- The Legendary Dusan Ivkovic Retires -
Serbian coach Dusan Ivkovic has announced his retirement after a 38-year career. Ivkovic was in charge of many Greek team including Aris, AEK, Panionios, PAOK, and his most successful club, Olympiacos. The final stop in his career was at Efes, in Turkey, this past season.
Ivkovic began his coaching career in 1978 and had 6 different stays in Greece. He coached Aris (1980-1982), PAOK (1991-1993), Panionios (1994-1996), Olympiacos (1996-1999), AEK (1999-2001), and Olympiacos for a second time from 2010 to 2012. He led Olympiacos to their first ever Euroleague Title in 1997 and 15 years later, in 2012, he coached the Erythrolefki to their second European Championship. During the 1997 season, Olympiacos became the first Greek team to win the Triple Crown (Euroleague, Greek League, and Greek Cup) and he is considered one of the most successful coaches in the club’s history. Additionally, he was in charge of AEK when they were crowned champions of the FIBA Saporta Cup in 2000. In Greece, he won the Greek League on 3 occasions (PAOK in 1992, and Olympiacos 1997, 2012) and the Greek Cup four times (Olympiacos 1997, 2011 and AEK 2000, 2001). He was named the Greek League and Euroleague Coach of the year in 2012.
In addition to his success in Greece, he has won many other titles. The titles include: the Yugoslav League, Yugoslav Cup, Korac Cup, Russian League (three times), Russian Cup, Eurocup, Turkish Cup, and Turkish President’s Cup. Without a doubt his most successful managerial position was with his national team where he coached Yugoslavia from 1987-1995. With Yugoslavia he won the Eurobasket three times (1989-beat Greece in the final, 1991, and 1995) and the 1990 FIBA World Championship. He also won the silver medal at the 1988 Olympics and the Eurobasket in 2009 (with Serbia).
Dusan Ivkovic is one of the greatest coaches in European Basketball and one of the best to ever come through Greece. After his retirement, he announced “Basketball wasn’t a part of my life, it was my life. Looking back, I would like to thank all of my assistants and players for their hard work and the respect they showed me. It always bothered me when people said that I created players. I simply gave them the opportunity to play and they made the most of their chance. Of course, I will never say goodbye to basketball.”
Thank you Dusan for everything you contributed to basketball in Greece and basketball across Europe...