AIR068: Nigel Miguel – High School All-American, NIT Champion, Film Producer & Actor | Podcast

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Nigel Miguel and Michael JordanHigh School All-American, NIT Champion, Film Producer & Actor, Nigel Miguel.

 

High School: Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks), California

As a child, Nigel moved from Central America to California. We talk about his role models as a youngster, before transitioning into his high-school career, where, as a senior, he led his team to a 19-5 record, en route to winning the Del Rey League Championship. He was named a 1981 McDonald’s All-American, in the famous class that included Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing and Chris Mullin. He discusses the tremendous opportunities that afforded him, including a crucial role in the USA’s gold-medal win at the 1981 Albert Schweitzer Tournament (often referred to as the Mini-Basketball World Cup, or Junior Olympics).

1981 High School All-American Basketball Team

 

College: University of California Los Angeles

Years: 1981-82 – 1984-85 | Coaches: Larry Farmer & Walt Hazzard

Nigel played four seasons at UCLA. As a freshman, he was teammates with future Utah Jazz great – and friend of the show – Mark Eaton. In his sophomore season, Nigel’s Bruins made it the NCAA Tournament. He talks about the joy of making it to the tournament, coupled with the disappointment of a first-game exit.

In his junior and senior years, Nigel paired with all-time great, Reggie Miller. Prior to his last season with the team, Walt Hazzard – a player on John Wooden’s first NCAA Championship team – took the helm as UCLA coach. We discuss his lasting impact on Nigel and the team.. Miguel ended his Bruins career in style, scoring an equal game-high, 18 points, as UCLA won the 1985 NIT Championship, at the famed Madison Square Garden.

Nigel Miguel - UCLA Bruins

 

1985 NBA Draft

Date: June 18 | Location: New York | Pick: 62 (Round 3) | Team: New Jersey Nets

We talk about the lead-up to the draft, including team interviews that Nigel undertook, and, his one-on-one workout with the legendary Jerry West, on the court at the Great Western Forum.

 

CBA / NBA career | Years: 1985-86 – 1986-87

Seasons: 1985-86 | Team: La Crosse Catbirds

Coach: Ron Ekker

After being the last player cut from the New Jersey Nets’ training camp, Nigel signed with Wisconsin’s new CBA franchise, the La Crosse Catbirds. He talks about his fondness for that season, where he was named to the league’s All-Rookie team, averaging more than 17 points per game. Miguel was runner-up to future NBA All-Star, Michael Adams, for Rookie of the Year. The Catbirds made it to the 1986 CBA Championship series, before losing out to (former podcast guest) Ed Nealy and his Tampa Bay Thrillers.

Continued interest from the New Jersey Nets (and L.A. Lakers), led to Nigel’s return to (Nets) training camp, in anticipation of a roster spot for the 1986-87 NBA season. He talks about the seemingly-innocuous ‘tweak’ of his ankle, during a lead-up game. That quickly led to an inner-monologue: “My foot is on the ground…but I don’t feel anything”. He’d fractured his heel bone and damaged his Achilles tendon.

NBA veteran, Buck Williams, helped Nigel put his injury into context – offering suggestions on how to overcome the disappointment of having his professional career, seemingly reach an abrupt end.

 

Entertainment: Commercials, television, movies and more

After commencing rehabilitation for the 1987-88 NBA season, Nigel lost the desire to compete at the highest level, making a conscious decision to pursue other opportunities. His love for the entertainment industry, went as far back as high school – he attended classes with peers who had connections (family and otherwise) with the entertainment industry.

Miguel’s attorney helped connect Nigel with an agent and key members of the entertainment industry. Not long after, Dennis Hopper – recognizing the former-Bruins player – struck up a conversation with Miguel. Within an hour, Nigel was offered his first movie role, in Colors (1988). Future roles included the TV series, Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper (1992) and movies, White Men Can’t Jump (1992), Blue Chips (1994) and the iconic Space Jam (1996), where Miguel appears on-screen and off; he was Basketball Technical Advisor.

We chat about his crucial involvement in the behind-the-scenes running of the legendary Jordan Dome, where Michael Jordan took part in amazing pick-up games – including Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, Larry Johnson, Dennis Rodman & Jack Haley – during production of the film.

