P. A. O. K. B. C. known in European competitions as PAOK Thessaloniki, is the professional basketball department of the major Greek multi-sports club A. C. PAOK, founded in 1926, is based in Thessaloniki, Greece; the club's full name is Panthessalonikeios Athlitikós Ómilos Konstantinoupoliton, abbreviated as PAOK, means Pan-Thessaloniki Athletic Club of Constantinopolitans. The team has established a firm reputation in Greek basketball for its success in European competitions, they have twice won the Greek Basket League, three times won the Greek Basketball Cup, while they have won two European Cups: the FIBA Saporta Cup and the FIBA Korać Cup. The men's basketball section of the multi-sports club PAOK AC was created in 1928, when Alekos Alexiadis, a young member of the administration council of PAOK AC, took the initiative to create a men's basketball team, he "gave birth" to the basketball department again, after World War II. After the war, Alekos Alexiadis began to organize a basketball team from the children that played at the only basketball court in Thessaloniki.
The first honor for PAOK's basketball section was the win of the 1959 Greek League. The team was crowned the Champions of Greece, with the following players. Four years the Greek League was reconstructed into a professional National League, but PAOK was placed in the Second National Division, where they won an immediate promotion to the first division the next year; the worst season of the club to date was in 1977, when PAOK avoided relegation, with a 66–53 play-out win over Dimokritos. PAOK met Panathinaikos in its first Greek Cup Final, in 1982; the Athenians managed to scrape through a two-point victory, despite the game being played in Alexandreio Melathron, the PAOK home arena. In the next season, the team finished second to Aris, after being defeated in only one game by the champions; the success of both Aris and PAOK, fueled the ongoing rivalry between their fans, that had long been established in football. In 1984, the two teams reached the Greek Cup Final. PAOK head coach, Faidon Matthaiou, in trying to boost his team's morale, ordered the players to shave their heads.
PAOK won the Greek Cup by four points, in what is now remembered as the "final of the shaven heads". The 22-year-old Bane Prelević, debuted in the 1988–89 season, he became the definitive leader of PAOK, a fan favorite. He was compared to the great Nikos Galis, at the time the captain of Aris. Prelević was quoted for his loyalty to the team, he had a number of injuries and medical emergencies because of weak legs, but he would choose to take heavy dosages of painkillers, rather than missing out on important games. PAOK brought limitless joy to its fans, by winning the European 2nd-tier level FIBA European Cup Winners' Cup, when PAOK defeated CAI Zaragoza in Geneva, by a score of 76–72, on March 26, 1991; the next season, PAOK reached once again in the final of the same competition, but lost to Real Madrid, by a score of 63–65. The game was going to overtime, as the two teams were equal at 63 points, when Panagiotis Fasoulas lost the ball by Rickey Brown in the last 2 seconds, Real Madrid scored an unexpected basket.
The same year, PAOK won the Greek League championship, by beating out Aris in the final four mini league and Olympiacos in the play-off finals. The 1992–93 season PAOK with a brilliant starting five roster and under the coaching of Dušan Ivković, participated in the 1992–93 FIBA European League, the club's first appearance in the top-tier level European league, managed to reach the Final Four in Piraeus, Athens. PAOK lost in the semifinal game to the Italian champions Benetton Treviso, led by the Croat superstar Toni Kukoč, by a score of 77–79 and two days in the third-place game PAOK defeated Real Madrid of Arvydas Sabonis and Rickey Brown. In 1994, PAOK returned to European success, by winning the European 3rd-tier level FIBA Korać Cup, in a two-leg final against Stefanel Trieste, winning both at home and away, by 9 points; the following year, PAOK won the Greek Cup, in a 19-point victory against Chipita Panionios, 72–53. In 1999, PAOK again won the Greek Cup, by defeating AEK, by a score of 71–54.
