The EuroLeague, known as the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague for sponsorship reasons, is the top-tier European professional basketball club competition, organized by Euroleague Basketball since 2000. Introduced in 2000, the competition replaced the FIBA EuroLeague, run by FIBA since 1958; the FIBA European Champions Cup and the EuroLeague are considered to be the same competition, with the change of name being a re-branding. The EuroLeague is one of the most popular indoor sports leagues in the world, with an average attendance of 8,780 for league matches in the 2017–18 season; that was the fifth-highest of any professional indoor sports league in the world, the second-highest of any professional basketball league in the world, only behind the National Basketball Association. The EuroLeague title has been won by 21 different clubs, 13 of which have won the title more than once; the most successful club in the competition is Real Madrid, with ten titles. Real Madrid are the current champions, having defeated Fenerbahçe in the 2018 final.
The FIBA European Champions Cup was established by FIBA and it operated under its umbrella from 1958 until the summer of 2000, concluding with the 1999–00 season. That was. FIBA had never trademarked the "EuroLeague" name though it had used that name for the competition since 1996. Euroleague Basketball appropriated the name, since FIBA had no legal recourse to do anything about it, it was forced to find a new name for its championship series. Thus, the following 2000–2001 season started with two separate top European professional club basketball competitions: the FIBA SuproLeague and the brand new Euroleague 2000–01 season; the rift in European professional club basketball showed no signs of letting up. Top clubs were split between the two leagues: Panathinaikos, Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv, CSKA Moscow and Efes Pilsen stayed with FIBA, while Olympiacos, Kinder Bologna, Real Madrid Teka, FC Barcelona, Paf Wennington Bologna, Benetton Treviso, AEK and Tau Cerámica joined Euroleague Basketball. In May 2001, Europe had two continental champions, Maccabi of the FIBA SuproLeague and Kinder Bologna of the Euroleague.
The leaders of both organizations realized the need to come up with a unified competition. Although only a year old, Euroleague Basketball negotiated from a position of strength and dictated proceedings. FIBA had no choice but to agree to Euroleague Basketball's terms; as a result, European club competition was integrated under Euroleague Basketball's umbrella and teams that competed in the FIBA SuproLeague during the 2000–01 season joined it as well. In essence, the authority in European professional basketball was divided over club-country lines. FIBA stayed in charge of national team competitions, while Euroleague Basketball took over the European professional club competitions. From that point on, FIBA's Korać Cup and Saporta Cup competitions lasted only one more season before folding, when Euroleague Basketball launched the ULEB Cup, now known as the EuroCup. In November 2015, Euroleague Basketball and IMG agreed on 10-year joint venture. Both Euroleague Basketball and IMG will manage the commercial operation, the management of all global rights covering both media and marketing.
The deal was worth €630 million guaranteed over 10 years, with projected revenues reaching €900 million. On 26 July 2010, Turkish Airlines and Euroleague Basketball announced a €15 million strategic agreement to sponsor the top European basketball competition across the globe. According to the agreement, starting with the 2010–11 season, the top European competition would be named Turkish Airlines Euroleague Basketball; the EuroLeague Final Four would be named the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four, whereby the new league title would appear in all media accordingly. This title partnership was set to run for five seasons, with the option of extending it to an additional five. On 23 October 2013, Turkish Airlines and Euroleague Basketball agreed to extend their partnership, up until 2020. FIBA era: FIBA European Champions Cup: FIBA European League: FIBA EuroLeague: FIBA SuproLeague: Euroleague Basketball era: Euroleague:. EuroLeague:.*There were two separate competitions during the 2000–01 season.
The SuproLeague, organized by FIBA, the Euroleague, organized by Euroleague Basketball. The EuroLeague operated under a tournament system, from its inaugural 1958 season, through the 2015–16 season. FIBA European Champions Cup: The champions of European national domestic leagues, the current European Champions Cup title holders, competing against each other, played in a tournament system; the league culminated with either a single game final, or a 2-game aggregate score finals. FIBA European Champions Cup: The champions of European national domestic leagues, competing against each other, played in a tournament system; the league culminated with a Final Four. FIBA European League: The champions of the European national domestic leagues, the current European League title holders, along with some of the other biggest teams from the most important national domestic leagues, played in a tournament system; the league culminated with a Final Four. FIBA EuroLeague: The champions of th
Slovenian Railways is the state railway company of Slovenia, created in 1991 from the Ljubljana division of the former Yugoslav Railways after the breakup of Yugoslavia. Slovenia is a member of the International Union of Railways; the UIC Country Code for Slovenia is 79. Slovenia received its first railway connection in the 1840s, when the Austrian Empire built a railway connection - Südliche Staatsbahn or Austrian Southern Railway - between its capital and its major commercial port, Trieste. Thus, Maribor was connected by railway to Graz in 1844; the stretch was extended via Pragersko to Celje in 1846, further via Zidani Most to Ljubljana in 1849. A double-track line was continued via Postojna and Divača reaching Trieste in 1857. Before World War I, numerous other railways were built. In 1860, Pragersko was connected to Ormož and further to Čakovec, thus connecting the Austrian and the Hungarian part of the empire. In 1862, a single-track railway along the Sava river was built. In 1863, the "Carinthian railway" was built along the Drava river, connecting Maribor with Dravograd and Villach.