Nigel Miguel and Michael Jordan - The Jordan Dome

Green with envy - Nigel Miguel is an OG Monstar!

 

Nigel also details what it was like to be Michael Jordan’s ‘body double’ for seven years.

We chat about Nigel being named Belize’s ‘Goodwill Ambassador‘ (1994) and ‘Film Ambassador’ (2008), along with what the prestigious positions mean to him. Nigel also talks about creating II Jam Casting & Production.

I ask Nigel to recall “The Game I’ll Never Forget” and round out the conversation with a chat about the significance of his jersey number.

Nigel Miguel: IMDb | Media: Ardomi | Twitter: @FilmBelize

People mentioned in this episode, include: Cedric Ceballos, Pearl Washington & Gail Goodrich.

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NB86-6: Michael Jordan’s second NBA season – December 9 through 23, 1985 | Podcast

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Manute Bol eviscerates Jawann Oldham

Adam & Aaron celebrate the 30th anniversary of Michael Jordan’s second season in the National Basketball Association. This episode covers:

 

* NBA regular season – December 9 through 23, 1985

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

 

In this episode, we discuss numerous happenings from the next 15-day block of the 1985-86 NBA season. The Chicago Bulls played seven games in this span – three wins and four losses.

Around the league, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers continued their fantastic starts to the season. We chat about a (possible) ‘cast-breaking ceremony’, to check whether Michael Jordan‘s broken foot had healed. However, this news only plays the role of ‘supporting cast’, in an episode where Manute Bol stands tall…very tall. In the absence of Jeff Ruland (broken ankle), Bol’s first-career start resulted in 18 points, 12 blocks and nine rebounds.

We also talk about the reasoning behind Jordan’s decision to (mostly) not travel with his team. The Chicago Tribune reported that teammates were voicing their disappointment in MJ’s ‘lack of moral support’ – he even declined the request (to attend games) of Bulls’ GM, Jerry Krause.

The Dallas Mavericks’ Mark Aguirre, was suspended by his team, after refusing Coach Dick Motta’s request to re-enter a game, in Atlanta. Motta took exception to Mark helping his friend, Dominique Wilkins, to his feet, after the pair collided, earlier in the game.

Further, we discuss some milestones. It was a great span for the San Antonio Spurs. Alvin Robertson was named the NBA’s Player of the Week, notching a career-high 41 points against the Denver Nuggets. In that same game, Artis Gilmore eclipsed 23,000 career points (ABA and NBA).

This episode continues our coverage of the 1985-86 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!

Others mentioned in this episode, include: Sidney Green, Melvin Turpin, Hot Rod Hundley, Jawann Oldham, Mark EatonFat Lever, Rolando Blackman & Doug Moe.

 

Chicago Bulls games discussed:

 

85-12-10 – San Antonio Spurs @ Chicago Bulls

85-12-12 – Philadelphia 76ers @ Chicago Bulls

85-12-14 – Sacramento Kings @ Chicago Bulls

85-12-15 – Chicago Bulls @ Boston Celtics

85-12-17 – Boston Celtics @ Chicago Bulls

85-12-19 – Washington Bullets @ Chicago Bulls

85-12-21 – Utah Jazz @ Chicago Bulls

 

Editor’s note: sign-up for the monthly newsletter – receive exclusive details on upcoming podcast episodes and future, high-profile guests to appear on the show.

 

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NB86-5: Michael Jordan’s second NBA season – November 24 through December 8, 1985 | Podcast

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Stan Albeck - Chicago Bulls

Adam & Aaron celebrate the 30th anniversary of Michael Jordan‘s second season in the National Basketball Association. This episode covers:

 

* NBA regular season – November 24 through December 8, 1985

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

 

In this episode, we discuss numerous happenings from the next 15-day block of the 1985-86 NBA season. The Chicago Bulls played nine games (all on the road) in this span – two wins and seven losses. 18 of the Bulls’ first 24 games, were away from home.

We chat about the increased productivity of Chicago’s Quintin Dailey. His scoring ability was needed more than ever, with Michael Jordan still on the sidelines. Never short of a post-game quote, Dailey had choice words about the Washington Bullets’ Darren Daye, after an incident with the Bulls’ John Paxson.

