BTG-1: Tom Chambers’ dunk on Mark Jackson [Jan 27, 1989] – Behind the Game | Podcast

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Tom Chambers joins the Phoenix Suns

Photo: Sean Brady [The Arizona Republic]

Tom Chambers’ iconic (1989) jam on Mark Jackson. This episode covers:

 

* details behind one of the NBA’s all-time greatest slam dunks

 

The first in a new series of podcast episodes: Behind the Game. Learn why Tom Chambers and Mark Jackson are forever linked in NBA history.

 

Topics / links discussed (include):

Phoenix Suns rise from troubled days

  • Game highlights

Suns defeat Knicks, 132-130

  • Pigeons and statues

People mentioned in this episode, include: Eddie Johnson, Jeff Hornacek, Kevin Johnson, Mark West, Tyrone Corbin, Larry Nance, James Edwards, Jay Humphries, Dan Majerle, Tim Perry, Andrew Lang, Patrick Ewing & Gerald Wilkins.

 

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AIR071: Phoenix Rising – Suns (1968-69 through 1993 NBA Finals) | Podcast

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Phoenix Suns - 25th Anniversary

Adam and Adam discuss the evolution of the Phoenix Suns. From the franchise’s 1968-69 inception, through to the 1993 NBA Finals.

We cover a wide range of topics. You’ll soon learn why Adam is a true Phoenix Suns ‘Super Fan’. When he was a young boy, the Suns were Phoenix’s only professional sports team. We chat about the 1976 season and the Suns’ improbable first trip to the NBA Finals. That 1976 team was lovingly referred to as the ‘Sunderella Suns’. Earlier this year, Tom Leander released a fantastic documentary – of the same name – devoted to the 40th anniversary of that iconic squad [Part I | Part II].


 

Our main topic of discussion, focuses on how the Suns franchise was rebuilt from the ground-up, throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s, culminating with their 1993 NBA Finals appearance. We cover some of the off-court issues that plagued the team during the 1980s, then discuss the tragic death of promising Suns center, Nick Vanos. Plus, Adam has a great story about the 1988 NBA Draft and the aftermath of the Suns selecting Dan Majerle. It wouldn’t be a conversation about the Phoenix Suns, if we didn’t chat about Tom Chambers‘ insane jam over Mark Jackson.


 

In November, 1990, Adam sat next to photographers, near the basket support at Memorial Coliseum, to watch the visiting Chicago Bulls – who went on to win the 1991 NBA Finals – take on the Phoenix Suns. He talks about his unique view and memories of that game. The Suns continued to strengthen their roster and all the pieces fell into place, when they traded for Charles Barkley, not long after the 1992 NBA Finals. We talk about the 1993 post-season. Phoenix narrowly escaped a first-round humiliation to the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Lakers. Paul Westphal boldly predicted the Suns would win in five games, which they did. We then discuss the 1993 NBA Finals and how the Suns worked their way back into the series, after losing their first two (home) games at America West Arena.

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.

The most prominent players mentioned in this episode, include: Curtis Perry, Kevin Johnson, Alvan Adams, Michael Jordan, Larry Nance, Tim Perry, Cedric Ceballos, Mike D’Antoni & Steve Nash.

Statistics mentioned, are often courtesy of Basketball-Reference.

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AIR059: Cedric Ceballos – NBA All-Star, 11-year veteran & Slam Dunk Champion | Podcast

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Cedric Ceballos with the Van Exel-lent dunkNBA All-Star, 11-year veteran & Slam Dunk Champion, Cedric Ceballos.

Prior to delving into Cedric’s on-court prowess, we talk about his love for music and the famous album, ‘Basketball’s Best Kept Secret‘, featuring Dana Barros and many others.


 

Little-known fact: Cedric was a ball-boy at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Ceballos went on to star at Ventura College, before playing his junior and senior seasons at Cal State Fullerton – where he was scouted by Jerry West – averaging better than 22 points & 10 rebounds per game.