In 1870, a railway along the upper Sava river valley was built, connecting Ljubljana with Kranj and Tarvisio, Italy. In 1873, a line from Pivka via Illirska Bistrica connected Rijeka the most important commercial port in the Hungarian part of the empire. In 1876, a line from Divača connected the Austrian naval base, via Prešnica. In 1906, Bohinj Railway was built, connecting Villach with Jesenice, along the Soča river valley to Gorizia and further to Trieste, with two over-6000 meter tunnels. Few lines were opened after World War I. One of them connected Ormož with Ljutomer and Murska Sobota, opened in 1924. After World War II, a single-track electrified line connecting Prešnica with Koper was built in 1967. In 1999, a single-track line between Murska Sobota and Hodoš was rebuilt, offering a direct connection with the Hungarian railway system; the line was built in 1907 and closed down in 1968 among numerous other lines closed down during the 1960s. In April 2016 the electrification of the Pragersko - Hodoš line was completed.
Numerous ex-Yugoslav Railways steam locomotives are plinthed at stations around Slovenia and there is a railway museum at Ljubljana. Slovenian Railways operates 1,229 km of standard gauge tracks, 331 km as double track, reaches all regions of the country, it is remarkably well connected to all surrounding countries, reflecting the fact that Slovenia used to be part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and of Yugoslavia. Left-hand running is used on double-track sections, unlike the remainder of the former Yugoslavian railways. Electrification is provided by a 3 kV DC system and covers about 503 km, with electrification from Pragersko to Hodoš on the Corridor V completed in April 2016; the remainder of the former Yugoslavian railways that have been electrified operate with the 25 kV AC system, so that trains to Zagreb change engines at Dobova until dual system engines become available. The DC system was inherited from the Italian Ferrovie dello Stato on the Sežana-Pivka-Ilirska Bistrica-Šapjane line.
Further electrification was conducted with the same system to preserve compatibility. A high-speed rail line between Ljubljana and Dobova is now proposed; this high-speed rail will be electrified with right-hand running. Same gauge Austria — voltage change to 15 kV AC Croatia — voltage change to 25 kV 50 Hz AC Hungary — voltage change to 25 kV 50 Hz AC Italy — same voltage 3 kV DC Ljubljana is at the heart of the SŽ system. Here, the Pan-European corridors V and X intersect; these transportation corridors are being established to tie larger segments of Europe economically together: Corridor V links Venice - Trieste/Koper - Ljubljana - Maribor - Budapest - Kiev, while Corridor X connects Salzburg - Ljubljana - Zagreb - Belgrade - Skopje - Thessalonica. The freight system to Koper, a modern and growing port near Trieste, represents the shortest connection to the Mediterranean for a large portion of the hinterland of Central and Eastern Europe. In 2010, Slovenske železnice joined a joint venture with other railways in the region.
The ICS trains are air-conditioned trains which provide fast speeds and comfort. They are equipped with other facilities; the passengers can buy food on board, the 1st class passengers are offered food free of charge. There are electric sockets in the 1st class department; the train is a tilting EMU. The reservation of a seat is included in the price of the ticket. Included in the price of the ticket is the obligatory ICS supplement; the ICS trains run on the following line: Spielfeld-Straß Maribor connection to Holmec and onwards to Austria Pragersko connection to Središče connection to Hodoš and onwards to Hungary Celje connection to Velenje connection to Sveti Rok ob Sotli connection to Imeno Zidani Most connection to Dobova and onwards to Croatia Ljubljana connection to Rosalnice and onwards to Croatia connection to Jesenice and onwards to Austria connection to Kamnik Graben connection to Ljubljana Moste Pivka connection to Ilirska Bistrica and onwards to Croatia Divača connection to Sežana Hrpelje-Kozina connection to Rakitovec and onwards to Croatia Koper The IC trains are quality trains serving longer distances in national and international traffic.