We also talk about the Boston Celtics’ tremendous early-season form. The team’s nine-game win streak was broken by the visiting Portland Trail Blazers – it would be the Celtics’ sole regular-season loss at home.

Stan Albeck (Chicago coach) extraordinarily asked permission from his regular starters, to have his four former-Spurs players, in the starting lineup, for the Bulls’ game at San Antonio. It worked beautifully, with each of the ex-Spurs having good performances.

Further, we discuss some scoring milestones. The Denver Nuggets’ Alex English racked up 15,000 career points, whilst the Cleveland Cavaliers’ World B. Free, surpassed 16,000 for his career.

This episode continues our coverage of the 1985-86 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!

Others mentioned in this episode, include: George Gervin, Fat Lever, Terence Stansbury, Adrian Dantley, Mel Turpin, Jawann Oldham, Herb Williams, Maurice Lucas & Jeff Ruland.

 

Chicago Bulls games discussed:

 

85-11-24 – Chicago Bulls @ Washington Bullets

85-11-26 – Chicago Bulls @ Denver Nuggets

85-11-27 – Chicago Bulls @ Utah Jazz

85-11-29 – Chicago Bulls @ Portland Trail Blazers

85-12-01 – Chicago Bulls @ Los Angeles Lakers

85-12-03 – Chicago Bulls @ Sacramento Kings

85-12-04 – Chicago Bulls @ Phoenix Suns

85-12-06 – Chicago Bulls @ San Antonio Spurs

85-12-07 – Chicago Bulls @ Houston Rockets

 

Editor’s note: sign-up for the monthly newsletter – receive exclusive details on upcoming podcast episodes and future, high-profile guests to appear on the show.

 

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AIR067: Mitchell Butler – High School All-American & eight-year NBA veteran | Podcast

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Mitchell Butler - Washington BulletsHigh School All-American and eight-year NBA veteran, Mitchell Butler.

 

High School: Oakwood, California

Mitchell reflects on his outstanding high school career. From 1987 to 1989, he was named the Southern Section Small Schools Division, Player of the Year. In 1988, he led Oakwood to the (Liberty League) Division Championship, notching an astonishing 47 points, 19 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 blocks, in his team’s 61-60 victory. We talk about his 1988 quarterfinal game, where he tallied a staggering 50, of his team’s 55 points, in an eight-point win (55-47).

In November of 1988 – in the early-signing period ahead of his senior year at high school – Mitchell signed a letter of intent with the UCLA Bruins. He discusses how heavily he was recruited and what led him to ultimately choose the Bruins.

Mitchell also talks about his 1989 (Third Team) All-American selection.

 

College: University of California Los Angeles

Years: 1989-90 – 1992-93 | Coach: Jim Harrick

At the time of recording our conversation, Mitchell ranked sixth all-time, in total games played (130) for the UCLA Bruins. Whilst researching for our chat, I discovered that in the last warm-up game (November, 1989) prior to his freshman season, Butler’s Bruins played against my fellow countrymen, the Australian Boomers. UCLA defeated the Aussies, 80-68, at Pauley Pavilion.

Mitchell played in the NCAA Tournament, in each of his four seasons. We chat about his freshman campaign, where he made it to the Sweet Sixteen, against Duke – the eventual National Finalists (who lost to UNLV). As a sophomore, Butler started almost every game, before the Bruins were upset by Penn State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. We discuss how close Mitchell came to transferring from UCLA after that second season. UCLA made it to the Elite Eight, in 1992, before losing out to Calbert Cheaney and his Indiana Hoosiers. Though it was a disappointing end to the season, Mitchell won his team’s Player Improvement Award, due to his all-around play and positive mental attitude. As a senior, he was named team captain and also enjoyed (arguably) his best season as a Bruin, with 9.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. We cover UCLA’s near-upset of Michigan’s Fab Five, in a classic, second-round overtime game, in the 1993 NCAA Tournament.

 

1993 NBA Draft

Date: June 30 | Location: Auburn Hills | Pick: Undrafted

We talk about the circumstances behind Mitchell being overlooked on draft day, and how he made his way into the league, in the months that followed.