Cedric discusses the 1990 NBA Draft, and his flurry of emotions, waiting to hear his name called. He was selected 48th overall, by the Phoenix Suns. Ced talks about his transition from college, and learning the game from veterans like Tom Chambers, Eddie Johnson & Dan Majerle.

Our conversation also uncovers the fascinating truth behind Dee Brown‘s victory – punctuated by his memorable, pumping-up of the Reebok shoes, and ‘Blind Dunk’ – in the 1991 Slam Dunk Competition.


 

Cedric won the 1992 contest, finishing with his famous ‘Hocus Pocus’ jam, dedicated to Magic Johnson. Few people know, that Cedric & Dee competed in a college dunk contest, at the Orlando All-Star Classic. 25 years later, prepare to hear the inside story that will change most of what you know about the history of the NBA’s 1991 Dunk Contest.

 

We break down the 1993 season. Paul Westphal was named as coach, the Suns traded for Charles Barkley and Cedric led the league in field-goal percentage (57.6). Phoenix steamrolled the league, en route to 62 wins and the number-one seed in the Playoffs. The Suns survived their first-round series against the upstart Lakers, with an overtime victory in the fifth and deciding game.

 

Injury hit Cedric at the worst possible time. He broke his foot during the 1993 Western Conference Finals; missing the NBA Finals against Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and the Chicago Bulls. He talks about the emotions of supporting his team from the sidelines.

We cover Cedric’s trade (September, 1994) from Phoenix to the L.A. Lakers, where he enjoyed NBA-career highs in scoring, rebounds and assists. Ceballos was named an All-Star, however, an incident with Dikembe Mutombo, days prior to the 1995 All-Star Game, led to Cedric missing the game due to injury. In a cruel twist of fate, Mutombo would receive his second All-Star nod.

 

Magic Johnson returned to the NBA during the 1996 season. Cedric talks about co-captaining the Lakers with Nick Van Exel, the impact of Magic’s return and how it felt to miss the opportunity to challenge for a title, playing alongside one of the all-time greats.

Cedric appeared in the iconic movie, Space Jam. We talk about his memories of the experience and the effect it continues to have on his life.

 

He also opens up about playing basketball inside The Jordan Dome – the purpose-built workout facility, constructed for Jordan’s use, during downtime around the filming of the movie.

 

During the 1997 season, Ceballos was traded back to Phoenix – the Suns were in turmoil, but Cedric and his (new) teammates turned the season around, steering the franchise into the Playoffs.

In the 1998 season, Cedric was traded to Dallas. He talks about the challenges of playing for a franchise that was fighting for relevancy. He speaks fondly of former-teammate, (Australia’s) Chris Anstey and a great victory the Mavs had over the rampaging Bulls, in March of 1998.

 

After his time with the Mavericks, he closed out his NBA career with stops in Detroit and Miami. He then played in various leagues around the USA, became a member of the Harlem Globetrotters and also headed overseas to play professionally.

You can follow Cedric online. Check him out on Twitter. Learn more about his other interests, including ShootersRev and The Stream World.

Thanks to Paul Corliss and the NBRPA team, for scheduling Cedric’s podcast appearance.

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NB85-24: Michael Jordan’s rookie NBA season – March 10 through 24, 1985 | Podcast

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Jordan takes aim, versus Bullets

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

 

* NBA regular season – March 10 through 24, 1985

* Insightful 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 yet another, schedule-stuffing nine games, in this span – four wins and five losses.

We chat about Jerry Reinsdorf becoming the Chicago Bulls’ majority owner. Then, cover Bernard King‘s very serious, career-altering knee injury. We also talk about the NBA’s best-performing players – including Larry Bird‘s astonishing 60-point explosion versus Atlanta – milestones reached – George Gervin passing Jerry West, to become the then-ninth all-time highest scorer in league history – and much more.