They connect bigger towns and tourist
Serbian Cyrillic alphabet
The Serbian Cyrillic alphabet is an adaptation of the Cyrillic script for Serbo-Croatian, developed in 1818 by Serbian linguist Vuk Karadžić. It is one of the two alphabets used to write standard modern Serbian and Montenegrin, the other being Latin. In Croatian and Bosnian, only the Latin alphabet is used. Karadžić based his alphabet on the previous "Slavonic-Serbian" script, following the principle of "write as you speak and read as it is written", removing obsolete letters and letters representing iotified vowels, introducing ⟨J⟩ from the Latin alphabet instead, adding several consonant letters for sounds specific to Serbian phonology. During the same period, Croatian linguists led by Ljudevit Gaj adapted the Latin alphabet, in use in western South Slavic areas, using the same principles; as a result of this joint effort and Latin alphabets for Serbo-Croatian have a complete one-to-one congruence, with the Latin digraphs Lj, Nj, Dž counting as single letters. Vuk's Cyrillic alphabet was adopted in Serbia in 1868, was in exclusive use in the country up to the inter-war period.
Both alphabets were co-official in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Due to the shared cultural area, Gaj's Latin alphabet saw a gradual adoption in Serbia since, both scripts are used to write modern standard Serbian and Bosnian. In Serbia, Cyrillic is seen as being more traditional, has the official status, it is an official script in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro, along with Latin. The Serbian Cyrillic alphabet was used as a basis for the Macedonian alphabet with the work of Krste Misirkov and Venko Markovski. Cyrillic is in official use in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Although the Bosnian language "officially accept both alphabets", the Latin script is always used in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, whereas Cyrillic is in everyday use in Republika Srpska; the Serbian language in Croatia is recognized as a minority language, the use of Cyrillic in bilingual signs has sparked protests and vandalism. Cyrillic is an important symbol of Serbian identity.
In Serbia, official documents are printed in Cyrillic only though, according to a 2014 survey, 47% of the Serbian population write in the Latin alphabet whereas 36% write in Cyrillic. The following table provides the upper and lower case forms of the Serbian Cyrillic alphabet, along with the equivalent forms in the Serbian Latin alphabet and the International Phonetic Alphabet value for each letter: According to tradition, Glagolitic was invented by the Byzantine Christian missionaries and brothers Cyril and Methodius in the 860s, amid the Christianization of the Slavs. Glagolitic appears to be older, predating the introduction of Christianity, only formalized by Cyril and expanded to cover non-Greek sounds. Cyrillic was created by the orders of Boris I of Bulgaria by Cyril's disciples at the Preslav Literary School in the 890s; the earliest form of Cyrillic was the ustav, based on Greek uncial script, augmented by ligatures and letters from the Glagolitic alphabet for consonants not found in Greek.
There was no distinction between lowercase letters. The literary Slavic language was based on the Bulgarian dialect of Thessaloniki. Part of the Serbian literary heritage of the Middle Ages are works such as Vukan Gospels, St. Sava's Nomocanon, Dušan's Code, Munich Serbian Psalter, others; the first printed book in Serbian was the Cetinje Octoechos. Vuk Stefanović Karadžić fled Serbia during the Serbian Revolution to Vienna. There he met a linguist with interest in slavistics. Kopitar and Sava Mrkalj helped Vuk to reform its orthography, he finalized the alphabet in 1818 with the Serbian Dictionary. Karadžić reformed the Serbian literary language and standardised the Serbian Cyrillic alphabet by following strict phonemic principles on the Johann Christoph Adelung' model and Jan Hus' Czech alphabet. Karadžić's reforms of the Serbian literary language modernised it and distanced it from Serbian and Russian Church Slavonic, instead bringing it closer to common folk speech to the dialect of Eastern Herzegovina which he spoke.