The new home of PAOK, the PAOK Sports Arena, able to hold 8,500 fans, was inaugurated on 17 March 2000. That marked the end of a long period of time of sharing the home court of Alexandreio Melathron with Aris. Bane Prelević returned to PAOK, after quick spells at Kinder Bologna and AEK, quit basketball at the end of the season, he returned to PAOK in the 2001–02 season, as an assistant coach. PAOK finished in 6th place in the 2003 -- 04 Greek League season. Prelević became the team's head coach, led the team into a short winning streak. A month after the start of the 2006–07 Greek League season, Prelević was replaced as head coach by Kostas Pilafidis, he assumed a non-technical position, as the General Manager of the team. During a game that year, PAOK and Aris put on a spectacular show that PAOK ended up winning, after two overtime periods. PAOK played in the European-wide 2nd-tier level EuroCup, in 5 out of 6 seasons, from 2010 to 2016. After the FIBA–Euroleague Basketball controversy, PAOK moved to the FIBA Champions League, where they played in the 2016–1
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is a men's professional basketball league in North America. It is considered to be the premier men's professional basketball league in the world; the NBA is an active member of USA Basketball, recognized by FIBA as the national governing body for basketball in the United States. The NBA is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. NBA players are the world's best paid athletes by average annual salary per player; the league was founded in New York City on June 1946, as the Basketball Association of America. The league adopted the name National Basketball Association on August 3, 1949, after merging with the competing National Basketball League; the league's several international as well as individual team offices are directed out of its head offices located in the Olympic Tower at 645 Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. NBA Entertainment and NBA TV studios are directed out of offices located in New Jersey; the Basketball Association of America was founded in 1946 by owners of the major ice hockey arenas in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States and Canada.
On November 1, 1946, in Toronto, Canada, the Toronto Huskies hosted the New York Knickerbockers at Maple Leaf Gardens, in a game the NBA now refers to as the first game played in NBA history. The first basket was made by Ossie Schectman of the Knickerbockers. Although there had been earlier attempts at professional basketball leagues, including the American Basketball League and the NBL, the BAA was the first league to attempt to play in large arenas in major cities. During its early years, the quality of play in the BAA was not better than in competing leagues or among leading independent clubs such as the Harlem Globetrotters. For instance, the 1948 ABL finalist Baltimore Bullets moved to the BAA and won that league's 1948 title, the 1948 NBL champion Minneapolis Lakers won the 1949 BAA title. Prior to the 1948–49 season, however, NBL teams from Fort Wayne, Indianapolis and Rochester jumped to the BAA, which established the BAA as the league of choice for collegians looking to turn professional.
On August 3, 1949, the remaining NBL teams–Syracuse, Tri-Cities, Sheboygan and Waterloo–merged into the BAA. In deference to the merger and to avoid possible legal complications, the league name was changed to the present National Basketball Association though the merged league retained the BAA's governing body, including Podoloff. To this day, the NBA claims the BAA's history as its own, it now reckons the arrival of the NBL teams as an expansion, not a merger, does not recognize NBL records and statistics. The new league had seventeen franchises located in a mix of large and small cities, as well as large arenas and smaller gymnasiums and armories. In 1950, the NBA consolidated to eleven franchises, a process that continued until 1953–54, when the league reached its smallest size of eight franchises: the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia Warriors, Minneapolis Lakers, Rochester Royals, Fort Wayne Pistons, Tri-Cities Blackhawks, Syracuse Nationals, all of which remain in the league today.
The process of contraction saw. The Hawks shifted from the Tri-Cities to Milwaukee in 1951, to St. Louis in 1955; the Rochester Royals moved from Rochester, New York, to Cincinnati in 1957 and the Pistons relocated from Fort Wayne, Indiana, to Detroit in 1957. Japanese-American Wataru Misaka broke the NBA color barrier in the 1947–48 season when he played for the New York Knicks, he remained the only non-white player in league history prior to the first African-American, Harold Hunter, signing with the Washington Capitols in 1950. Hunter was cut from the team during training camp, but several African-American players did play in the league that year, including Chuck Cooper with the Celtics, Nathaniel "Sweetwater" Clifton with the Knicks, Earl Lloyd with the Washington Capitols. During this period, the Minneapolis Lakers, led by center George Mikan, won five NBA Championships and established themselves as the league's first dynasty. To encourage shooting and discourage stalling, the league introduced the 24-second shot clock in 1954.
