Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar came into the 2019-20 season with high expectations featuring a roster of big names like Sam Dekker, Johnny O’Bryant, Mantas Kalnietis and Will Cummings as well as Luca Banchi on the sidelines with the club looking to win the 7DAYS EuroCup and get back to the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. Lokomotiv lost its opener at Rytas Vilnius but collected wins in its next two games at home versus Umana Reyer Venice and Limoges CSP. The next road game meant the next loss, falling at Partizan NIS Belgrade 80-71. That defeat started a four-game losing streak, including home losses to Rytas and Tofas Bursa. Lokomotiv dropped its third straight road game at Reyer to fall to 2-5 in Group B, which resulted in the release of Banchi. His assistant Bogdan Karaicic took over on an interim basis and Lokomotiv got back to winning, knocking off Limoges on the road. The club inserted Evgeny Pashutin, who had guided Lokomotiv to the 2013 EuroCup title, as head coach. In the first EuroCup game with Pashutin in charge, Lokomotiv defeated Partizan at home to improve to 4-5 and still held its destiny in its hands to reach the Top 16 as long as it could knock off Tofas on the road in Round 10. Lokomotiv could not get the victory in Turkey, losing a thriller 92-90 that sent Tofas to the Top 16 and eliminated Lokomotiv before the EuroCup quarterfinals, both firsts. In the VTB League, Lokomotiv was 5-4 after nine games when Pashutin took over and the club reeled off eight straight wins. Lokomotiv had a 14-6 record before the competition was ended due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
||Semifinal, Final Four
In recent years Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar has stood tall as a force to be reckoned with in every competition in which it participates. Originally known as Lokomotiv Mineralnye Vody, the team from the North Caucasus region produced a number of strong youth talents over the years after its inception in 1946, but did not make its European debut until the 1998-99 Korac Cup. A year later, Lokomotiv picked up its first major title, the Russian Cup. After back-to-back third-place Russian League finishes, Lokomotiv shocked Europe in 2002 as it reached the Korac Cup finals, where it lost to SLUC Nancy. A year later, the club officially moved to the city of Rostov and reached the FIBA Europe Cup title game in 2005, but lost to CSU Asesoft Ploiesti. Lokomotiv continued to make the Russian League playoffs and advanced several stages in various European cups before moving again in 2009 when Krasnodar became its home and the club rebranded as Lokomotiv Kuban. The team reached the Russian League semifinals for the first time in 2011 while plowing through to the FIBA EuroChallenge final, where it lost to Krka Novo Mesto. Its EuroCup debut followed and Lokomotiv made the quarterfinals and appeared at the VTB United League final four for the first time. Then came a historic 2012-13 campaign, in which EuroCup MVP Nick Calathes guided Lokomotiv to the EuroCup championship game. Once there, they topped Uxue Bilbao Basket behind 14 points and 9 rebounds from EuroCup Final MVP Richard Hendrix. Lokomotiv made its Turkish Airlines EuroLeague debut in the 2013-14 season and reached the Top 16, but missed out on the playoffs via point difference. The following season Lokomotiv had another strong campaign with a near-perfect EuroCup run as Derrick Brown, Anthony Randolph and Malcolm Delaney led the club to 20 consecutive wins in the competition. However, a quarterfinal loss against UNICS Kazan prevented the team from going further. The 2015-16 season was one for the history books as Delaney and Randolph starred and took the team through FC Barcelona Lassa in the playoffs for the team's first appearance at the continent's signature club event, the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four. Loko struggled at the beginning of the next season, but a coaching change that brought in Sasa Obradovic sparked the team into the EuroCup Top 16. Eventual champ Unicaja Malaga stopped the team in semifinals. In the 2017-18 season, Loko tied its own EuroCup record of 20 straight wins, which put the team at the doorstep of the finals. However, in the decisive games, Darussafaka Istanbul took the upper hand and managed to sweep the series 2-0, thus depriving Loko of another EuroCup crown. Last season, Lokomotiv reached the quarterfinals in both the EuroCup and the VTB League and lost against UNICS and Zenit St. Petersburg, respectively. The club went into 2019-20 with high expectations, especially the goal of getting back to the EuroLeague with a loaded roster. But Lokomotiv struggled early and switched coaches after seven EuroCup games and failed to advance from the regular season. In the VTB League, Lokomotiv was in third place when the season was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The club kept Evgeny Pashutin as head coach and will hope he can lead Lokomotiv back to glory in 2020-21 like he did in 2013 when it won the EuroCup title.
|Russian National Cup: 2000