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1997–98 NBA season

The 1997–98 NBA season was the 52nd season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Chicago Bulls winning their third straight championship and sixth in the last eight years, beating the Utah Jazz 4 games to 2 in the 1998 NBA Finals, it marked the departure of Michael Jordan and the end of the dynasty for the Chicago Bulls before Jordan returned in 2001 for the Washington Wizards. This was the last time that both NHL regular seasons ended on the same day; the 1998 NBA All-Star Game was played at Madison Square Garden. However, the Slam Dunk Contest was not held, due to the risk of player injuries, lack of new dunking tricks and lack of big-name players in recent competitions. Instead, a 2Ball competition was held. Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant became the youngest All-Star starter at age 19. Michael Jordan won his third All-Star MVP; the Washington Bullets were renamed the "Wizards". They began the season at US Airways Arena in December, they played their first game at the MCI Center during this season.

Due to the demolition of The Omni and the construction of the new Philips Arena, the Atlanta Hawks split home games between Georgia Tech's Alexander Coliseum and the Georgia Dome. Golden State Warriors swingman Latrell Sprewell made headlines by choking Warriors head coach P. J. Carlesimo during practice on December 1, 1997. Sprewell was suspended for 68 games, at the time the longest in NBA history. Sprewell would be traded to the New York Knicks in the off-season. Michael Jordan passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the all-time leader in points scored in the NBA Playoffs; the Utah Jazz and the Chicago Bulls shared the league's best record at 62–20, met each other in the NBA Finals. The Jazz had home-court advantage by virtue of the head-to-head match-up. Two new records were set in Game 3 of the NBA Finals: biggest margin of victory and fewest points scored in an NBA Finals game in the Bulls' rout of the Jazz; the San Antonio Spurs set a league record for the biggest single-season turnaround, breaking their own record set in the 1989–90 NBA season.

Following head coach Phil Jackson's decision to not return to the Bulls, Michael Jordan announced his second retirement from the NBA during the following offseason. This was Jordan's final season with the Chicago Bulls. Scottie Pippen was traded for Roy Rogers and a conditional second-round draft pick from the Houston Rockets. Dennis Rodman was not re-signed either, leading to the end of an era for the Bulls and the NBA. Houston Rockets guard Clyde Drexler retired after fifteen seasons, twelve of which he spent with the Portland Trail Blazers, where he led the team to two NBA Finals, in 1990 and 1992, he won his only NBA championship in 1995 while playing for the Rockets. Dallas Mavericks forward A. C. Green breaks the NBA's Iron Man Streak of most consecutive games played, surpassing Randy Smith who played 906 consecutive games; the restricted area arc was allowed. On February 27, the Indiana Pacers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 124–59, marking the first time in NBA history that one team scored more than twice as many points as its opponent.

Nike became the official outfitter for select NBA teams. Other NBA teams were outfitted by Starter Clothing Line, Reebok or Champion; the Denver Nuggets lost 71 games, joining the 1972–73 Philadelphia 76ers, 1986–87 Los Angeles Clippers, 1992–93 Dallas Mavericks as the only teams to lose 70 games in a season. The Nuggets equaled the longest single-season losing streak with 23 consecutive losses, sharing the mark with the 1995–96 Vancouver Grizzlies. All the Western Conference teams who missed the playoffs had 55 or more losses. Four of them lost more than 62 games; the ninth-placed Sacramento Kings finished the season with a 27–55 record, losing nineteen of their last twenty games. The Kings finished fourteen games behind the #8 seeded Houston Rockets at 41–41, whilst the tenth-placed Dallas Mavericks ended with a 20–62 record. All the Eastern Conference teams who missed the playoffs had 31 or more wins except for the Toronto Raptors, who finished with a 16–66 record. Violet Palmer and Dee Kantner became the first two female officials in NBA history.

Kantner would be fired following the 2001–02 season, while Palmer would go on to have long 19-year career before retiring after the 2015–16 season. The Atlanta Hawks split their home games playing in the Alexander Memorial Coliseum and the Georgia Dome, due to the demolition of The Omni; the Charlotte Hornets changed their uniforms adding teal, purple to the side of their jerseys. The Chicago Bulls removed the pinstripes from their alternate uniforms; the Cleveland Cavaliers changed their uniforms. The Golden State Warriors changed their logo and uniforms, changing their colors to navy and gold; the Indiana Pacers changed their uniforms adding pinstripes to their jerseys. The New Jersey Nets changed their logo and uniforms, replacing blue with navy to go with red in their color scheme; the New York Knicks changed their home uniforms. Meanwhile, the alternate uniforms they wore for the past two seasons became their primary road jersey; the Philadelphia 76ers changed their logo and uniforms, replacing their re

