Italian Basketball League (Lega Basket Serie A) – About, History, Teams, Players

Last Updated on: 4th October 2023, 07:58 pm

italian basketball league

If you’re a basketball fan looking for an exciting league to follow, the Italian Basketball League (Lega Basket Serie A) is worth checking out.

With a rich history and some of the best players in Europe, this league offers plenty of action and drama on the court.

The Lega Basket Serie A was founded in 1920 and has since become one of Europe’s most prestigious basketball leagues.

The league consists of 16 teams from all over Italy, each with unique styles and strengths.

Whether you’re a fast-paced offense or tough defense fan, there’s sure to be a team that suits your preferences.

So, if you’re ready to dive into Italian basketball, let’s take a closer look at what this league offers.

What Is The Italian Basketball League (Lega Basket Serie A)?

So, if you’re interested in learning about the Italian Basketball League, also known as Lega Basket Serie A? let’s start with its establishment and history.

The league was founded in 1920 and has since undergone various changes to become Italy’s top professional basketball league.

As for its structure, Lega Basket Serie A currently consists of 16 teams that compete against each other over a regular season before moving on to a playoff system to determine the champion.

How Was The Lega Basket Serie A Established And What Is Its History?

The Lega Basket Serie A was established in 1920, making it one of the oldest basketball leagues in Europe. Initially known as the Italian Basketball Federation, it had only four teams competing for its first championship.

However, the league’s popularity grew over time, and by the 1950s, it had become a significant source of entertainment across Italy. Throughout its history, the Lega Basket Serie A has seen many changes. In 2000, it changed its name from Lega Basket to Lega Basket Serie A to reflect its status as the top-tier basketball league in Italy.

Currently, sixteen teams are competing for the championship each season. The league has also produced many talented players who have gone on to play at high levels in other countries and even the NBA.

How Is The Lega Basket Serie A Structured?

Get ready to experience the thrill of Lega Basket Serie A’s structured championship with sixteen teams battling it out for the top spot! The Italian basketball league is divided into a regular season and playoffs. In the regular season, each team plays against all other 15 teams twice (once at home and once away), for a total of 30 games. The top eight teams in the regular season advance to the playoffs, which consist of four best-of-five series. The series’ winners move on to the semifinals, played as best-of-five series, followed by the finals.

To give you a better idea of how the teams are currently ranked, here’s a table:

Olimpia MilanoMilan28
Virtus BolognaBologna15
Pallacanestro CantùCantù10
Varese BasketballVarese10
Fortitudo BolognaBologna9
Mens Sana BasketSiena7

As you can see from this table, Olimpia Milano has won more championships than any other team in Italy. However, that doesn’t mean they’ll always be at the top – every season brings new surprises and upsets. With so many talented players and competitive teams in this structured league, no telling who will come out on top next!

Who Are The Teams Participating?

Now that you know which teams participate in the Italian Basketball League (Lega Basket Serie A), let’s talk about some famous rivalries.

The Lega Basket Serie A has a long and storied history, with intense matchups between certain teams becoming legendary over time.

From fierce cross-town battles to clashes between powerhouses, there are plenty of exciting rivalries to watch in the league.

What Are Some Famous Rivalries In The Lega Basket Serie A?

You’ll be interested to know that the rivalry between Olimpia Milano and Virtus Bologna is one of the most famous rivalries in the Italian basketball league. These two teams have a combined total of 17 Italian championship titles, which makes their matches even more intense. The rivalry dates back to the 1980s when both teams dominated the league and competed for supremacy.

To give you an idea about how intense this rivalry is, here’s a table showing their head-to-head record:

Olimpia Milano12397
Virtus Bologna118102

As you can see, it’s a very close competition with only a few games separating them. Apart from the championships they’ve won, these two teams have some of the best players in Italian basketball history who have added fuel to this already heated rivalry. Some notable players include Bob McAdoo (who played for both teams), Dino Meneghin (Olimpia Milano), and Antonello Riva (Virtus Bologna).