 

NBA / Euro / ABA / CBA career | Years: 1993-94 – 2003-04

Seasons: 1993-94 – 1995-96 | Team: Washington Bullets

Coaches: Wes Unseld & Jim Lynam

Individually, Mitchell’s best NBA seasons were his first two in the league, averaging almost eight points and three rebounds, in just 19 minutes per game. We cover his first stint with Washington and links to Australian legend – and former podcast guest – Andrew Gaze. Butler twice scored an NBA-career high of 26 points. Mitchell describes the feeling of being ‘on fire’.

 

Thanks to a tip-off from great friend of the podcast, Jim McIlvaine, I ask Mitchell about his acting career. We briefly discuss his roles in Blue Chips (1994) & Rebound: The Legend of Earl ‘The Goat’ Manigault (1996). Mitchell talks about his involvement with Space Jam (1996), however, his scenes were ultimately cut from the movie.

 

Season: 1996-97 | Team: Portland Trail Blazers

Coach: P.J. Carlesimo

Prior to the 1997 season, Washington traded Mitchell (along with Rasheed Wallace) to Portland, in return for Harvey Grant and Rod Strickland. We talk about Mitchell’s thoughts on the deal. Butler made it to the playoffs for the first time in his NBA career – playing limited minutes in a four-game series loss to the L.A. Lakers. He talks about how it felt to be part of a playoff team.

 

Seasons: 1997-98 – 1998-99 | Team: Cleveland Cavaliers

Coach: Mike Fratello

Mitchell signed as a free agent with Cleveland. Barely a month into the season, he suffered significant neck and shoulder problems, leading to surgery. He talks about the impact the injury had on his career, and how he dealt with news that he’d miss the rest of the season.

Following the lockout-shortened 1999 season, Butler wouldn’t return to the NBA until the 2001-02 campaign. During that gap in his NBA résumé, he headed overseas and played in Lithuania, before returning home and playing in the American Basketball Association (not related to the original ABA, I should add).

 

Season: 2001-02 | Team: Portland Trail Blazers

Coach: Maurice Cheeks

Mitchell returned to the Trail Blazers franchise, signing as a free agent. He discusses what it was like to be back in the NBA and how his second time with the team, differed so much to his 1997 season.

Prior to his final season in the NBA, Mitchell was a key member of the Continental Basketball Association’s (CBA) Yakima Sun Kings. His team won the 2003 Championship. He reflects fondly on his time in the league.

 

Season: 2003-04 | Team: Washington Wizards

Coach: Eddie Jordan

Butler closed out his NBA-playing career, returning to suit up for the Washington Wizards. We chat about his final season, what opportunities presented themselves and whether he could have played on, beyond 2004.

 

Mitchell featured in a number of Top 10 Plays on NBA Action. I asked him to choose his favorite move and he certainly didn’t disappoint.

 

I ask Mitchell to recall “The Game I’ll Never Forget”. In a first for the podcast, he shares three-memorable games – one each from high school, college and the NBA.

We discuss Mitchell’s career in basketball since he retired as a player. He’s been involved in various roles, most recently, accepting a position as a sports agent at Jackson Management Group (owned by Phil Jackson‘s son, Charles).

Our conversation rounds out with a quick chat about the significance of Mitchell’s jersey numbers.

People mentioned in this episode, include: Michael Adams, Tyus Edney, Darrick Martin, Chris Webber, Jim McIlvaine, Vernon MaxwellAllan Houston, Kenny Anderson, Tracy Murray, James Robinson & Ed O’Bannon.

 

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AIR066: Peter Capolino – Founder, Mitchell & Ness Nostalgia Company. Trailblazer of authentic Throwback Jerseys | Podcast

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Peter Capolino (Founder, Mitchell & Ness Nostalgia Company) and Fabolous

Founder of Mitchell & Ness Nostalgia Company, Peter Capolino.

We talk about Peter’s family and its relationship to sports. Peter’s father, Sisto – later renamed James, by original founders, Frank Mitchell and Charles Ness – began work with Mitchell & Ness (1917), at just 13 years of age. In the early 1950s, Sisto purchased the business, bringing Peter into the fold.

Peter describes the meticulous research conducted, allowing Mitchell & Ness to produce such high quality, throwback uniforms. Countless hours were spent, combing through archival newspapers, visiting libraries, museums and numerous sporting halls of fame. We discuss the advances in technology and its impact on how the business manufactured apparel.