If a team does not attempt to score a field goal within 24 seconds of obtaining the ball, play is stopped and the ball given to its opponent. In 1957, rookie center Bill Russell joined the Boston Celtics, which featured guard Bob Cousy and coach Red Auerbach, went on to lead the club to eleven NBA titles in thirteen seasons. Center Wilt Chamberlain entered the league with the Warriors in 1959 and became a dominant individual star of the 1960s, setting new single game records in scoring and rebounding. Russell's rivalry with Chamberlain became one of the greatest rivalries in the history of American team sports; the 1960s were dominated by the Celtics. Led by Russell, Bob Cousy and coach Red Auerbach, Boston won eight straight championships in the NBA from 1959 to 1966; this championship streak is the longest in NBA history. They did not win the title in 1966–67, but regained it in the 1967–68 season and repeated in 1969; the domination totaled nine of the ten championship banners of the 1960s.
Through this period, the NBA continued to evolve with the shift of the Minneapolis Lakers to Los Angeles, the Philadelphia Warriors to San Francisco, the Syracuse Nationals to Philadelphia to become the Philadelphia 76ers, the St. Louis Hawks moving to Atlanta, as well as the addition of its first expansion franchises; the Chicago Packers (now Wa
A basketball uniform is a type of uniform worn by basketball players. Basketball uniforms consist of a jersey that features the number and last name of the player on the back, as well as shorts and athletic shoes. Within teams, players wear uniforms representing the team colors. Different basketball leagues have different specifications for the type of uniform, allowed on the court. Early in the history of the sport, basketball was played in any type of athletic attire, but by the 1900s, special uniforms were developed and marketed to basketball players; the style and fit of basketball uniforms evolved throughout subsequent decades modeled after the general fashion trends of the day. Basketball was played in any type of athletic attire, ranging from track suits to football uniforms; the first official basketball uniforms, as displayed in the Spalding catalog of 1901, featured three types of pants: knee-length padded pants, similar to those worn for playing football, as well as shorter pants and knee-length tights.
There were two types of a quarter-length sleeve and a sleeveless version. The long pants evolved into medium-length shorts in the 1920s, by the 1930s, the material used for jerseys changed from heavy wool to the lighter polyester and nylon. In the 1970s and 80s, uniforms became tighter-fitting and shorts were shorter, consistent with the overall fashion trends of these two decades. At this time, women's basketball uniforms transitioned from longer-sleeved uniforms to tank-top style jerseys similar to men's basketball uniforms, which more explicitly showed off players' muscle tone. In 1984, Michael Jordan asked for longer shorts and helped popularize the move away from tight, short shorts toward the longer, baggier shorts worn by basketball players today. Throughout the 1990s, basketball uniforms fell under the influence of hip hop culture, with shorts becoming longer and looser-fitting, team colors brighter, designs more flashy and suggestive of rappers' bling. At the turn of the 21st century, basketball uniforms became more oversized and loose-fitting.
For the Christmas Day games of 2013, the NBA and its apparel partner Adidas introduced a newly designed sleeved jersey with large team and NBA logos on the front. Marketers for the new uniforms realized that fans were unwilling to wear sleeveless jerseys in their day-to-day life and hoped the new sleeved jerseys would be more popular for everyday wear. However, it was a "not-so-well-kept secret that the NBA wanted to implement jersey ads in the years following the introduction of sleeved jerseys" as the "sleeves allow more space for potential partners to add their corporate logos to jerseys" like association football. After the league deal with Adidas expired and Nike signed on as the new apparel partner, the sleeved jersey did not continue; the sleeved jersey was controversial among players. LeBron James famously ripped the sleeves off during a prime time game against the New York Knicks in 2015, but in the 2016 NBA Finals James convinced his teammates to wear the sleeved jerseys in Game 5 and again in the title-clinching Game 7.
In 1903, a special basketball shoe with suction cups to prevent slippage was added to the official basketball uniform demonstrated in the Spalding catalog. Over the decades, different shoe brands and styles were popular as basketball shoes: Chuck Taylor All-Stars and Keds in the 1960s and 70s. In the 1970s, Slick Watts and Bill Walton began to wear headbands, which soon became popular with other players. Rick Barry popularized wrist-bands, other players soon created variations, such as bands that covered their forearms or biceps; these were used to wipe off sweat, or worn as fashion statements. In professional basketball leagues today, teams playing at home wear lighter-colored uniforms than the visiting team; as of the 2017–18 season, the NBA has eliminated the distinction between designated "home" and "away" uniforms. The home team is now allowed to wear any uniform color it chooses, while its opponent may wear any color that sufficiently contrasts with the home team's choice. In the NBA, basketball shorts must fall at least 1 inch above the knee, T-shirts cannot be worn under the jersey – however, they are permitted in American college basketball.