Karadžić was, together with Đuro Daničić, the main Serbian signatory to the Vienna Literary Agreement of 1850 which, encouraged by Austrian authorities, laid the foundation for the Serbian language, various forms of which are used by Serbs in Serbia, Montenegro and Herzegovina and Croatia today. Karadžić translated the New Testament into Serbian, published in 1868, he wrote several books. In his letters from 1815-1818 he used: Ю, Я, Ы and Ѳ. In his 1815 song book he dropped the Ѣ; the alphabet was adopted in 1868, four years after his death. From the Old Slavic script Vuk retained these 24 letters: He added one Latin letter: And 5 new ones: He removed: Orders issued on the 3 and 13 October 1914 banned the use of Serbian Cyrillic in the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia, limiting it for use in religious instruction. A decree was passed on January 3, 1915, that banned Serbian Cyrillic from public use. An imperial order in October 25, 1915, banned the use of Serbian Cyrillic in the Condominium of Bosnia and Herzegovina, except "within the scope of Serb Orthodox Church
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2, it is the country's most populated comune, it is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio, along the shores of the Tiber; the Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been defined as capital of two states. Rome's history spans 28 centuries. While Roman mythology dates the founding of Rome at around 753 BC, the site has been inhabited for much longer, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe; the city's early population originated from a mix of Latins and Sabines.
The city successively became the capital of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, is regarded by some as the first metropolis. It was first called The Eternal City by the Roman poet Tibullus in the 1st century BC, the expression was taken up by Ovid and Livy. Rome is called the "Caput Mundi". After the fall of the Western Empire, which marked the beginning of the Middle Ages, Rome fell under the political control of the Papacy, in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. Beginning with the Renaissance all the popes since Nicholas V pursued over four hundred years a coherent architectural and urban programme aimed at making the city the artistic and cultural centre of the world. In this way, Rome became first one of the major centres of the Italian Renaissance, the birthplace of both the Baroque style and Neoclassicism. Famous artists, painters and architects made Rome the centre of their activity, creating masterpieces throughout the city.
In 1871, Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, which, in 1946, became the Italian Republic. Rome has the status of a global city. In 2016, Rome ranked as the 14th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, the most popular tourist attraction in Italy, its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The famous Vatican Museums are among the world's most visited museums while the Colosseum was the most popular tourist attraction in world with 7.4 million visitors in 2018. Host city for the 1960 Summer Olympics, Rome is the seat of several specialized agencies of the United Nations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development; the city hosts the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean as well as the headquarters of many international business companies such as Eni, Enel, TIM, Leonardo S.p. A. and national and international banks such as Unicredit and BNL.
Its business district, called EUR, is the base of many companies involved in the oil industry, the pharmaceutical industry, financial services. Rome is an important fashion and design centre thanks to renowned international brands centered in the city. Rome's Cinecittà Studios have been the set of many Academy Award–winning movies. According to the founding myth of the city by the Ancient Romans themselves, the long-held tradition of the origin of the name Roma is believed to have come from the city's founder and first king, Romulus. However, it is a possibility that the name Romulus was derived from Rome itself; as early as the 4th century, there have been alternative theories proposed on the origin of the name Roma. Several hypotheses have been advanced focusing on its linguistic roots which however remain uncertain: from Rumon or Rumen, archaic name of the Tiber, which in turn has the same root as the Greek verb ῥέω and the Latin verb ruo, which both mean "flow". There is archaeological evidence of human occupation of the Rome area from 14,000 years ago, but the dense layer of much younger debris obscures Palaeolithic and Neolithic sites.
Evidence of stone tools and stone weapons attest to about 10,000 years of human presence. Several excavations support the view that Rome grew from pastoral settlements on the Palatine Hill built above the area of the future Roman Forum. Between the end of the bronze age and the beginning of the Iron age, each hill between the sea and the Capitol was topped by a village. However, none of them had yet an urban quality. Nowadays, there is a wide consensus that the city developed through the aggregation of several villages around the largest one, placed above the Palatine; this aggregation was facilitated by the increase of agricultural productivity above the subsistence level, which allowed the establishment of secondary and tertiary activities. These in turn boosted the development of trade with the Greek colonies of southern Italy; these developments, which according to archaeological ev
2009–10 NBA season
The 2009–10 NBA season was the 64th season of the National Basketball Association. The 1,230-game regular season began on Tuesday, October 27, 2009, ended on Wednesday, April 14, 2010; the 2009 NBA draft was held on June 25, 2009, Blake Griffin was selected first overall by the Los Angeles Clippers. The Dallas Mavericks hosted the 59th Annual All-Star Game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on February 14, 2010. For the second time in NBA history, all eight Western Conference playoff teams won at least 50 games, only 7 wins separated the Western Conference #1 seed from #8 seed. Both of these events first occurred in 2008. Cleveland's league-leading 61 wins was the lowest win total to lead the league since the Indiana Pacers won 61 games in 2003–04; the New Jersey Nets became the fifth team in NBA history to lose 70 games in a season. On April 22, the Washington Wizards hired Flip Saunders as head coach, replacing interim head coach Ed Tapscott. On April 23, the Sacramento Kings fired interim head coach Kenny Natt and four assistant coaches after the Kings finished with a season-low 17 wins.
