AIR054: Mario Elie – Three-time NBA Champion & Rockets’ 30-Year Team member | Podcast

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Mario Elie - moments before his 'Kiss of Death'Three-time NBA Champion and one of Houston’s Top 10 Players of all-time, Mario Elie.

We discuss Mario’s incredible journey from New York’s Power Memorial High School, through to becoming a three-time NBA Champion – a perfect example of hard work, determination and achievement. Many years before he joined the Golden State Warriors, Mario was teammates with future Hall of Famer, Chris Mullin. We reminisce about Mario’s HS career and decision to play for American International College. He had a stellar run and was named Conference Rookie of the Year (1982), three-time All-American and led his division II team to the Elite Eight in the 1985 NCAA Tournament. He was inducted into AIC’s Hall of Fame in 2005, and earlier this year, had his #41 jersey retired.

 

The Milwaukee Bucks selected Elie with pick 160 (7th round) in the 1985 NBA Draft. His first NBA game was more than five seasons later (Dec 28, 1990). In the interim, Mario played in numerous countries across Europe – Ireland, Argentina and Portugal, to name a few – further developing his game. He returned to home soil and played in developmental leagues across America, including the USBL, WBL & CBA (where he would become an All-Star).

In December, 1990, Mario’s NBA opportunity arrived, courtesy of then-76ers GM, Gene Shue. The countless miles of travel and perseverance paid off. After a brief stint with Philadelphia, Mario signed with Golden State, where he played alongside the famed ‘Run TMC’ (Hardaway, Richmond & Mullin). Two seasons later (1993), he was a Trail Blazer.

We chat about the moment Mario found out he was traded to the Rockets, and deep dive into his career with Houston, where he played five seasons and won two NBA Championships. In the do-or-die Game 7 of the 1995 Western Conference Semi-Finals, he made one of the biggest shots in NBA history – affectionately known as the ‘Kiss of Death’. He shares the details of how that famous show of emotion, came to be.

 

Prior to the (1999) lockout-shortened season, Mario signed as a free agent with San Antonio, where he won his third NBA title. He talks about his key role in Sean Elliott‘s Memorial Day Miracle and the leadership of Hall of Famer, David Robinson, and (future Hall of Famer) a young Tim Duncan. I even find a way to briefly talk about another teammate of Mario’s, Australian legend, Andrew Gaze.

 

Recently, the Houston Rockets celebrated the 20th anniversary of their back-to-back NBA Championships. Mario talks about that experience and the joy of re-connecting with many of his friends and former teammates, including Vernon Maxwell, Sam Cassell, Robert Horry, Clyde Drexler, Hakeem Olajuwon, Otis Thorpe, Kenny Smith, Chucky Brown, Rudy Tomjanovich and more.

 

We round out the discussion, by chatting about Mario’s coaching background. He has worked as an NBA assistant coach for the best part of ten years. He discusses those experiences, his future ambitions at the highest level and the ultimate moment of his career, to date.

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AIR053: Luc Longley (three-time NBA Champion) talks Jordan’s, “I’m back”, Bulls and more | Podcast

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Luc and JordanThree-time Olympian / NBA Champion and Australia’s first ever NBA player, Luc Longley.

Today marks the 20th anniversary of Michael Jordan‘s (first) NBA return. I’m delighted to welcome back Luc Longley to the podcast. We discuss his recollections of the hoopla surrounding MJ’s return to the Chicago Bulls, following Jordan’s 1993 retirement.

This conversation is much more than simply chatting about Jordan’s comeback. We also delve deeper into Luc’s career with the Bulls and reminisce about some of Chicago’s memorable playoff series’, versus:

- New York Knicks (1994: Toni Kukoc‘s game-winner and Scottie Pippen‘s monster dunk on Patrick Ewing)

– Orlando Magic (1995: Bulls’ shock exit and Horace Grant‘s post-series celebration)

- Orlando Magic (1996: Chicago’s four-game sweep and Luc’s match-up against Shaquille O’Neal).

Further, I share my story about meeting Luc in 1991 and he talks fondly about the friendships he developed playing alongside memorable teammates, including Bill Cartwright, John Paxson and B.J. Armstrong. We find time to talk about his assistant coaching role with the Australian Boomers, the future of basketball in Australia and the importance of players like Andrew Bogut, Patty Mills, Joe Ingles and Dante Exum.

We also reference a great article that recently appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, titled, “Luc Longley – from running with the Chicago Bulls to falling in love with basketball again”. You can read the feature here (written by David Sygall).

Oh, and Luc totally tricks me into believing a ludicrous story about Jordan, that somehow I didn’t even bat an eyelid at. This is a really enjoyable chat.

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AIR052: (Our) Greatest NBA Broadcasters and Commentators | Podcast

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Mike Fratello (The Czar) and Marv(ellous) Albert

Adam & Aaron select their Top 5 NBA Broadcasters / Commentators.

We chat about those responsible for fostering our respective love for the game of basketball. Primarily, we talk about the golden era of not only the NBA, but commentary, too. This episode is littered with sound-bites from some of the most-iconic commentators the game has ever known. We primarily focus on the time-frame 1984 to 1998. We know you’ll enjoy this audible trip down memory lane.

A sprinkling of those mentioned / sound-checked in this episode, include: Marv Albert, Mike Fratello, Ron Thulin, Bob Neal, Doug Collins, Bob Costas, Peter Vecsey, Dick Stockton, Hubie Brown, Ahmad Rashad, Michael Jordan, Shawn Kemp, Isiah Thomas, Dennis Rodman, Rick Mahorn, Gary Payton, Dikembe Mutombo, Karl Malone, Toni Kukoc, Reggie Miller & Robert Pack.