Some NBA and WNBA teams have allowed sponsors' logos to appear on their uniforms. Uniforms are made of wicking material designed to ensure that it evaporates faster, they are the product of a four-year study researching professional basketball players, who identified the need for fewer seams, lighter weight, faster drying and cooling in their jerseys. The main difference between U. S. basketball uniforms and those of other countries is the appearance of sponsorship iconography. S. uniforms feature center. For the 2017-18 season, some U. S. teams have started putting sponsorship logos on their jerseys on the upper left of the jersey, a maximum of 2.5 inches by 2.5 inches. Sportswear
Peace and Friendship Stadium
The Peace and Friendship Stadium known by its acronym SEF, is a multi-purpose indoor arena, located in Piraeus, on the coastal zone of Attica, Greece. The arena is known for being the home to EuroLeague team Olympiacos, is the central venue of the Faliro Coastal Zone Olympic Complex, it opened in 1985. The arena complex contains a 942-seat amphitheater, a weight training room, a full practice facility, three auxiliary courts that house the Olympiacos youth clubs, the Olympiacos team office; the Peace and Friendship Stadium opened in 1985, its construction cost was €25,000,000 in 1983 prices. It was designed by the architectural firm "Thymios Papagiannis and Associates"; the arena is built opposite to the Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus, located in the western end of the Phaleron Bay, in the coastal zone of Attica. It was inaugurated on February 16, 1985, at the first Panhellenic Athletics Indoor Championship, hosted the 1985 European Athletics Indoor Championships in March, it was designed and operated for a dual use as a ice hockey rink and as basketball stadium.
The first Greek Ice Hockey Championship was held in the stadium in 1989. The operation of the skating rink was stopped for the use of other sports. In 1991, the arena won the Golden Award from IAKS, the International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities. Since the 1991–92 season, the Peace and Friendship Stadium has been the home court to Greek League and EuroLeague professional basketball club Olympiacos; the arena was closed from April 2002, to early 2004, for renovation works, at a total cost of €7,300,000, hosted the indoor volleyball tournament during the 2004 Summer Olympics. During the period that the arena was closed for renovations, Olympiacos played at the Glyfada Makis Liougas Sportshall, during the 2001–02 season, at the Korydallos Sports Hall, during the 2002–03 and 2003–04 seasons; the arena's total capacity varies, depending on the collapsible bleachers used in the lower level, besides its 11,640 permanent seating in the mid and upper levels, with additional temporary seating, it seats a total of 12,000 people for basketball games.
The Peace and Friendship Stadium seats up to 14,776 for basketball games, with all the bleachers in use. The arena is used for events like congresses, music concerts, indoor motocross races; the Scorpions, Phil Collins, Dire Straits, Status Quo, UB40, Gloria Estefan, Deep Purple, Placebo, are among the artists who have performed at the Peace and Friendship Stadium. Outside the main arena, in the same stadium building, there is a 942-seat amphitheater, various other halls of a total area of 16,048 sqm, where exhibitions and congresses take place; the Peace and Friendship Stadium is located in the Neo Faliro area of Piraeus, on the coastal Poseidonos Avenue, at the end of the Kifissou Avenue. It is 2 km away from the port of Piraeus, it sits on a major transportation hub, next to the Faliro metro station on Athens Metro Line 1, the SEF station, the terminus of Athens Tram. Indoor athletics 1985 European Athletics Indoor Championships Volleyball 1989 European Champions' Cup Final 1992 European Champions' Cup Final Four 1993 European Champions' Cup Final Four 1994 World Championship 1995 Men's European Volleyball Championship 1996 European Cup Winners' Cup Final Four 2004 Summer Olympics – Volleyball tournament 2005 European Top Teams Cup Final Four Basketball 1985 FIBA European Champions' Cup Final 1987 EuroBasket 1989 FIBA European Cup Winners' Cup Final 1991 FIBA Centennial Jubilee 1993 FIBA European League Final Four 1998 FIBA World Championship Wrestling 1986 European Championships 1988 World Cup 1999 World Championship Gymnastics 1990 European Women's Artistic Gymnastics Championships 1991 World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships Weightlifting 1999 World Championships List of basketball arenas by capacity List of music venues Official website SEF at Olympiacos B.