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, Jawann Oldham, Alvan Adams, Bill Laimbeer, Dave Corzine, Jeff Malone, Steve Johnson, Darrell Griffith, Robert Parish, Manute Bol & Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

 

Chicago Bulls games discussed:

 

Box Score: Mar 11, 1985 – Chicago Bulls @ Washington Bullets

Box Score: Mar 12, 1985 – Detroit Pistons @ Chicago Bulls

Box Score: Mar 14, 1985 – Chicago Bulls @ New York Knicks

Box Score: Mar 15, 1985 – Phoenix Suns @ Chicago Bulls

Box Score: Mar 17, 1985 – Milwaukee Bucks @ Chicago Bulls

Box Score: Mar 19, 1985 – Chicago Bulls @ Houston Rockets

Box Score: Mar 20, 1985 – Chicago Bulls @ San Antonio Spurs

Box Score: Mar 23, 1985 – Chicago Bulls @ Dallas Mavericks

Box Score: Mar 24, 1985 – Chicago Bulls @ Utah Jazz

 

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NB85-5: Michael Jordan’s rookie NBA season – Chicago, Nike sign Jordan, 1984-85 Bulls training camp and preseason games | Podcast

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Rod Thorn and Michael Jordan

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

 

* Chicago Bulls’ negotiations to sign Jordan

* Details of Nike’s efforts to secure Jordan’s signature

* Chicago Bulls’ 1984-85 training camp and preseason games

 

In this episode, we discuss the lead-up to the Bulls’ signing of Michael Jordan (September, 1984); including newly-discovered details that his first-pro contract may not have been what we thought it was. Thanks to Roland’s Lazenby’s, Michael Jordan: The Life and Julie Strasser’s, Swoosh: Unauthorized Story of Nike, we cover Nike’s play to obtain MJ’s signature and discuss whether or not Adidas & Converse had a real chance to lure him away. We’re also pleased to detail all seven games from Michael Jordan’s first preseason with the Chicago Bulls (October, 1984).

After listening to this, our fifth episode, you’ll be anticipating our next installment – we’ll discuss Michael Jordan’s regular-season debut – the day that NBA history would be changed forever.

The most prominent players mentioned in this episode, include: Michael Jordan, Orlando Woolridge, Caldwell Jones, Terry Cummings, Eddie Johnson & Ricky Pierce.

 

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

 

Aug 12, 1984 – Basketball: Rockets-Bulls trade

Aug 12, 1984 - Beaver County Times

 

Aug 16, 1984 – Wilmington’s Jordan ready to join Bulls

Aug 16, 1984 - Wilmington Morning Star

 

Aug 25, 1984 – Olympic hero Jordan gets keys to hometown

Aug 25, 1984 - Wilmington Morning Star

Aug 25, 1984 - Wilmington Morning Star

 

Sep 12, 1984 – Bulls to sign Jordan today

Sep 12, 1984 - Wilmington Morning Star

 

Sep 13, 1984 – Jordan’s signature step up for Bulls

Sep 13, 1984 - The Courier

 

Sep 14, 1984 – Jordan’s pact is reported even richer

Sep 14, 1984 - Wilmington Morning Star

 

Oct 4, 1984 – Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer [MACC] Fund (ad)

Oct 4, 1984 - Milwaukee Sentinel

 

Oct 6, 1984 – Jordan leads Bulls

Oct 6, 1984 - Wilmington Morning Star

 Part III: Year One — Jordan’s Rookie Season | Chicago Bulls

 

Oct 8, 1984 – Jordan nets 32 points, Chicago topples Kings

Oct 8, 1984 - Lawrence Journal-World

 

Oct 9, 1984 – No parades yet for undefeated Bulls [couldn’t locate source]

Oct 9, 1984 - Daily Herald

 

Oct 9, 1984 – Jordan hits 22 as Bulls bump Bucks

Oct 10, 1984 - Milwaukee Sentinel

Oct 10, 1984 - Milwaukee Sentinel

 

Oct 14, 1984 – Nelson pleased as Bucks win

Oct 14, 1984 - Milwaukee Journal

 