On May 11, the Philadelphia 76ers' interim head coach Tony DiLeo decided to withdraw his name from consideration as head coach for the 2009–10 season, citing family concerns. DiLeo retains his old position as Senior Vice President. On June 1, the Philadelphia 76ers hired Eddie Jordan as head coach. On June 9, the Sacramento Kings hired Paul Westphal as head coach. On June 17, the Minnesota Timberwolves fired interim head coach Kevin McHale, ending McHale's 15-year association with the franchise. On June 30, the Detroit Pistons fired head coach Michael Curry, after only one season at the position. On July 9, the Detroit Pistons hired Cavaliers assistant coach John Kuester as head coach. On August 10, the Minnesota Timberwolves hired Lakers assistant coach Kurt Rambis as head coach. On November 12, the New Orleans Hornets fired Byron Scott as head coach, replacing him on an interim basis with general manager Jeff Bower. On November 29, the New Jersey Nets fired Lawrence Frank as head coach, replacing him on an interim basis with assistant coach Tom Barrise.
On December 1, the New Jersey Nets appointed general manager Kiki Vandeweghe as an interim head coach, replacing Tom Barrise who coached the team for two games after Lawrence Frank was fired. On February 4, Los Angeles Clippers head coach Mike Dunleavy stepped down from coaching duties, he retained his position as the team's general manager. Assistant coach Kim Hughes replaced him as head coach on interim basis. June On June 10, 2009, one-time All-Star Game MVP Randy Smith died at the age of 60. On June 25, 2009, the 2009 NBA draft was held at New York City. Blake Griffin was selected first overall by the Los Angeles Clippers. July On July 7, 2009, the NBA announced that the salary cap for the 2009–10 season would be $57.70 million and would go into effect on July 8. September On September 1, 2009, the five-year contract between the NBA and its referees expired. Both parties had failed to negotiate a new contract by the start of the pre-season, resulting in a lockout by the National Basketball Referees Association starting on September 18.
On September 5, 2009, three-time NBA Champion Bruce Bowen retired after 12 seasons in the NBA, at the age of 38. On September 11, 2009, Charlotte Bobcats co-owner William Beck died in a plane crash, at the age of 49. On September 11, 2009, NBA legends Michael Jordan, John Stockton and David Robinson along with Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan were inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. On September 16, 2009, Indiana Pacers co-owner Melvin Simon died at the age of 82. On September 24, 2009, Mikhail Prokhorov, who at the time was Russia's richest man according to Forbes magazine, reached a deal to become the majority owner of the New Jersey Nets and to fund nearly half the cost of building the Nets' new arena. On September 30, 2009, the NBA issued a policy regarding Twitter and other social media sites, banning players and other team basketball operations personnel from using them during games. October On October 1, the pre-season games started and were refereed by replacement referees from the Women's National Basketball Association and the NBA D-League due to the lockout of referees.
This marked the first time. On October 2, the NBA Board of Governors approved the expanded use of instant replay starting this season to determine whether a 24-second shot clock violation occurred during a play, to determine during the last two minutes of regulation play or any overtime period which player last touched the ball prior to it going out-of-bounds. On October 8, the NBA played its first-ever game in Taipei. A pre-season game between the Indiana Pacers and the Denver Nuggets was played at Taipei Arena. Taipei became the seventh Asian city to host an NBA game, after Beijing, Macau, Shanghai and Yokohama. On October 9, Marvin Fishman, one of the original owners of the Milwaukee Bucks, died at the age of 84. On October 23, the NBA and its referees announced that they have agreed on a new labor agreement for the next two seasons, thus ending the lockout of referees. On October 27, the regular season opened with a record of 83 international players on the opening night rosters, tying the records set in the 2006–07 season.
