AIR065: Eddie Nealy – Kansas State standout & 10-year NBA veteran | Podcast

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Eddie Nealy

Kansas State Wildcats standout and 10-year NBA veteran, Eddie Nealy.

[Note: whilst mostly known as ‘Ed’, I refer to him throughout, as Eddie]

 

High School: Bonner Springs, Kansas

Eddie’s father was his high school basketball coach. He describes what it was like to have his dad calling the shots. The main focus was an emphasis on developing the fundamentals of his game. This would prove vital, as Nealy’s longevity at the highest level was due in no small part, to his tireless work ethic and mastery of hustle.

 

College: Kansas State University

Years: 1978-79 – 1981-82 | Coach: Jack Hartman

Nealy was a two-time Academic All-American, largely recruited by two schools – Yale and Kansas State. He talks about the reasoning behind his decision to play for the Wildcats. We also chat about a major role that he played in a fantastic game, in his freshman season. He hit crucial free throws to seal victory in the closing seconds.

Eddie’s Wildcats made it to the NCAA Tournament, in three of his four college seasons. In 1981, they advanced to the Elite Eight. I ask Eddie to talk about some key memories from his time at Kansas State, which also included an oversea tour to Japan, prior to senior season. Nealy left college with averages of 10.6 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. For three of those seasons, he was teammates with the great Rolando Blackman. We cover his recollections of teaming with the future, four-time NBA All-Star.

Eddie Nealy - Kansas State Wildcats

 

1982 NBA Draft

Date: June 29 | Location: New York | Pick: 166 (Round 8) | Team: Kansas City Kings

We talk about Eddie’s draft-day whereabouts and how he first heard the news that he was an NBA draftee. He also reflects on what it meant to be selected by his home-state team.

 

NBA / CBA career | Years: 1982-83 – 1992-93

Seasons: 1982-83 – 1984-85 | Team: Kansas City Kings

Coaches: Cotton Fitzsimmons, Jack McKinney & Phil Johnson

Along with (former podcast guest) Eddie Johnson, Nealy played all 82 regular-season games in his rookie season. He recalls some memories from his first year in the league.

The following year – his first trip to the post-season – Eddie’s Kings lost to eventual NBA Finalists, the L.A. Lakers. Nealy talks about his experiences playing the might of the L.A. Lakers.

After missing most of the Kings’ (1984-85) training camp, Eddie was released, signing on with the Continental Basketball Association’s (CBA) Sarasota Stingers – for part of the 1984-85 season – before signing as a free agent and returning to the Kansas City Kings, in late February, 1985. Following the Kings’ off-season relocation to Sacramento, Nealy was released by the team. He returned to the CBA and was a member of the 1986 CBA Champion, Tampa Bay Thrillers, led by Bill Musselman. Eddie fondly recalls his experiences playing in the CBA.

 

Seasons: 1986-87 – 1987-88 | Team: San Antonio Spurs

Coach: Bob Weiss

In mid-July, 1986, Nealy signed as a free agent with the San Antonio Spurs. He played with the team for two seasons. These days (2015), Eddie resides in Texas. We talk about his playing days in San Antonio and what it could have been like to play with David Robinson. Eddie also reflects on some former San Antonio teammates.

 

Season: 1988-89 | Teams: Chicago Bulls / Phoenix Suns

Coaches: Doug Collins / Cotton Fitzsimmons

Prior to the 1989 season, Nealy signed as a free agent with the Chicago Bulls. He played 13 games in his first stint as a Bull, before Chicago traded him to Phoenix (mid-December), in exchange for Craig Hodges. Eddie talks about the move to Chicago and how he responded to hearing news of a trade to the Valley of the Sun. He also recalls a great story from the Bulls’ practice court, involving him and Michael Jordan.

 

Season: 1989-90 | Team: Chicago Bulls

Coach: Phil Jackson

In October, 1989, Phoenix traded Eddie back to Chicago. He was a Bull for the second time. We discuss what he was thinking, when he learnt he was headed back to the Windy City. Nealy played a pivotal role in Chicago’s playoff run. We reminisce about Game 4 of the 1990 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals – Chicago at Philadelphia. Eddie had a terrific performance, scoring 9 points and pulling down 9 rebounds. Jordan torched the Sixers for 45 points. Nealy and Jordan were interviewed by Jim Gray (CBS), post-game.


 

Season: 1990-91 – 1991-92 | Team: Phoenix Suns

Coach: Cotton Fitzsimmons

Before the 1991 season, Eddie signed with Phoenix as a free agent. He played with the Suns for two seasons – an exciting team, with a very-promising future. We talk about his return to Phoenix.

 
Season: 1992-93 | Teams: Golden State Warriors / Chicago Bulls

Coaches: Don Nelson / Phil Jackson

Nealy was waived by Phoenix (early November, 1992), signing with the Warriors, later that same month. He played 30 games in Golden State, before – with the help of Don Nelson – they traded him back to Chicago, for his third stay as a member of the Bulls. After the regular season, the Bulls placed Eddie on the inactive roster. We discuss his memories of the 1993 season, his involvement with the team and how he felt, watching from the sidelines – particularly, when John Paxson launched his famous three-point shot that sealed Chicago’s 1993 NBA Championship.


 

I ask Eddie to recall “The Game I’ll Never Forget”.

In 2014, Nealy was inducted to the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame. We talk about how he felt to receive that great honor.