C.'s official website SEF at stadia.gr Basketball images at Getty images The transformations of SEF
Club Deportivo Saski-Baskonia, S. A. D. Commonly known as Saski Baskonia and as Kirolbet Baskonia for sponsorship reasons, is a professional basketball team, based in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain; the team plays in the EuroLeague. Baskonia has been a successful team in Spain, winning three ACB championships, six Spanish Cups and four Spanish Supercups. On the European level, Baskonia is one of the most important teams as it is present in the EuroLeague since 2000–01 season. Baskonia has been runners-up of the EuroLeague twice, in 2001 and 2005; the club was founded in 1959 as the basketball section of Club Deportivo Vasconia. It first played at Spain's highest level in 1972, emerged as a major force in Spanish basketball in the 1990s. Baskonia's first trophy of any kind came in 1995, the Spanish King's Cup, when Pablo Laso and Velimir Perasović led the team to an historical win; the club was making noise internationally too, reaching the FIBA Saporta Cup final in both 1994 and 1995. When it hosted the same title game in 1996, Baskonia pleased its many fans by downing PAOK behind 31 points from Ramón Rivas.
Baskonia made its first Spanish Championship playoff final in 1998 and added a second Spanish King's Cup title in 1999. They found quick success in the newly reborn EuroLeague. With a deep roster featuring Elmer Bennett, Saulius Štombergas, Victor Alexander, Fabricio Oberto and a young Luis Scola, Baskonia reached the 2001 EuroLeague Finals, before losing to Kinder Bologna in the fifth and final game on the road. With winning momentum and the additions of Dejan Tomašević and Andrés Nocioni, Baskonia celebrated the next season with another Spanish King's Cup trophy and its first Spanish League title ever. Baskonia snatched two more Spanish King's Cups, in 2004 and 2006, as Luis Scola and Pablo Prigioni played decisive roles, success followed the team in the EuroLeague. Baskonia's arrival to its first EuroLeague Final Four in 2005 couldn’t have been louder, as the team upset favored host CSKA Moscow in the semifinals, but couldn’t overcome defending champ Maccabi in the title game. Back home, Baskonia again reached the Spanish League finals.
Baskonia returned to the EuroLeague Final Four in 2006, but once again Maccabi stood in its way, this time in the semifinal. The team made it to the Spanish League finals, but was swept there; the next season, Baskonia won its EuroLeague regular season and Top 16 groups before sweeping Olympiacos in the Quarterfinal Playoffs, as Scola became the EuroLeague Basketball's top all-time scorer at that time. Nonetheless, eventual champion Panathinaikos downed Baskonia in the semifinals and once home again in Spain, Baskonia lost in the playoff semifinals. Through outstanding scouting and shrewd management, Baskonia built a squad that went to four straight EuroLeague Final Fours. Baskonia advanced to the EuroLeague Final Four in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, losing to Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv in the 2005 final, 2006 semifinals, to Panathinaikos in the 2007 semifinals, to CSKA Moscow in the 2008 semifinals. In the 2009–10 season, Baskonia won the Spanish Liga ACB championship after sweeping Regal FC Barcelona in the league's finals, 3–0.
In 2016, Baskonia returned the EuroLeague Final Four for the first time in eight years, as the club made it to the 2016 Final Four. Here the team was defeated after overtime in the semi-final by Fenerbahçe. In the third place game, Baskonia lost to Russian side Lokomotiv Kuban. In the following two season, the team was eliminated in the EuroLeague playoffs. In the 2016–17 season, the EuroLeague adopted a new league-style format in which a round-robin season of sixteen teams was played. Baskonia was one of the ten teams with A-licences. In the first season in the new format, Baskonia was eliminated in the quarter-finals by CSKA Moscow, 0–3. In the 2017–18 season, the club was defeated by Fenerbahçe, losing the quarter-final series 1–3; the club was referred to for years as Tau Cerámica, a Spanish brand name of ceramics manufacturer TAULELL, which name sponsored the club from 1987–2009. TAULELL used another of its brand names, Taugrés, as the name of the team, before changing the name to Tau Cerámica in 1997.
