AIR056: Rick Brown – SEC Legend, NBA veteran & European Champion | Podcast

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Rick (Rickey) BrownSEC Legend, NBA veteran and European Champion, Rick Brown.

We discuss Rick’s early career and his tough, yet rewarding, decision to move to Atlanta and play high-school basketball. His outstanding HS years put Rick on the national radar and he was recruited by numerous colleges, including Michigan and Kentucky. Ultimately, he decided to move back home and played four years with Mississippi State University.

Rick was one of the players that the Golden State Warriors drafted, after they traded away Robert Parish and dealt their number three pick to the Celtics, in the 1980 NBA Draft – that selection would be Kevin McHale – effectively forming Boston’s Hall of Fame, ‘Big Three’.

Rick recalls his years with the Warriors, and talks about playing with personalities like World B. Free, Bernard King and Joe Barry Carroll. Golden State traded Rick to Atlanta, mid-way through the 1983 season – this was Dominique Wilkins‘ rookie year. We talk about his time with the Hawks and also his role in Larry Bird‘s incredible 60-point game, in 1985.

After finishing his NBA career, Rick moved overseas and achieved high levels of success, becoming a European Champion in the process. He played ten years in Europe, with very-recognizable names, including Mike D’Antoni, Bob McAdoo and Arvydas Sabonis. One of Rick’s greatest moments, happened in 1992, when he won his team (Real Madrid) the European Cup Final.

 

Last year (2014), Rick was inducted into Mississippi State University’s Sports Hall of Fame. He talks about that honor and the importance of leaving a legacy to his family. We also briefly chat about his sons who are looking to make a name for themselves in the future.

Rick Brown in the low-post

After our conversation, I briefly invite my good friend, Cobi Sobrino – who was in attendance at the 1992 European Cup Final – onto the show. He recalls the game and Rick’s impact on European basketball.

Rick Brown - about to score

Rick - modern day

 

My Forgotten Legends (Cobi’s basketball-history website / podcast).

Chloé (Rick’s wife) runs, Bread-Winning Moms (blog / podcast) mentioned in this episode.

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NB85-21: Michael Jordan’s rookie NBA season – Lakers at Bulls (Feb 19), vs Celtics (Feb 22) – 1985 | Podcast

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Young Mike

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

 

* L.A. Lakers at Chicago – February 19, 1985

* Chicago vs Boston (at Hartford) – February 22, 1985

 

In this episode, we discuss the fifty-third and fifty-fourth games of MJ’s professional career. We were fortunate to have access to the game DVDs, giving us plenty of topics and moments to talk about. In our first game for discussion, the visiting Lakers make their one and only trip to the Windy City. Next, we chat about the Bulls’ visit to Hartford – Boston’s home-away-from-home – to take on the might of the Celtics.

Aside from a focus on Jordan’s burgeoning career, we cover numerous sub-plots, individual milestones, amusing moments and minutiae from both games.

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, Magic Johnson, Byron Scott, Michael Cooper, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Orlando Woolridge, Larry Bird, Dennis Johnson, Bob McAdoo, Kevin McHale, Jawann Oldham, Robert Parish, Dave Corzine, Scott Wedman & Greg Kite.

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NB85-20: Michael Jordan’s rookie NBA season – February 8 through 22, 1985 | Podcast

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Jordan, Pacers Chicago

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

 

* NBA regular season – February 8 through 22, 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 1984-85 NBA season. The Chicago Bulls played five games in this span – one win and four losses.

We chat about the impending (majority) ownership of Jerry Reinsdorf and his (not-too-distant) personnel moves that would change the face of Chicago’s franchise. We also talk about the NBA’s best-performing players – including Larry Bird‘s astonishing, near quadruple-double – 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, Magic Johnson, Bernard King, Isiah Thomas, Hakeem Olajuwon, Mark Aguirre, Sidney Green, Julius Erving, Ralph Sampson, Mark Eaton, James Worthy, Tim McCormick, Ron Harper & Phil Jackson.

 

Chicago Bulls games discussed:

 

Box Score: Feb 12, 1985 – Detroit Pistons @ Chicago Bulls

Box Score: Feb 15, 1985 – Indiana Pacers @ Chicago Bulls

Box Score: Feb 17, 1985 – Chicago Bulls @ Milwaukee Bucks

Box Score: Feb 19, 1985 – L.A. Lakers @ Chicago Bulls

Box Score: Feb 22, 1985 – Chicago Bulls vs Boston Celtics (at Hartford)

 

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NB85-19: Michael Jordan’s rookie NBA season – Bulls at 76ers (Feb 1), vs Pistons (Feb 12) – 1985 | Podcast

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

 

* Chicago at Philadelphia – February 1, 1985

* Detroit at Chicago – February 12, 1985

 

In this episode, we discuss the forty-seventh and fiftieth games of MJ’s professional career. We were fortunate to have access to the game DVDs, giving us plenty of topics and moments to talk about. In our first game for discussion, Jordan’s Bulls visit Philadelphia to take on the 76ers. Then we cover what is often referred to as the ‘Revenge Game’. (Allegedly) spurned – following his treatment in the 1985 NBA All-Star Game – Michael Jordan explodes for a season-high 49 points.

Aside from a focus on Jordan’s burgeoning career, we cover numerous sub-plots, individual milestones, amusing moments and minutiae from both games.

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, Julius Erving, Charles Barkley, Dave Corzine, Rod Higgins, Moses Malone, Sidney Green, Maurice Cheeks, Orlando Woolridge, Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer, Vinnie Johnson, Major Jones, Brook Steppe & Chris Engler.

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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AIR055: Todd Spehr – Drazen: The Remarkable Life and Legacy of the Mozart of Basketball | Podcast

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Todd Spehr - Drazen Petrovic biographer

Drazen Petrovic biographer, Todd Spehr.

Personally, this is an extra-special episode. My great friend of almost fifteen years, Todd Spehr, just released a biography on the life and times of Drazen Petrovic. I invited another great mate of mine (and NB85 co-host), Aaron, to also chat with Todd, earlier this week.

For more than three years, Todd has been consumed with the life of Drazen Petrovic. Thanks to exhaustive research – he interviewed over 70 people – the resulting book offers comprehensive coverage of Drazen’s incredible rise from Europe to the NBA. It is a book of stories, told by those who knew Petrovic best. Drazen blazed a trail (no pun intended) and was a pioneer for Europeans in the NBA, including Sarunas MarciulionisArvydas SabonisStojko Vrankovic, Vlade Divac, Toni Kukoc, Dino Radja & Peja Stojakovic, to name just a few.

We discuss behind-the-scenes details of the book, including the interview process, the depths of Todd’s research and countless hours of game film (some, never seen before) he studied, giving him a unique insight on a player who was already a legend in his native country, before he set foot in the United States of America.

To borrow a quote from the book’s promotional materials, ‘Drazen is a tribute to the determination and spirit Petrovic brought to every aspect of his short, brilliant life’.

Watch the Google Hangout below – recorded live on April 6, 2015 – or, should you prefer the audio-only version (above, or via your podcast app of choice), you’ll hear an edited version of the conversation.

 

 

Links to topics discussed:

Amazon: Drazen – The Remarkable Life & Legacy of the Mozart of Basketball

Excerpts of ‘Drazen': Sports Illustrated | Yahoo’s Ball Don’t Lie: Part I / Part II

Website: Book of Drazen | Facebook: Todd’s FB Page | CreateSpace

 

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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.

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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