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.

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NB85-13: Michael Jordan’s rookie NBA season – Bulls at Trail Blazers (Nov 24), Clippers (Nov 30) – 1984 | Podcast

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Michael Jordan and Derek Smith

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

 

* Chicago at Portland – November 24, 1984

* Chicago at L.A. Clippers – November 30, 1984

 

In this episode, we discuss the fifteenth and eighteenth 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 Portland and partake in a high-scoring contest, which also doubled as the first professional meeting between the second and third picks of that year’s Draft. The next game under the nostalgia microscope, is highlighted by one of MJ’s most-incredible moves ever, against the L.A. Clippers.

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, Sam Bowie, Derek Smith, Clyde DrexlerDave Corzine, Jim Paxson, Kiki VanDeWegheQuintin Dailey, Orlando Woolridge, Ennis Whatley, Marques Johnson, Bill Walton, Norm Nixon, Junior Bridgeman, Steve Johnson, Caldwell Jones, Michael Cage, James Donaldson, Charles Barkley, Jerome Kersey, Fat Lever, Steve Colter, David Greenwood, Harvey Catchings & Steve Jones.

 

Topics / articles discussed (every effort has been made to confirm exact dates):

 

Box Score: Nov 24, 1984 – Chicago Bulls @ Portland Trail Blazers

 

Nov 26, 1984 – Loss to red-hot Blazers fails to burn the Bulls

Nov 26, 1984 - Chicago Tribune

 

Box Score: Nov 30, 1984 – Chicago Bulls @ L.A. Clippers

 

Dec 1 – Jordan rescues Bulls – Desperate shot stuns Clippers

Dec 1, 1984 - Chicago Tribune

Dec 1, 1984 - Chicago Tribune

 

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NB85-12: Michael Jordan’s rookie NBA season – November 25 through December 9, 1984 | Podcast

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The Dream gives Bowie a nightmare

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

 

* NBA regular season – November 25 through December 9, 1984

* Insightful early-season 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 seven games in this span – five wins and two losses – continuing their run of hot and cold streaks.

We talk about an incident at a Bulls training session, involving David Greenwood and Sidney Green; each fighting – literally and figuratively – for on-court minutes. We also unveil a new ‘NBA Trivia’ feature. How strong is your basketball knowledge?! We chat about the NBA’s best-performing players, milestones reached and much more. Further, you’ll learn about a bizarre, in-game promotion that received a very ‘chili’ reaction. The episode is punctuated by a whirling dervish of high-scoring performances, from two superstars with contrasting offensive prowess; Larry Bird and Dominique Wilkins.

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, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bernard King, Orlando Woolridge, Quintin Dailey, Moses Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon, Derek Smith, Clyde DrexlerMichael Cage, Otis Thorpe, Terry Cummings, Charles BarkleyPurvis Short, Fat Lever, Jack Sikma, Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas, Clark Kellogg & John Lucas.

 

Topics / articles discussed (every effort has been made to confirm exact dates):

 

Nov 27, 1984 – Fight adds punch to Bulls’ forward battle

Nov 27, 1984 - Chicago Tribune
 

Box Score: Nov 27, 1984 – Chicago Bulls @ Golden State Warriors

 

Nov 29, 1984 – Fans can’t stand to see Jordan sit

Nov 29, 1984 - Chicago Tribune
 

Nov 29 – Hawks’ spicy freebies draw a chili reception

Nov 29, 1984 - Milwaukee Journal

 

Nov 29 – Malone reaches a milestone or 2 as 76ers defeat Pacers

Nov 29, 1984 - Milwaukee Journal

 

Box Score: Nov 29, 1984 – Chicago Bulls @ Phoenix Suns

 

Box Score: Nov 30, 1984 – Chicago Bulls @ L.A. Clippers

 

Dec 1 – Jordan rescues Bulls – Desperate shot stuns Clippers

Dec 1, 1984 - Chicago Tribune

Dec 1, 1984 - Chicago Tribune

 

Dec 2 – Suns give MacLeod 500th win

Dec 2, 1984 - Chicago Tribune

 

Box Score: Dec 2, 1984 – Chicago Bulls @ L.A. Lakers

 

Dec 4, 1984 – Bucks considering action against airline

Dec 4, 1984 - Milwaukee Journal

Dec 4, 1984 - Milwaukee Journal

 

Box Score: Dec 4, 1984 – New Jersey Nets @ Chicago Bulls

 

