FC Bayern Munich
FC Bayern Munich, one of the world’s best-known sports clubs, has a long history in basketball dating back to 1946. Bayern was powerful in those early years with national championships in 1954 and 1955, a German Cup in 1968, and a European debut in the early rounds of the 1968-69 Cup Winners’ Cup.The next few years saw fading fortunes and relegation to the German second division in 1974. Bayern then all but disappeared and spent just three seasons in the top domestic league over the next three-and-a-half decades. In 2008, however, following the success of the club’s junior team, Bayern purchased the license of the Dusseldorf Magics to return to the German second division. With national team stalwarts Steffen Hamann and Demond Greene signing up and head coach Dirk Bauermann leading the charge, Bayern clinched promotion back into the German top flight in 2011. Bayern also received a wild card to play the 2011-12 EuroCup and reached the German League playoffs that season, before legendary Coach Svetislav Pesic – whose son Marko served as general manager – stepped in before the start of the 2012-13 season as the guard tandem of Tyrese Rice and Yotam Halperin helped Bayern reach the German League semifinals. Everything clicked in 2013-14 as Bayern shined in its EuroLeague debut by reaching the Top 16 and took the German title for the first time since 1955, with Coach Pesic and German League MVP Malcolm Delaney providing the inspiration. Bayern was eliminated at the end of the EuroLeague regular season the next two years, but moved on to reach the eighthfinals of the EuroCup. The club’s return to prominence was confirmed by consecutive German championships in 2018 and 2019, with the latter season also seeing the team finish just one win away from the EuroLeague Playoffs. The appointment of charismatic Italian Coach Andrea Trinchieri in 2020 sparked another surge, as Bayern enjoyed its best-ever season on the continental stage by reaching the EuroLeague Playoffs and forcing AX Armani Exchange Milan into a five-game thriller – emphasising that this historic organization very much means business on the basketball court.