In 1998, Peter was asked to recreate the history of the NBA (Hardwood Classics), as he had done with MLB’s Cooperstown Collection. Peter discusses how he obtained licences for each professional league (including the NFL and NHL), allowing him to produce historically-accurate uniforms.

Just before the turn of the millennium, Mitchell & Ness Nostalgia Company’s profile exploded, thanks is large part to links with hip-hop and rap artists. Peter shares some stories about Big Boi and André 3000 (Outkast), plus the classic background behind the improbable link between one of his favorite footballers, Sammy Baugh, and Jay Z.

Peter also elaborates on the deal he struck with Michael Jordan, getting the licence and exclusive rights to reproduce MJ’s Chicago Bulls jerseys.

Sports Illustrated has published three-prominent features – Baseball Flannels are Hot (1987), Throwback Hip-Hop Style Points (2002) and Rockin’ the Retros (2003) – on Mitchell & Ness Nostalgia Company.

Peter sold Mitchell & Ness Nostalgia Company to Adidas, in 2008 – continuing to work for them, a further four years – and still consults with the company today. This conversation is a must-listen for fans of any major-league sport.

People mentioned in this episode, include: Tom Gola, Connie Simmons, Bill Russell, Rick Barry, Bill Walton, Richie Ashburn, Dale Murphy, Nolan Ryan, Allen Iverson, Wilt Chamberlain, Mickey Mantle, Lou Gehrig, Roy Sievers, & Bob Skinner.

 

Editor’s note: sign-up for the monthly newsletter – receive exclusive details on upcoming podcast episodes and future, high-profile guests to appear on the show.

 

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NB86-4: Michael Jordan’s second NBA season – November 9 through 23, 1985 | Podcast

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George Gervin - Chicago Bulls

Adam & Aaron celebrate the 30th anniversary of Michael Jordan‘s second season in the National Basketball Association. This episode covers:

 

* NBA regular season – November 9 through 23, 1985

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

 

In this episode, we discuss numerous happenings from the second 15-day block of the 1985-86 NBA season. The Chicago Bulls played eight games in this span – three wins and five losses.

We chat about the Bulls’ transition from its heavy reliance on (recently injured) Michael Jordan. Chicago was trying to adapt to not having MJ on the floor – this allowed star, Orlando Woolridge, to mesh with lesser-known talents like Sidney Green, Dave Corzine, Jawann Oldham and Kyle Macy; assuming more responsibility for the team’s fortunes.

Kyle Macy - Chicago Bulls
 

We also talk about the role that Michael Jordan played, helping the North Carolina Tar Heels, secure the signature of Scott Williams (future three-time NBA Champion).

Jordan helped secure Williams' UNC signing

 

Further, we discuss the Lakers’ best start to a season since the franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1960, Quintin Dailey‘s return to playing duty, Alex English‘s 54-point explosion versus Houston, Xavier McDaniel‘s cameo in (1992 movie) Singles and much more.


 

This episode continues our coverage of the 1985-86 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!

Others mentioned in this episode, include: George GervinSteve Stipanovich, Ken Bannister, Bill Walton, Terry Cummings, Mychal Thompson & Derrick Gervin.

 

Chicago Bulls games discussed:

 

Box Score: Nov 9, 1985 – Chicago Bulls @ New York Knicks

Box Score: Nov 12, 1985 – Milwaukee Bucks @ Chicago Bulls

Box Score: Nov 13, 1985 – Chicago Bulls @ Philadelphia 76ers

Box Score: Nov 15, 1985 – Chicago Bulls @ Milwaukee Bucks

Box Score: Nov 16, 1985 – Cleveland Cavaliers @ Chicago Bulls

Box Score: Nov 19, 1985 – Indiana Pacers @ Chicago Bulls

Box Score: Nov 20, 1985 – Chicago Bulls @ Atlanta Hawks

Box Score: Nov 23, 1985 – Golden State Warriors @ Chicago Bulls

 

Editor’s note: sign-up for the monthly newsletter – receive exclusive details on upcoming podcast episodes and future, high-profile guests to appear on the show.

 

I appreciate all feedback, FB Page ‘Likes’ and iTunes ratings / reviews.

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