The Top 8 Modern European Basketball Coaches You Need to Know

Explanation of the importance of a good basketball coach

When it comes to basketball, players are often the ones who get the most attention and recognition. However, without a good coach, even the most talented team can struggle to achieve success. A basketball coach is like a director, coordinating everything that happens on the court and guiding their team towards victory.

In this blog post, we’ll be taking a closer look at some of the best modern European basketball coaches. These coaches have achieved incredible success in their careers, both at the club and national levels. By studying their careers and accomplishments, we can gain insight into what it takes to be a successful basketball coach.

Top 8 Modern European Basketball Coaches You Need to Know

Before we dive into the individual coaches, let’s take a moment to look at the criteria we used to select them. We focused on coaches who have achieved significant success in modern basketball, meaning that some of the biggest names in basketball history won’t be on this list. However, we believe that these coaches have earned a place on this list due to their remarkable accomplishments in the sport.

Without further ado, here are the top 8 modern European basketball coaches you need to know:

  1. Želimir Obradović
  2. David Blatt
  3. Ettore Messina
  4. Xavi Pascual
  5. Dušan Ivković
  6. Sergio Scariolo
  7. Dimitris Itoudis
  8. Pablo Laso

Coach #1: Želimir Obradović

Discussion of Obradović’s coaching career and accomplishments

Želimir “Željko”Obradović is a basketball legend who has won 63 titles in his coaching career, including a record 9 Euroleague titles and 18 places in EuroLeague Final Four. Before 2000, as the coach of Yugoslavia, he won a silver medal at the Olympic Games in 1996, a gold medal at the World Championship in 1998, a bronze medal at the European Championship in 1999, and a gold medal at the European Championship in 1997.

Obradović is widely considered one of the best European coaches of all time, if not the best. His success speaks for itself, and his ability to consistently guide his teams to victory is a testament to his coaching prowess.

Coach #2: David Blatt

Discussion of Blatt’s coaching career and accomplishments

David Blatt is an Israeli-American coach who has achieved significant success in Europe. As an assistant coach, he won the Euroleague with Maccabi in 2004, but he achieved his greatest success as a head coach.

In 2014, Blatt led Maccabi Tel Aviv to victory in the EuroLeague, cementing his status as one of the best coaches in Europe. He has also won the EuroCup with Darussafaka and the EuroChallenge with Benetton Treviso. Additionally, he won a silver medal at the European Championship as a coach for Serbia.

Coach #3: Ettore Messina

Discussion of Messina’s coaching career and accomplishments

Ettore Messina is widely regarded as the best Italian coach of all time at the club level. He has won everything since 2000 as the coach of Benetton, Virtus, CSKA Moscow, and Real Madrid.

Messina is also noteworthy for having won the NBA All-Star game as an assistant coach in 2016. His success both in Europe and in the United States makes him one of the most respected coaches in basketball.

Coach #4: Xavi Pascual

Discussion of Pascual’s coaching career and accomplishments

Xavi Pascual was the coach of Barcelona from 2004 to 2016, during which time he established himself as one of the best European basketball coaches. He won the EuroLeague with FC Barcelona in 2010 and four Spanish league titles with the team.

Pascual then moved on to Panathinaikos, where he continued to achieve success, winning two Greek league titles and a Greek cup. He is known for his ability to build strong teams and guide them to victory.

Coach #5: Dušan Ivković

Discussion of Ivković’s coaching career and accomplishments

Dušan Ivković is still considered one of the best European coaches in modern basketball, if not the best. As the head coach of Yugoslavia, he won the European Championship three times, the World Championship once, and the Olympic Games once. He was also second at the Olympic Games twice.

More recently, Ivković won the EuroLeague with Olympiacos in 2012 and a Greek league title with the team the same year. His ability to guide his teams to victory, even against tough competition, is what sets him apart as a coach.

Coach #6: Sergio Scariolo

Discussion of Scariolo’s coaching career and accomplishments

Sergio Scariolo is a Spanish coach who has achieved significant success both at the club and national levels. He achieved the most success as the coach of the Spanish national team, leading them to a gold medal at the Olympics in 2019.

Scariolo has also had a wonderful career as a club coach, winning the EuroCup with Virtus Bologna in 2022 and several Spanish league titles with Real Madrid and Unicaja Malaga.

Coach #7: Dimitris Itoudis

Discussion of Itoudis’ coaching career and accomplishments

Dimitris Itoudis is a Greek coach who has made a name for himself in European basketball. He has guided his teams to numerous titles, including a EuroLeague championship with CSKA Moscow in 2016, as well as multiple Russian league titles and VTB United League championships.

Itoudis’ ability to adapt to different teams and situations has made him an invaluable asset in the world of basketball coaching. His success in various leagues across Europe speaks to his versatility and skill as a head coach.

Coach #8: Pablo Laso

Discussion of Laso’s coaching career and accomplishments

Pablo Laso is a Spanish coach who has found great success with Real Madrid. Under his leadership, the team has won multiple EuroLeague titles, as well as numerous Spanish league championships and Copa del Rey titles.

Laso is known for his fast-paced, offensive-minded style of play, which has helped him turn Real Madrid into one of the most successful clubs in European basketball. His innovative approach to coaching has earned him a place among the best coaches in modern European basketball.



In this blog post, we have explored the careers and accomplishments of the top 8 modern European basketball coaches. These coaches have achieved incredible success in their respective careers, guiding their teams to numerous championships at both the club and national levels.

While it is impossible to definitively say who is the absolute best among these talented coaches, their collective achievements serve as a testament to their skill, dedication, and ingenuity. Each of these coaches has left their mark on the sport of basketball and will no doubt continue to shape the future of the game in Europe and beyond.

So there you have it – the top 8 modern European basketball coaches you need to know. Whether you’re a fan of European basketball or just looking to gain more insight into the world of coaching, these coaches are certainly worth your attention and admiration.

Author Profile

Srdjan Solkotovic
Srdjan Solkotovic
I am an international basketball coach, working around the globe spreading the love of basketball one country at a time. So far I worked in Serbia, China, and Romania, working as a youth and senior coach, creating camps, working individually with players preparing them for senior teams or USA college, and trying to work my way to the top. Currently working on getting my FIBA coaching license, while I am in possession of a Serbian Blue Coaching License and a Romanian "A" Coaching license.

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