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NB85-18: Michael Jordan’s rookie NBA season – All-Star Game – February 10, 1985 | Podcast

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Michael Jordan's air, apparent

Adam & Aaron celebrate the 30th anniversary of Michael Jordan‘s (1984) arrival in the National Basketball Association. This episode covers:

 

* 1985 NBA All-Star Game – February 10, 1985

 

In this episode, we break down the NBA’s thirty-fifth All-Star Game. The game was played at the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana, in-front of a then-record NBA crowd of 43,146. We were fortunate to have access to the game DVD, giving us plenty of topics and moments to talk about, including the alleged ‘freeze-out’ of Michael Jordan, supposedly led by Isiah Thomas.

We chat about Alex English and his humanitarian efforts. Following encouragement from Alex, his fellow stars donated their game payments to an Ethiopian relief effort. The game itself was played at a fast pace, led by perennial All-Stars, Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas. Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon – who finished with similar stat-lines – were the only rookies who played in the game.

This episode continues our coverage of the 1984-85 NBA season. We encourage your interaction. Feel free to suggest specific games, moments and events from within the season, for us to cover in future episodes of the series. Thanks for taking the time to listen to the show. If you enjoy the content, please share it with your friends!

The most prominent players mentioned in this episode, include: Michael Jordan, Ralph Sampson, Larry Nance, George Gervin, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Moses Malone, Bernard King, Sidney MoncriefTerry Cummings & Calvin Natt.

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AIR051: Paul Corliss – VP, Marketing and Communications – National Basketball Retired Players Association | Podcast

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Paul CorlissNBRPA Vice President, Marketing & Communications, Paul Corliss.

The National Basketball Retired Players Association, was founded in 1992 by NBA luminaries, Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Archie Clark, Dave Cowens and Oscar Robertson. The NBRPA is a non-profit association comprised of former professional basketball players (NBA, ABA, Harlem Globetrotters, and WNBA). It is the only alumni association of its kind, supported directly by the NBA and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA).

We cover Paul’s career as a sports writer, after he graduated from college. He then worked at NASCAR and the NFL for the best part of ten years, before commencing his current role in 2011, alongside CEO Arnie Fielkow.

We chat about the origins of the NBRPA and the wide array of (quoted from their website) ‘programs, services and benefits designed to help retired basketball players and their families successfully navigate life after the game’.

Paul talks about the NBRPA’s unprecedented success at the 2015 All-Star Weekend. The Legends of Basketball participated in community-based projects, celebrated Black History Month and conducted numerous radio and on-air television interviews – in conjunction with NBA TV – that will air over the coming months.

This is a perfect opportunity to learn more about the NBRPA. We even have time to discuss some of Paul’s greatest memories of working with Magic Johnson, Bill Walton, Spencer Haywood, Jalen Rose, Teresa Weatherspoon, Ralph Sampson, Tiny Archibald and many other Legends of Basketball.

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Links to topics discussed:

Celebrate Black History Month

NBRPA: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

Paul Corliss: Twitter

 

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NB85-17: Michael Jordan’s rookie NBA season – Bulls at Knicks (Jan 5) / January 24 through February 7, 1985 | Podcast

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Aerial Jordan

Adam & Aaron celebrate the 30th anniversary of Michael Jordan‘s (1984) arrival in the National Basketball Association. This episode covers:

 

* Chicago at New York – January 5, 1985

* NBA regular season – January 24 through February 7, 1985

* Insightful minutiae, all but lost to the annals of basketball history

 

In this episode, we break down the thirty-fourth game of MJ’s professional career. We were fortunate to have access to the game DVD, giving us plenty of topics and moments to talk about. The Bulls were hoping to remain above .500 for the season, whilst the Knicks – losers of eight of their last nine games – had dropped six straight. Bernard King entered the game averaging 40 points a contest, in his past five outings.

Next, we discuss numerous happenings from the next 15-day block of the 1984-85 NBA season. The Chicago Bulls played seven games in this span – three wins and four losses.

We chat about one of the most unusual personnel moves of the era. The Atlanta Hawks – without three of their guards – were forced to activate one of their TV commentators to the playing roster! We also talk about the NBA’s best-performing players – including Larry Bird‘s back-to-back buzzer-beaters – milestones reached and much more.

This episode continues our coverage of the 1984-85 NBA season. We encourage your interaction. Feel free to suggest specific games, moments and events from within the season, for us to cover in future episodes of the series. Thanks for taking the time to listen to the show. If you enjoy the content, please share it with your friends!

The most prominent players mentioned in this episode, include: Michael Jordan, Mark Aguirre, Moses Malone, Isiah Thomas, Terry Cummings, Dominique Wilkins, Pat Cummings & Tom McMillen.

 

Chicago Bulls games discussed:

 

Box Score: Jan 25, 1985 – Seattle SuperSonics @ Chicago Bulls

Box Score: Jan 26, 1985 – Atlanta Hawks @ Chicago Bulls

Box Score: Jan 29, 1985 – Kansas City Kings @ Chicago Bulls

Box Score: Jan 30, 1985 – Chicago Bulls @ Washington Bullets

Box Score: Feb 1, 1985 – Chicago Bulls @ Philadelphia 76ers

Box Score: Feb 5, 1985 – Boston Celtics @ Chicago Bulls

Box Score: Feb 7, 1985 – Chicago Bulls @ Cleveland Cavaliers

 

Feb 7, 1985 – Bird is sold on Jordan, NBA’s future

Feb 7, 1985 - Chicago Tribune

Feb 7, 1985 - Chicago Tribune

 

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