AIR077: Andrew Bernstein – Senior NBA Photographer | Podcast


Andrew Bernstein - Senior NBA PhotographerSenior NBA Photographer and Director of Photography for Staples Center, Andrew Bernstein.


He hasn’t played a single minute in the NBA. However, Andrew Bernstein is a perennial contender for league MVP (Most Valuable Photographer). The 2017 NBA Finals marked the 35th-consecutive time that Andrew has covered the Association’s showcase event.

We discuss Andrew’s rise from amateur shutterbug – his love for the camera was fostered by a (teenage) trip to the Western United States with his dad – to becoming one of the world’s greatest sports photographers.

Highlights of our conversation include Andrew’s memories of an iconic rendition of the national anthem at his first All-Star Game (1983), his crucial involvement in creating the (taken from his bio) position of Senior Director of NBA Photos – a position he held for 25 years – a discussion about the meteoric changes in camera technology over recent decades and of course, he details wonderful stories behind how some of his most-historic photos came to be.

Larry Bird and Magic Johnson

Michael Jordan - Come Fly with MeFather and son - James Jordan celebrates with Michael Jordan

Topics / links discussed (include):

  • Marvin Gaye’s amazing performance at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game

  • Follow Andrew’s wonderful output on Instagram:

#FBF @lakers vs. @celtics tonight brings back memories of another era in the rivalry. @nba #showtime #larrylegend #magicjohnson

A post shared by Andrew D. Bernstein Associates (@adbphotoinc) on

People mentioned in this episode, include: Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Lon Rosen, Terry Lyons, Pat Riley, David Stern, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant & Porter McKinnon.


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AIR044: Great NBA Games – Michael Jordan 63 points (1986) – Bulls at Celtics | Podcast


Adam and Todd discuss Michael Jordan’s record-breaking Playoff game – April 20th, 1986 – MJ scored 63 points in the Chicago Bulls’ double-overtime loss to the Boston Celtics.

We discuss all the key aspects of the game. We talk about the CBS broadcast and its commentary team of Dick Stockton, Tom Heinsohn and Pat O’Brien. We chat about the contrasting nature of Boston and Chicago’s respective seasons, leading into their first-round Playoffs meeting. We talk about each team’s roster and our memories and opinions on this incredible match-up – arguably one of the top 10 NBA games ever played.

As per usual, the conversation is scattered with humor and plenty of insight. Todd also updates us on the status of his forthcoming book on the late, great, Drazen Petrovic. A must-listen, for die-hard NBA fans, regardless of the team you support.


Links to topics discussed:

Statistics courtesy of Basketball-Reference

April 20, 1986 | Chicago Bulls at Cleveland Cavaliers [Box Score] [stat-sheet]

1986 NBA Season Summary

Sports Illustrated (1986): Bird; NBA’s all-time best player?

Greatest Sports Legends (1988): O.J. Simpson | Elvin Hayes

Bill Simmons’ Grantland (2014): George Gervin


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Water Heater Game – Erving and Bird

Contributor: Greg – a fan, collector and researcher (Dr. J. Memorabilia) | A perfect example of how ‘your story’ can become a great part of NBA Narratives.

April 6, 1986 | Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers [Box Score]

In small-town Canada, the NBA on CBS was the only television pipeline to NBA games. For me, it was religion. This spring Sunday, the Sixers and Celtics were playing their last of six regular season match-ups. The Celts had won four of the previous five and would be collecting another NBA title, a couple of months later. The Sixers were no longer title contenders and Julius Erving would begin his final season in the fall of this same year. Regardless, it was still Sixers / Celtics.

My friend and I were die-hard Sixers fans and would often watch the games together. We’d usually watch at his house, because his cable TV clarity always trumped my rural antenna reception. All games were recorded on VHS. This day was no different.

A third friend joined us and we settled in to enjoy what was once, one of the greatest rivalries in sport. There was no Moses Malone or Andrew Toney that day for the Sixers. Instead, we saw unfamiliar players like Terry Catledge, Greg Stokes and Perry Moss. But Cheeks, Erving, Barkley and Clemon Johnson (off the bench), kept the Sixers in the game.

With only 20 seconds left in the 4th quarter, the Sixers trailed 94-92, with Boston about to inbound the ball in the Sixers’ end. Philadelphia inexplicably let the clock wind down to seven seconds, before fouling Larry Bird – the leading FT-shooter in the league. We needed Larry Legend to miss one. These were Bird’s only two FTs of the day and he shockingly missed them both. Barkley grabbed the rebound, called timeout and promptly flashed the choke sign.

Barkley 'choke' sign

Barkley ‘choke’ sign

From half-court, Erving in-bounded to Barkley, outside the arc. His drive for the tying basket ended with Kevin McHale tying him up. Jump ball, with just three seconds left.

McHale ties up Barkley

McHale ties up Barkley

This play was the breaking point for my friend and he stormed out of the room, marched over to the hot water tank and gave it a good kick. The two of us still watching the game, could hear hissing and the sound of water hitting the floor. Pleas for assistance were ignored as there was still 3 seconds left in the game. So, as my friend frantically searched for the water shut-off, we watched Barkley win the jump and tip the ball to Erving, just outside the 3-point line.

"...he's got a crack at it!"

“…he’s got a crack at it!”

Doc’s buzzer-beater was good and the Sixers won the game, 95-94. Our pal had no idea why we were screaming with delight – he was still battling the flood. Good thing we recorded the game.


AIR032: Mike Fratello – NBA Coach of the Year, TV Broadcaster and The Czar of the Telestrator | Podcast


NBA Coach of the Year, TV Broadcaster and The Czar of the Telestrator, Mike Fratello.

We discuss EuroBasket 2013, where Mike coached Ukraine to a fantastic 6th place finish; securing the team a spot in the 2014 FIBA World Cup. We then revisit Mike’s high school years, where he was a star athlete. He talks about his foray into coaching and the opportunities that would lead him all the way to the NBA. We talk about his intrinsic links to Hall of Fame legend, Hubie Brown.

Mike opens up on the re-building process that led the Hawks’ to four-consecutive 50-win seasons. We chat about his 1986 Coach of the Year season and he tells a fascinating story about how he helped motivate Dominique Wilkins, to reach even greater heights (literally and figuratively) as a player. We talk about the 1988 NBA All-Star Game, where he coached the Eastern Conference squad to victory.

Mike discusses his entry to the world of TV broadcasting, the origin of his classic nickname and relationship with the great Marv Albert and former guest of this show, Ian Eagle. You’ll also learn how Mike received a pair of game-worn, Shaquille O’Neal shoes, in unusual circumstances. We get the inside scoop on Mike’s experiences with Michael Jordan, including his time alongside MJ, as a coach at the Michael Jordan Senior Flight School.

We talk about Mike’s six seasons coaching the Cleveland Cavaliers and his stint with the Memphis Grizzlies. Plus, we somehow find time to talk about the 2014 NBA season. An incredible array of topics are covered. Thank you, Mike Fratello!

Thanks to former guest on this podcast, Bob Hill – he was key to making my chat with Mike, happen. Many thanks, Bob.


Links to topics discussed:

Statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference | Profile

EuroBasket 2013: Tournament Wrap | Formula of Success

1984: Bench-jockeying, NBA Style

1988: NBA All-Star Game | Hawks v Celtics – NBA Playoffs (Game 7)

1993: O’Neal collapses Shaqboard | 2002: NBA on NBC | 2012: Mike Fratello & Ian Eagle

Mike Fratello online: WebsiteTwitter


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


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


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

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