We break down all key aspects of the game. We discuss TNT’s broadcast, the commentary team of Bob Neal and Doug Collins and the Cleveland newspaper article that possibly led to Michael Jordan’s explosive, all-around excellence. We dissect important moments throughout the contest and offer our opinions on relevant players from each roster. Winston Bennett fan? This podcast episode is made for you.
We also touch on the 1990 NBA season as a whole, plus, talk about how each of the two teams fared in the Playoffs. As per usual, the conversation is scattered with humor and plenty of insight. A must-listen, for die-hard NBA fans, regardless of the team you support.
Adam and Aaron recap the 1990 through 1994 NBA All-Star Games. We discuss rosters, coaches, leading vote getters, memorable moments and Most Valuable Players. Controversy reigns supreme, when true feelings about a Hall of Famer bubble to the surface. The chat is filled with plenty of insight, mixed with a healthy dose of good humor.
It’s important to distinguish, these are my favorite players – clearly, subjective. A host of past players resonate with me for many reasons; a select moment in time, a well-played, yet under-appreciated career, or merely happenstance.
In no particular order, here are my favorite guards of the Jordan-era [obviously MJ-excluded; must have played at least 4 seasons against MJ's Bulls]:
Notable: 2-time All-Star (1988, 1990) | 6th all-time, steals per game
Opinion: criminally underrated player, deserving of much higher recognition. He had a stunning six season span (1985-1990) averaging 17.0 pts, 7.6 rbs, 7.5 ast and 2.5 stl per game. Oh, and he’s only 6’3″.
Notable: 3-time All-Star (1990-1991, 1994) | 6th all-time, assists per game
Opinion: an outstanding player, mere percentage points from averaging 20 pts / 10 ast for nine consecutive seasons (1989-1997). I loved his exuberant celebrations on court, plus his fearless penetration in the lane. This resulted in assists to open team mates, or an attack on the rim.
Here, KJ gives The Dream, his own night-Mayor (see what I did there?):
Notable: UK (Wildcats) standout, turned pro as a sophomore | Flair for the dramatic
Opinion: an acrobatic and entertaining player, confident in his ability. He has career averages of almost 15 pts / 3 rbs / 3 ast / 1 stl, in under 30 minutes per game. Rex could light up a scoreboard, had a sweet shooting stroke and was a maestro of dunk. I even had his photo on my high school diary (too much information?)
Notable: All-Defensive (2nd) Team (1993) | All-Star (1994) | Sixth Man of the Year (1997)
Opinion: whilst never beating Jordan in the Playoffs, Starks is a first-ballot nominee, for the role of MJ’s nemesis. I admired his tenacity, in-your-face style of play and all out hustle. Plus, John’s road to the NBA is a fascinating tale in itself.
Notable: Rookie of the Year (1989) | 6-time All-Star (1993-1998) | NBA Champion (2002)
Opinion: part of the famed ‘Run TMC’ [part 1 / part 2] at Golden State. He was All-Star MVP in 1995 and Sacramento’s franchise player for seven seasons (1992-1998), averaging 23.3 pts, 3.7 rbs, 4.1 ast and 1.3 stl per game. A consummate professional, lauded as MJ’s toughest defender, by none other than Jordan himself.
Obvious omissions: clearly, the following players are all-time greats at their position. They didn’t make the cut as they’re not my favorites of the era – due to team/s played for or rivalries against MJ’s Bulls – imagined or otherwise…
Author of The Jordan Rules, Bulls.com columnist and Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, Sam Smith.
Our conversation begins with Sam’s early career at the Chicago Tribune. He talks about meeting Michael Jordan for the first time, covering the Bulls in the 1980s and his continued friendship with all-time great, Phil Jackson. We cover his relationship with iconic commentators, Johnny ‘Red’ Kerr and Jim Durham, plus the incredible access Sam had to players and coaches whilst writing his New York Times best-selling book.
Sam shares a great behind-the-scenes story about ‘The Shot’ (Jordan over Ehlo in the 1989 NBA Playoffs) and we discuss his induction to the Basketball Hall of Fame, for contributions to the game. We finish up with some modern day Bulls basketball chat, including the latest on Derrick Rose’s return.