The only way to appropriately discuss the rivalry between CSKA Moscow and Khimki Moscow is to take the word rivalry out of it altogether.
CSKA won 24 USSR League titles between 1944 and 1990, and 19 Russian League crowns since the 1991-92 season, including the last ten.
Khimki wasn’t even around to compete until 1997.
CSKA has won the Russian Cup four times, Khimki just once. CSKA has two VTB Titles, Khimki one. And while Khimki does have one thing on older brother, a Eurocup Championship which came last season, it’s only because CSKA Moscow has been preoccupied with matters in the Euroleague, Europe’s top competition, which they’ve won six times since 1961.
Yet this season, it is Khimki that has defended Moscow’s soil most valiantly, going a perfect 12-0 at home between Euroleague and VTB United play and causing a shake-up in Moscow’s market share.
Khimki’s pushing, but CSKA’s not budging either. In fact, CSKA enters this week as the Euroleague’s only one-loss team thanks to Khimki’s 78-65 win over Barcelona this past Thursday.
And as long as they’re in separate groups, there’s room for two at the top.