AX Armani Exchange Milan
Founded in 1936, Milan immediately set the tone for future glories by taking four consecutive domestic titles and – barring a few brief dry periods – the club has remained a regular winner of silverware ever since.The arrival of rising American star Bill Bradley helped turn Milan into a continental power as the club conquered the 1966 EuroLeague title in front of its home fans, overcoming CSKA Moscow in the semifinals and Slavia Prague in the title game. Milan was EuroLeague runner-up the following year and added three Saporta Cup trophies between 1971 and 1976 led by Art Kenney, Renzo Bariviera, Giorgio Giomo and Coach Cesare Rubini. The team tacked on Korac Cup crowns in 1985 and 1993, along with the crowning glory of consecutive EuroLeague titles in 1987 and 1988 as stars such as Mike D'Antoni, Dino Meneghin and Bob McAdoo led the way – with the considerable assistance of two different head coaches, Dan Peterson and Franco Casalini.More glory came with an Italian League and Cup double in 1996 powered by Nando Gentile, Dejan Bodiroga and Gregor Fucka, before a rough patch was ended when fashion mogul Giorgio Armani became the team’s main sponsor early in the new millennium. Reaching the Italian League finals in 2005 earned the right to play again in the EuroLeague, and the club had a couple of Top 16 appearances before finally making the playoffs in 2014, led by Alphonso Ford Top Scorer Trophy winner Keith Langford. That year also saw Milan’s first Italian League crown for nearly 20 years, and domestic silverware continued to flow including a league and cup double in 2016. The recruitment of four-time EuroLeague champion Ettore Messina as Head Coach in 2019 was a clear sign that Milan is determined to challenge hard for its fourth continental crown. Messina enlisted title-winning veterans Kyle Hines, Sergio Rodriguez and Gigi Datome, whose quality and experience took the club back to the Final Four for the first time in nearly three decades in 2021. A last-second semifinals loss to FC Barcelona ended title dreams, but Milan is clearly heading in the right direction.