Dec 6, 1984 – Jumping the gun

Dec 6, 1984 - Milwaukee Journal

 

Dec 7, 1984 – NBA’s tough times are over

Dec 7, 1984 - Milwaukee Journal

Dec 7, 1984 - Milwaukee Journal

 

Box Score: Dec 7, 1984 – New York Knicks @ Chicago Bulls

 

Box Score: Dec 8, 1984 – Dallas Mavericks @ Chicago Bulls

 

Dec 9, 1984 – Celtics Slip By Atlanta

Dec 10, 1984 - Ocala Star-Banner

 

Dec 9, 1984 – Keeping watch

Dec 9, 1984 - Milwaukee Journal

 

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AIR041: Eddie Johnson – NBA Sixth Man of the Year, Illinois great, TV analyst and author | Podcast

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NBA Sixth Man of the Year, Illinois great, TV analyst and author, Eddie Johnson.

The timing of this episode is perfect. Eddie was recently honored, in a half-time ceremony, at Illinois, commemorating the 35th anniversary of his game-winning jumper, against Magic Johnson and the Michigan State Spartans.

We learn about Eddie’s early sporting career and how he first became involved with basketball. He chats fondly of his playing days at Westinghouse High School, where he first appeared on the national radar. We discuss his great college career, where he was a four-year star at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Eddie talks about his return to Illinois, just last week, as mentioned above. We also touch on his collegiate link to future NBA star, Derek Harper.

We cover Eddie’s memories of 1981 NBA Draft day and the motivating factors that ensured his place within NBA history. Eddie chats candidly about his professional career, where he was a scoring machine with the Kansas City Kings (who became the Sacramento Kings, after the 1985 season). We chat about his three (full) seasons in Phoenix, where he won (1989) the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award. We talk about his trade to the Seattle SuperSonics, his one season in Charlotte and decision to play overseas, in Greece (1994-95).

Eddie talks about his return to the NBA, for the 1996 season, as a free agent addition of the Indiana Pacers, before ultimately signing with the Houston Rockets in March of 1997. We talk about Eddie’s vital role on a Houston roster, loaded with future Hall of Fame players. I was also compelled to ask Eddie about his incredible buzzer-beating, game-winning three-point shot in the 1997 Western Conference Finals, too.

We round out this great conversation, chatting about his post-NBA career. Eddie has been as a TV analyst for well over 10 years and recently found time to publish a book – with a fantastic title: You Big Dummy – An Athlete’s “SIMPLE” Guide To A Successful Career. We even find time to chat about a guy named Michael Jordan, plus plenty more topics.

 

Links to topics discussed (more added soon):

Statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference | Profile

Eddie Johnson online: WebsiteTwitter | Facebook | YouTube

 

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AIR030: Bill Woods – Australian sports broadcaster, journalist and news-breaker | Podcast

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Bill Woods

Widely-respected Australian broadcaster, journalist and news-breaker, Bill Woods.

AdamTodd & Bill discuss the origin of the NBA (early 1990s) on Australian (commercial) TV – further, Bill’s key involvement as host of weekly, hoops-related programs, during basketball’s golden age of popularity. Bill talks fondly of his co-hosting memories with Steve Carfino, plus, his memorable interviews with NBA superstars, including Michael Jordan, on the set of Space Jam, in 1995. This wide-ranging conversation covers plenty of topics, including great stories about Shaquille O’Neal, the Phoenix Suns Gorilla and Australian hoop heroes, Shane Heal and Andrew Gaze.

 

Links to topics discussed:

Channel Ten: Saturday / Sunday Basketball | Tribute

1996: Team USA v Australia | [Olympics] Team USA v Australia

Bill Woods online: SportsFan Twitter

 

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AIR023: Retro GM 1987-1993 – Assembling our best NBA teams | Podcast

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Retro GM: NBA Draft

Adam and Todd go head-to-head, in the debut of Retro GM. We assume the role of General Manager, to assemble the best team of players from 1987-1993. We discuss our memories of each player, plus, offer up stats and NBA chatter associated with the era.

Retro GM: Guidelines (draft order, subject to change)

Once you have listened to the episode, please vote. We’d love your feedback.

 

Links to topics discussed:

Statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference

Fat Lever’s (near) quadruple-double (1988) | Tom Chambers’ huge dunk (1989)

Joe Dumars and Michael Jordan (1989)Karl Malone vs. Isiah Thomas (1991)

 

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

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