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.

 

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AIR047: David Bridgers – Michael Jordan’s childhood friend | Podcast

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David Bridgers

L to R: David Bridgers, Michael Jordan & Derek Betts | Copyright © Sports Illustrated

Michael Jordan’s lifelong friend and confidant, David Bridgers.

A unique episode. Ross Franco is a North Carolinian friend of mine. We connected, through my podcast – one of the many great outcomes I’ve experienced, since creating the show. Ross is a great friend of David Bridgers. Ross and I have previously discussed the possibility of inviting David on the podcast, as a guest. When the opportunity presented itself, we were both very pleased. The three of us had a great chat.

Prior to speaking with Ross and David, I wasn’t sure if our conversation would necessarily make for an interesting podcast episode. However, five minutes into proceedings, that all changed. This is simply three guys, talking all-things Michael Jordan, from a perspective you’d be very hard-pressed to top. You’ll learn the origins of Bridgers’ relationship with Jordan. The two first met, at just seven years of age! We cover David’s enduring friendship with Michael and his experiences with the Jordan family, plus, David’s close bond with Ross.

Ross tried his best to not be involved in this audio recording. He suggested that David should speak solely with me. From my point of view, that was never going to happen. Thanks again Ross, for making this conversation possible. I hope you – the listener – enjoy it.

 

Links to topics discussed (photos will be added):

SI Vault: The Unlikeliest Homeboy

In all Airness: Brush with Greatness – Michael Jordan

Ross Franco online: Twitter

 

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AIR046: Rick Barry – One of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History | Podcast

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RickBarry

One of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, Rick Barry.

Rick discusses his first sporting love of baseball – he talks fondly of his hero – the reason behind his choice to wear the iconic jersey number 24. Incredibly, as a high-school senior, Rick almost gave up on his future Hall of Fame career, due in large-part to his then-coach.

We chat about the origins of his unique, underhanded free-throw shooting technique and its impact on his overall game. Rick talks about his passion for basketball and his immense desire to win. We talk about his outstanding college career at the University of Miami and how it prepared him to make an instant impact at the next level. We discuss the 1965 NBA Draft, where Rick was one of 10 future All-Stars selected.

We cover Rick’s NBA Rookie of the Year triumph, playing against Wilt Chamberlain in the 1967 NBA Finals and Barry’s decision to join the fledgling ABA (he won the 1969 ABA Championship) for its inaugural season. Rick talks candidly about being forced to sit out the entire 1968 season, when he was arguably in the prime of his career. We chat about his All-Star Game memories (eight in the NBA, four in the ABA) and his 1975 NBA Championship glory.

We talk about Rick’s last two NBA seasons in Houston and how injury prematurely halted his career; interestingly, an NBA rule-change possibly denied Rick’s plan to join the Boston Celtics or Los Angeles Lakers.

Rick discusses his Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement, his foray into coaching (1990s) and the opportunities missed at NBA level. We round out the conversation, learning about Rick’s current-day interests, including a love of fly fishing and his business pursuits.

We run the gamut of discussion topics that shed light on the competitive nature of a true basketball great.

 

Links to topics discussed:

Statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference | Profile

1967: “Super Soph”Rick leaves NBA

1975: NBA Finals – Game 3 | NBA Finals recap

Circa-1976: Rick Barry & Red Auerbach

1987: Basketball Hall of Fame (profile)

2011: ABA Round-table | 2014: The Charity Stripe

Rick Barry online: Website | Ektio

Courtside Jones: Rick Barry from courtsidejones.com on Vimeo.

 

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AIR043: Bill Cartwright – NCAA All-American, All-Star and five-time NBA Champion | Podcast

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Bill Cartwright

NCAA All-American, All-Star and five-time NBA Champion, Bill Cartwright.

Bill discusses his early years, growing up in California and playing baseball – his first sporting love. He became a highly-recruited basketballer, but chose to remain in his home state, developing into a standout at the University of San Francisco. We also chat about Bill’s first memories of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. In his senior season, Cartwright was named 1st Team All-American.

Bill talks about the 1979 NBA Draft and his (very) underrated rookie season – where he was named an All-Star and All-Rookie 1st Team selection. He recalls some of the all-time greats he played with and against, including Earl ‘The Pearl’ Monroe, Darryl Dawkins, Julius Erving, Dave Cowens and many others. We learn about Bill’s career in New York, the legendary coaches he played for and the interesting details behind his trade to the Chicago Bulls.

We chat about The Jordan Rules and its impact on the Bulls’ unity. We break down Bill’s career in Chicago – including his role as team co-captain. He offers his thoughts on each of his three NBA Championships (as a player), the Bulls’ (1994) season without Michael Jordan and more.

We learn about Bill’s coaching career, too. He talks about his varied roles within the NBA, plus, his move to Japan, where he was Osaka Evessa’s head coach, in the Basketball Japan League. This conversation is wide-ranging and covers Bill entire career. We even talk about his future coaching plans and the chat concludes with a discussion of Australia’s own – and Cartwright’s former teammate – Luc Longley.

 

Links to topics discussed:

Statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference | Profile

Photos: USF | Pre-NBA Draft

NBA Finals: 1991 | 1992 | 1993

NBA: vs. Pistons | 1994

Sacramento Sports: Hall of Fame

TV: Celebrity Bucket List | Coaching: Teach, in Japan

Bill Cartwright online: Company | LinkedIn

 

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AIR027: Reggie Lewis – The Life and Times (Retrospective) | Podcast

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Adam and Todd discuss the life of Reggie Lewis. July 27, 2013, marked the 20th anniversary of his shocking death. We talk about a life lost far too soon, plus, his lasting impact on and off the basketball court.

 

Links to topics discussed:

Statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference | Profile

Len Bias: NBA Draft | Had he lived…

Reggie Lewis: NBA Draft | 1992 Playoffs

Celtics v Hornets – 1993 NBA Playoffs (Game 1 / Game 4) | News of Lewis’ death

#35: Retirement ceremony (part 1 / part 2)

 

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AIR015: Ian Eagle – Emmy Award-winning play-by-play announcer and voice of NBA Action | Podcast

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Ian EagleEmmy Award-winning play-by-play announcer and voice of NBA Action, Ian Eagle.

We talk about the influence of Ian’s parents, on his path to becoming one of America’s most versatile commentators. He recalls great stories from the NBA Finals, his career to date and delivers stupendous impressions of Bill Raftery and Marv Albert. We talk New Jersey Nets (1990s), Jason Kidd’s impact (2002), the recent move to Brooklyn and plenty more. A free-flowing conversation injected with humor throughout.

 

Links to topics discussed:

“Send it in Jerome!”

Bulls v Nets – 1998 NBA Playoffs | Nets v Pacers – 2002 NBA Playoffs

Sports Broadcasting Camp | Bruce Beck & Ian Eagle

 

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