Auguste-Jean-Marie Vermorel

Auguste-Jean-Marie Vermorel was a French journalist. He was born at Denicé. A radical and socialist, he was attached to the staff of the Presse and the Liberté. In the latter year he was appointed editor of Le Courrier Français, his attacks on the government in that organ led to his imprisonment. In 1869 he was editor of the Réforme, was again imprisoned for denouncing the government. On the overthrow of the Second Empire in 1870 he was released and took an active part in the Commune, he was dangerously wounded while fighting at the barricades, taken prisoner and moved to Versailles, where he died. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Vermorel, Auguste Jean Marie". Encyclopædia Britannica. 27. Cambridge University Press. P. 1029. Works by or about Auguste-Jean-Marie Vermorel at Internet Archive

Leo Africanus

Joannes Leo Africanus was a Berber Andalusi diplomat and author, best known for his book Descrittione dell’Africa centered on the geography of the Maghreb and Nile Valley. The book was regarded among his scholarly peers in Europe as the most authoritative treatise on the subject until the modern exploration of Africa. For this work, Leo became a household name among European geographers. Most of what is known about his life is gathered from autobiographical notes in his own work. Leo Africanus was born as al-Hasan, son of Muhammad in Granada around the year 1494; the year of birth can be estimated from his self-reported age at the time of various historical events. His family moved to Fez soon after his birth. In Fez he studied at the University of al-Qarawiyyin; as a young man he accompanied an uncle on a diplomatic mission, reaching as far as the city of Timbuktu part of the Songhai Empire. In 1517 when returning from a diplomatic mission to Istanbul on behalf of the Sultan of Fez Muhammad II he found himself in the port of Rosetta during the Ottoman conquest of Egypt.

He continued with his journey through Cairo and Aswan and across the Red Sea to Arabia, where he performed a pilgrimage to Mecca. On his way back to Tunis in 1518 he was captured by Spanish corsairs either near the island of Djerba or more near Crete, he was taken to Rome and imprisoned in Rhodes, the headquarters of the Knights Hospitaller. During this period, the usual fate of unransomed Muslim captives was slavery in Christian galleys, but when his captors realized his intelligence and importance, he was moved to Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome and was presented to Pope Leo X, he was given pension to persuade him to stay. He was baptized in the Basilica of Saint Peter's in 1520, he took the Latin name Johannes Leo de Medicis. In Arabic, he preferred to translate this name as Yuhanna al-Asad al-Gharnati, it is that Leo Africanus was welcomed to the papal court as the Pope feared that Turkish forces might invade Sicily and southern Italy, a willing collaborator could provide useful information on North Africa.

Leo Africanus spent the next three or four years traveling in Italy. The death of his patron Leo X in 1521, suspicions from the new Pope Adrian VI against a Muslim in court, was the reason for his leaving Rome. While staying in Bologna he wrote an Arabic-Hebrew-Latin medical vocabulary, of which only the Arabic part has survived, a grammar of Arabic of which only an eight-page fragment has survived, he returned to Rome in 1526 under the protection of the new Pope Clement VII, a cousin of Leo X who replaced Adrian. According to Leo, he completed his manuscript on African geography in the same year; the work was published in Italian with the title Della descrittione dell’Africa et delle cose notabili che iui sono, per Giovan Lioni Africano in 1550 by the Venetian publisher Giovanni Battista Ramusio. The book proved to be popular and was reprinted five times, it was translated into other languages. French and Latin editions were published in 1556 while an English version was published in 1600 with the title A Geographical Historie of Africa.

The Latin edition, which contained many errors and mistranslations, was used as the source for the English translation. There are several theories of his life, none of them are certain. According to one theory, he spent it in Rome until he died around 1550, the year Description of Africa was published; this theory was based on indirect allusion in a preface to this book. According to another theory, he left shortly before the Sack of Rome by Charles V's troops in 1527, he returned to North Africa and lived in Tunis until his death, some time after 1550. This was based on records by German orientalist Johann Albrecht Widmannstetter, who arrived in Italy and planned to travel to Tunis to meet Leo who had since reconverted to Islam, yet another theory said that he left Tunis after it was captured by Charles V in 1535 for Morocco, his second home country after Granada where his relatives were still living. This was based on the assumption that Leo, having left Granada, would not have wanted to live under Christian Spanish rule again, his wish that he wanted to return to his home country "by God's assistance".

It is unlikely that Leo Africanus visited all the places that he describes and he must therefore have relied on information obtained from other travellers. In particular, it is doubtful whether he visited Hausaland and Bornu and it is possible that he never crossed the Sahara but relied on information from other travellers that he met in Morocco; the historian Pekka Masonen has argued that the belief of his further travels was based on misreadings by modern scholars who interpreted his book as an itinerary. At the time Leo visited the city of Timbuktu, it was a thriving Islamic city famous for its learning. Home to many scholars and learned men, Timbuktu possessed a Great Mosque, renowned for its expansive library; the town was to become a byword in Europe as the most inaccessible of cities. At the time of Leo's journey there, it was the centre of a busy trade carried on by traders in African products, printed cottons and slaves, in Islamic books. In an autograph in one of his surviving manuscripts, a fragment of an Arabic-Hebrew-Latin medical vocabulary he wrote for the Jewish physician Jacob Mantino, he signed his name in Arabic as Yuhanna al-Asad al-Gharnati, a translation