Tau, Taugrés and Tau Vitoria were frequently used to refer to the team. Baskonia, Saski Baskonia, Saski Baskonia, S. A. D. Refer to the name of the actual sports club itself. In 2009, the Spanish credit union Caja Laboral became the new name sponsor of the club and increased the amount of money that the name sponsor contributes to the sports club's budget. In 2016, Laboral Kutxa end its sponsorship naming to Baskonia. Baskonia has received diverse sponsorship names along the years: Caja Álava Taugrés / Tau Cerámica Caja Laboral / Laboral Kutxa Kirolbet Since 1991, Baskonia has played its home games at the Fernando Buesa Arena, which has a seating capacity of 15,504 people for basketball games; the arena was called the Pabellón Araba, from 1991 to 2000. The arena was extensively renovated and expanded in the year 2012. Source: baskonistas.com Spanish LeagueWinners: 2001–02, 2007–08, 2009–10 Runners-up: 1997–98, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2008–09Spanish CupWinners: 1995, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009 Runners-up: 1994, 2003, 2008Spanish SupercupWinners: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008.
Runners-up: 2011, 2018Association CupWinners: 19852nd DivisionWinners: 1971–72Basque CupWinners: 2011, 2012 EuroLeagueRunners-up: 2000–01, 2004–05 3rd place: 2005–06 4th place: 2006–07, 2007–08, 2015–16 Final Four: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2016FIBA Saporta CupWinners: 1995–96 MVP Ramón Rivas Runners-up: 1993–94, 1994–
The 2001–02 Euroleague was the second season of the professional basketball competition for elite clubs throughout Europe, organised by Euroleague Basketball Company, it was the 45th season of the premier competition for European men's clubs overall. The season started on October 10, 2001, ended on May 5, 2002; the Final Four was hosted in the PalaMalaguti in Italy. A number of 32 teams competed for the championship, won by Panathinaikos. Mirsad Türkcan was named Regular season MVP, while Dejan Bodiroga was awarded EuroLeague Top 16 MVP and EuroLeague Final Four MVP. 41 teams in total with the qualification rounds, 32 teams at the first group stage, playing in a tournament system. The competition culminated in a Final Four; the table below shows the default access list. The labels in the parentheses show how each team qualified for the place of its starting round 1st, 2nd, etc.: League position after Playoffs WC: Wild card The first phase was a regular season, in which the competing teams were drawn into four groups, each containing eight teams.
Each team played every other team in its group at home and away, resulting in 14 games for each team in the first stage. The top 4 teams in each group advanced to the next round, The Top 16; the complete list of tiebreakers is provided in the lead-in to the Regular Season results. If one or more clubs were level on won-lost record, tiebreakers were applied in the following order: Head-to-head record in matches between the tied clubs Overall point difference in games between the tied clubs Overall point difference in all group matches Points scored in all group matches Sum of quotients of points scored and points allowed in each group match The remaining 16 teams were placed into four groups of four teams each; each team played every other team in its group twice, once away. The top teams of each of the four groups advanced to the Final Four. 2001–02 FIBA Saporta Cup 2001–02 FIBA Korać Cup Euroleague 2001/02 ULEB Euroleague 2001/02 Euroleague.net - Official Euroleague homepage. Eurobasket.com - Popular basketball news site.
TalkBasket.net - Basketball forum
Piraeus is a port city in the region of Attica, Greece. Piraeus is located within the Athens urban area, 12 kilometres southwest from its city centre, lies along the east coast of the Saronic Gulf. According to the 2011 census, Piraeus had a population of 163,688 people within its administrative limits, making it the fourth largest municipality in Greece and the second largest within the urban area of the Greek capital, following the municipality of Athens; the municipality of Piraeus and several other suburban municipalities within the regional unit of Piraeus form the greater Piraeus area, with a total population of 448,997. Piraeus has a long recorded history, dating to ancient Greece; the city was developed in the early 5th century BC, when it was selected to serve as the port city of classical Athens and was transformed into a prototype harbour, concentrating all the import and transit trade of Athens. During the Golden Age of Athens the Long Walls were constructed to fortify its port, it became the chief harbour of ancient Greece, but declined after the 4th century AD, growing once more in the 19th century, after Athens' declaration as the capital of Greece.
