kenney first person-diary". 31 May 2013.
  9. "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.

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