Israeli Omri Casspi, Swede Jonas Jerebko and Tanzanian Hasheem Thabeet were representing their countries for the first time in the NBA. The opening night rosters featured a record number of former D-League players with 63 players on 29 NBA teams. November On November 10, Hall of Famer coach Al Cervi died at the age of 92. On November 24, W
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
The Toronto Raptors are a Canadian professional basketball team based in Toronto, Ontario. The Raptors compete in the National Basketball Association, as a member club of the league's Eastern Conference Atlantic Division. Founded in 1995 as part of the NBA's expansion into Canada, the Raptors are the only Canadian-based team in the league, they play their home games at the Scotiabank Arena. Like most expansion teams, the Raptors struggled in their early years, but after the acquisition of Vince Carter through a draft day trade in 1998, the team set league-attendance records and made the NBA playoffs in 2000, 2001, 2002. Carter was instrumental in leading the team to their first playoff series win in 2001, where they advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals. During the 2002–03 and 2003–04 seasons, they failed to make significant progress, Carter was traded in 2004 to the New Jersey Nets. After Carter left, Chris Bosh emerged as the team leader. In the 2006–07 season, Bryan Colangelo was appointed as General Manager, through a combination of Bosh, 2006 first overall draft pick Andrea Bargnani, a revamp of the roster, the Raptors qualified for their first playoff berth in five years, capturing the Atlantic Division title.
In the 2007–08 season, they advanced to the playoffs, but failed to reach the post-season in each of the next five seasons. Colangelo overhauled the team's roster for the 2009–10 season in a bid to persuade pending free agent Bosh to stay, but Bosh departed to sign with the Miami Heat in July 2010, ushering in yet another era of rebuilding for the Raptors. Masai Ujiri replaced Colangelo in 2013, helped herald a new era of success, led by backcourt duo Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan; the Raptors returned to the playoffs the following year and became a consistent playoff team in every year of Ujiri's tenure. Under Ujiri, the team won five Division titles and registered their most successful regular season in 2018. However, the team's failure to reach beyond the conference finals prompted Ujiri to fire head coach Dwane Casey shortly after the playoffs concluded and conduct the high-profile trade of DeRozan for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green that summer, as well as Marc Gasol before the trade deadline.
The Toronto Raptors were established on November 4, 1993, when the NBA, as part of its expansion into Canada, awarded its 28th franchise to a group headed by Toronto businessman John Bitove for a then-record expansion fee of $125 million USD. Bitove and Allan Slaight of Slaight Communications each owned 44 per cent, with the Bank of Nova Scotia, David Peterson, Phil Granovsky being minority partners. Wagering on NBA games in Ontario nearly cost Toronto the expansion franchise, due to strict league rules at the time that prohibited gambling. However, an agreement was reached whereby the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, the provincial lottery corporation that regulates gambling in Ontario, agreed to stop offering wagering on all NBA games in exchange for a donation by the Raptors of $5 million in its first three years and $1 million annually afterwards to its charitable foundation to compensate OLG for its loss of revenue; the Raptors, along with the Vancouver Grizzlies, played their first game in 1995, were the first NBA teams based in Canada since the 1946–47 Toronto Huskies of the Basketball Association of America, though the Buffalo Braves had played a total of 16 regular season games at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto from 1971 to 1975.
The Raptors marked a return of professional basketball to the city after a 48-year absence. Initial sentiment was in favour of reviving the Huskies nickname, but team management realized it would be nearly impossible to design a logo that did not resemble that of the Minnesota Timberwolves; as a result, a nationwide contest was held to help develop their colours and logo. Over 2,000 entries were narrowed down to eleven prospects: Beavers, Dragons, Hogs, Scorpions, T-Rex, Tarantulas and Towers; the final selection—Toronto Raptors—was unveiled on Canadian national television on May 15, 1994: the choice was influenced by the popularity of the 1993 film adaption of the 1990 science fiction novel Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. The name "Raptor" is a common informal name for the Velociraptor, a swift medium-sized dromaeosaurid theropod non-avian dinosaur. On May 24, 1994, the team's logo and first General Manager, Isiah Thomas, were revealed at a press conference; as part of the deal, Thomas received an option to purchase part of the team for under market value.
He would purchase 4.5 per cent in May 1995 and a further 4.5 per cent in December 1995, half each from Bitove and Slaight, decreasing their share to 39.5 per cent. The team's colours of bright red, purple and silver were revealed; the team competed in the Central Division, before the inaugural season began, sales of Raptors merchandise ranked seventh in the league, marking a successful return of professional basketball to Canada. As General Manager, Isiah Thomas staffed the management positions with his own personnel, naming long-time Detroit Pistons assistant Brendan Malone as the Raptors' head coach; the team's roster was filled as a result of an expansion draft in 1995. Following a coin flip, Toronto was given first choice and selected Chicago Bulls point guard and three-point specialist B. J. Armstrong. Armstrong refused to report for training, Thomas promptly traded him to the Golden State Warriors for power forwards Carlos Rogers and Victor Alexander. Thomas selected a wi