What Is The Format Of The KBL Season In The Lega Basket Serie A?

So, you wanna know how the playoff system works in the Lega Basket Serie A? Well, let’s dive into it.

The top eight teams from the regular season qualify for the playoffs. The playoffs are played in a best-of-five series format. The winner of each series advances to the next round until only two teams remain to compete in the finals.

How Does The Playoff System Work In The Lega Basket Serie A?

The playoff system in Lega Basket Serie A determines the league’s champion. The system is divided into two phases, with 12 teams competing for the title.

Here are some key points to help you understand the playoffs:

  • Phase One: The first phase of the playoffs involves eight teams that have finished in the top eight positions after playing 30 games each in the regular season. These teams are divided into two groups of four, and each group plays a double round-robin tournament (six games per team). The top two teams from each group advance to Phase Two.
  • Phase Two: This phase features four teams that have advanced from Phase One and four additional teams that qualified directly for this stage by finishing in positions nine to twelve after the regular season. These eight teams play a single elimination tournament, with quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals played over three rounds.

At the end of these rounds, one team is crowned as champion of Lega Basket Serie A. FIBA, basketball’s international governing body, has approved this playoff system, ensuring that it meets global standards for fairness and competitive balance among all participating teams and players.

Who Are The Notable Players And Coaches In The Lega Basket Serie A?

If you’re a fan of the Italian basketball league (Lega Basket Serie A), you must know that Coach Ettore Messina is one of the most notable figures in the league’s history. He’s won 10 Italian Championships and 4 EuroLeague titles, making him one of the most successful coaches in European basketball.

Messina’s coaching style focuses on discipline and tactical execution, which has helped him succeed throughout his career.

Another notable coach in Lega Basket Serie A is Simone Pianigiani. He’s won six Italian Championships and a EuroLeague title with Montepaschi Siena.

Pianigiani’s coaching philosophy emphasizes teamwork, ball movement, and defense. His teams are known for their unselfish play and ability to execute under pressure. As a result, he’s become one of the most respected coaches in Italy and Europe.

In terms of players, several notable names are currently playing in Lega Basket Serie A. One of them is Nicolo Melli, who plays for Olimpia Milano. Melli is a versatile forward who can shoot from outside and also play inside the paint. He has represented Italy at both European Championships and World Cup competitions.

Another player to watch out for is Achille Polonara, who plays for Virtus Bologna. Polonara is an athletic forward who can defend multiple positions while providing scoring punch from beyond the arc. After leading his team to a championship title, he was named Italian League MVP during the 2019-2020 season.

Overall, Lega Basket Serie A boasts some of the best coaches and players in Europe, making it one of the premier basketball leagues on the continent today.

How Does It Compare With Other International Leagues?

Lega Basket Serie A is known for its top-notch coaching strategies and talented players compared to other international basketball leagues. It attracts some of the best players worldwide looking to showcase their skills in a highly competitive league.

The league has produced several notable basketball players like Danilo Gallinari, Marco Belinelli, and Andrea Bargnani, who have played in the NBA. Lega Basket Serie A teams regularly compete in FIBA World and EuroLeague competitions, enhancing their reputation as a strong global league.

This also means that many of its players have found themselves on their respective national basketball team rosters. With its rich history and continuous improvement, it’s no wonder that Lega Basket Serie A is gaining global recognition as one of the most exciting basketball leagues to watch.


So, there you have a comprehensive overview of the Italian Basketball League (Lega Basket Serie A). This league is worth watching for its long and rich history, top-notch teams, and talented players and coaches. From the intense competition to the thrilling games, there’s no doubt that Lega Basket Serie A will keep you at the edge of your seat.

As you delve deeper into the world of basketball leagues, don’t forget to explore other international leagues. While each league has its unique flavor, they all share a common goal: to provide an exhilarating experience for fans and players alike.

So, grab some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy watching some of the best basketball action in the world!