Phil Jackson once said that having Nealy on his roster, was like having another coach. We discuss Eddie’s (possible) opportunities missed and future coaching ambitions.

Our conversation rounds out with a quick chat about the significance (if any) of Eddie’s jersey numbers.

People mentioned in this episode, include: Charles Barkley, LaSalle Thompson, Kevin Johnson, Dan Majerle, Chris Mullin & Tim Hardaway.

 

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NB85-27: Michael Jordan’s rookie NBA season – 1985 Playoffs – Round 2 | Podcast

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Fat Lever and Darrell Griffith

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

 

* 1985 NBA Playoffs – Round 2 (April 27 through May 10)

* Insightful minutiae, all but lost to the annals of basketball history

 

In this episode, we discuss numerous happenings from the 1984-85 NBA season. Whilst the Chicago Bulls were eliminated in the first round, we continue our coverage of the Playoffs. This time, the Conference Semifinals.

East: Philadelphia 76ers v Milwaukee Bucks Boston Celtics v Detroit Pistons

West: L.A. Lakers v Portland Trail Blazers | Denver Nuggets v Utah Jazz

 

The episode also includes a great conversation that Aaron had, with ESPN Chicago’s Marc Silverman (of Waddle & Silvy). Recorded, in-person, in Chicago (February, 2015). Marc discusses his memories of growing up in Chicago, attending Bulls games – pre-Jordan and beyond. Thank you, Silvy, for indulging us.

Marc Silverman and Aaron Stehn

The Orlando Woolridge Show 

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 people mentioned in this episode, include: Michael Jordan, Larry BirdTerry Cummings, Paul Pressey, Magic Johnson, Darrell Griffith, Sidney Moncrief, Fat Lever, Alex English, Kareem Abdul-JabbarMark Eaton, Thurl Bailey, Michael Cooper, Don Nelson & Rod Thorn.

 

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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NB85-7: Michael Jordan’s rookie NBA season – Sam Smith – There Is No Next: NBA Legends on the Legacy of MJ | Podcast

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There Is No Next: NBA Legends on the Legacy of Michael Jordan

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

 

* Sam Smith’s book: There is No Next: NBA Legends on the Legacy of Michael Jordan

 

In another special episode, we are joined by Bulls.com columnist, New York Times best-selling author (The Jordan Rules) and former podcast guest, Sam Smith. We deep dive into a great discussion of Michael Jordan’s rookie NBA season (1984-85) and the Chicago Bulls franchise itself. We ask Sam all about his new book, which is part oral history / part narrative. Sam discussed MJ with an incredible cast of luminaries, including Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Phil Jackson, Isiah Thomas, Dominique Wilkins, President Obama and many more.

Thanks to (the appropriately named) ‘Johnny Kilroy’ for submitting a listener question. You’ll hear Sam’s answer within this episode.

This episode is (mostly) devoted to 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 (and coaches) mentioned in this episode, include: Michael Jordan, Orlando Woolridge, Dave Corzine, Quintin Dailey, Reggie Miller, Don Nelson & Kevin Loughery.

Topics discussed: Michael Jordan’s debut, 30 years ago

 

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AIR028: Ricky Pierce – Two-time NBA Sixth Man of the Year, All-Star and basketball great | Podcast

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Two-time NBA Sixth Man of the Year, All-Star and basketball great, Ricky Pierce.

We discuss Ricky’s early years and when he first fell in love with the game of basketball. He chats about his great collegiate career and the many future links to players from his 1982 NBA Draft class. We talk about his battles against Michael Jordan’s Bulls and rise to becoming one of the most elite sixth men ever. You’ll also learn that Ricky is a published author and in 2012, completed his degree (BA in Kinesiology) at Rice University.

 

Links to topics discussed:

Statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference | Profile

Ricky: vs. MJ | Bucks’ 40th Anniversary Team | Rice University

Single-season scoring | SuperSonics v Suns – 1993 NBA Playoffs (Game 7)

Accushot22 | Bouncing Billy

Ricky Pierce online: Facebook Twitter

 

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AIR019: 1990-1994 NBA All-Star Games – complete recap | Podcast

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Michael v Magic

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.

 

NEW! Blooper reel: (audio) [click below]

 

Links to topics discussed:

All-Star Games: 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 [links courtesy of Basketball Reference]

Top 10 plays: ’90 | ’91 | ’92 | ’93 | ’94

1990: Karl Malone | 1992: Magic Johnson | 1994: Scottie Pippen

 

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AIR017: Terry Cummings – NBA All-Star, Rookie of the Year and basketball legend | Podcast

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NBA All-Star, Rookie of the Year and basketball legend, Terry Cummings.

We discuss Terry’s teenage years and how he recruited himself to DePaul University. He talks about his college experiences and playing with fellow great, Mark Aguirre. We hear Terry’s thoughts on the 1982 NBA Draft and his two seasons at the (San Diego) Clippers. We cover his trade request to Milwaukee and what it was like to play against Michael Jordan, Julius Erving and other greats of the game. We talk about the leadership he offered team mates throughout his whole career, his thoughts on the NBA of today and his post-basketball life.

 

Links to topics discussed:

Jordan’s second NBA game | Bulls v Bucks – 1985 NBA Playoffs (Game 2 / Game 3)

Julius Erving’s final NBA game | Spurs v Blazers – 1990 NBA Playoffs (part 1 / part 2)

Terry Cummings online: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

 

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Feedback: e-mail (audio welcome) | Voicemail