In the modern era, Piraeus is a large city, bustling with activity and an integral part of Athens, acting as home to the country's biggest harbour and bearing all the characteristics of a huge marine and commercial-industrial centre. The port of Piraeus is the chief port in Greece, the largest passenger port in Europe and the second largest in the world, servicing about 20 million passengers annually. With a throughput of 1.4 million TEUs, Piraeus is placed among the top ten ports in container traffic in Europe and the top container port in the Eastern Mediterranean. The city hosted events in both the 1896 and 2004 Summer Olympics held in Athens; the University of Piraeus is one of the largest universities in Greece. Piraeus, which means'the place over the passage', has been inhabited since the 26th century BC. In prehistoric times, Piraeus was a rocky island consisting of the steep hill of Munichia, modern-day Kastella, was connected to the mainland by a low-lying stretch of land, flooded with sea water most of the year, used as a salt field whenever it dried up.
It was called the Halipedon, meaning the'salt field', its muddy soil made it a tricky passage. Through the centuries, the area was silted and flooding ceased, thus by early classical times the land passage was made safe. In ancient Greece, Piraeus assumed its importance with its three deep water harbours, the main port of Cantharus and the two smaller of Zea and Munichia, replaced the older and shallow Phaleron harbour, which fell into disuse. In the late 6th century BC, the area caught attention due to its advantages. In 511 BC, the hill of Munichia was fortified by Hippias and four years Piraeus became a deme of Athens by Cleisthenes. According to the ancient Greek historian Thucydides, in 493 BC, Themistocles initiated the fortification works in Piraeus and advised the Athenians to take advantage of its natural harbours' strategic potential instead of using the sandy bay of Phaleron. In 483 BC, a new silver vein was discovered in Laurion mines, utilized to fund the construction of 200 triremes, the Athenian fleet, transferred to Piraeus and was built in its shipyards.
The Athenian fleet played a crucial role in the battle of Salamis against the Persians in 480 BC. From on Piraeus was permanently used as the navy base. After the second Persian invasion of Greece, Themistocles fortified the three harbours of Piraeus and created the neosoikoi; the city's fortification was farther reinforced by the construction of the Long Walls under Cimon and Pericles, with which secure port's route to Athens main city. Meanwhile, Piraeus was rebuilt to the famous grid plan of architect Hippodamus of Miletus, known as the Hippodamian plan, the main agora of the city was named after him in honour; as a result, Piraeus flourished and became a port of high security and great commercial activity, a city bustling with life. During the Peloponnesian War, Piraeus suffered its first setback. In the second year of the war, the first cases of the Athens plague were recorded in Piraeus. In 429 the Spartans ravaged Salamis as part of an abortive attack on the Piraeus, when the Athenians responded by sending a fleet to investigate, the Spartan alliance forces fled.
In 404 BC, the Spartan fleet under Lysander blockaded Piraeus and subsequently Athens surrendered to the Spartans, putting an end to the Delian League and the war itself. Piraeus would follow the fate of Athens and was to bear the brunt of the Spartans' rage, as the city's walls and the Long Walls were torn down; as a result, the tattered and unfortified port city was not able to compete with prosperous Rhodes, which controlled commerce. In 403 BC, Munichia was seized by Thrasybulus and the exiles from Phyle, in the battle of Munichia, where the Phyleans defeated the Thirty Tyrants of Athens, but in the following battle of Piraeus the exiles were defeated by Spartan forces. After the reinstatement of democracy, Conon rebuilt the walls in 393 BC, founded the temple of Aphrodite Euploia and the sanctuary of Zeus Sotiros and Athena, built the famous Skeuotheke of Philon, the ruins of which have been discovered at Zea harbour; the reconstruction of Piraeus went on