Oct 16, 1984 – Jordan scores 20 to lead Bulls’ win

Oct 16, 1984 - Wilmington Morning Star

 

Oct 18, 1984 – Michael Jordan preseason interview @ Madison Square Garden

 

Oct 19, 1984 – Jordan has 23 in win

Oct 19, 1984 - Wilmington Morning Star

 

Oct 20, 1984 – Bulls’ preseason closes with defeat [couldn’t locate source]

Oct 20, 1984 - Daily Herald

 

Oct 24, 1984 – Jordan Appears to Be for Real

Oct 24, 1984 - Sarasota Herald-Tribune

 

Oct 26, 1984 – Olajuwon, Jordan ease into rookie spotlight

Oct 26, 1984 - Kentucky New Era

 

May 16, 1985 – Winning Teammates Respect Toughest Aspect for Jordan

May 16, 1985 - Victoria Advocate

 

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Kendall Gill: Illinois great, All-American and NBA star | Interview

Illinois Fighting Illini great, All-American and NBA star, Kendall Gill.

Due to audio issues, our initial recording of Kendall’s podcast episode failed. Here is the transcribed interview of that conversation – featuring discussion topics that didn’t make it into the re-recorded episode. Thanks again Kendall for your great generosity.

 

Podcast: In all Airness – Jordan-era | NBA History

Guest: Kendall Gill | Record date: Jan 28, 2014 | Key: A = Adam / K =Kendall

 

A: Kendall Gill, thanks for joining me.

K: No problem. It’s a pleasure to be heard Down Under in Australia.

A: Have you ever been to Australia before?

K: Never been to Australia before – but someday, I plan on making it.

A: How do you compare the in-arena atmosphere of college basketball, to the support your Charlotte Hornets received in the NBA?

K: It was a little bit different, because an important thing to remember about the Illini players – each and every one of those players; even the walk-ons – was from the state of Illinois. All of us were home grown. It was special.

When I go to North Carolina and play for the Charlotte Hornets, it was great as well, because of the 22,000 fans they had there every night – they were basketball crazy. At that time, the Hornets were the only show in town. It seemed like a college atmosphere, but it was a little different playing pro basketball to college basketball, because players can get traded and you don’t get to form the special relationships as a pro player, that you can as a college player. The fan support was awesome in Charlotte.

A: How was it, playing with a unique team mate like Muggsy Bogues?

K: Well, with Muggsy, it was great playing with him, because he was a point guard that could deliver the basketball to you. That was his first priority. In today’s day and age, you have guys that shoot first. Muggsy was not at all like that – he pushed the basketball up the court. If you ran, he would give you the basketball. Defensively, people didn’t want to dribble the basketball up against Muggsy Bogues.

If you remember Rod Strickland, who is one of the great point guards – most underrated point guards that has ever played in the NBA – bringing the ball up against Muggsy, he never wanted to do that. He always passed the ball off to the two-guard and let him bring it up. That lets you know that even though Muggsy was 5’3”, he could change the game at any time.

A: True. Rod Strickland had great handle of the ball, so it’s a testament to how good Muggsy was. It must have been quite jarring to see someone of his (Bogues) stature, compete and be so good at NBA level, where players are much taller. Can you talk about his competitiveness?

K: Absolutely. He’s a big-time competitor and confident. Totally confident. Even though he was small, he used his speed to his advantage. He had a great ability to cause disruption on the defensive end. These are his strengths. We know he wasn’t the greatest scorer – he was great at other things and that is what he kept him in the league for so long.

A: Most listeners will know, as we record this chat, the Charlotte Bobcats will soon revert back to being named the Charlotte Hornets. As one of the Hornets’ best players in their franchise history, what’s your opinion of their name change?

K: I think it’s great. I think the fans were so hurt when the franchise left for New Orleans, that when the NBA brought them back, it still wasn’t the same – they were the Bobcats. I think the city identifies with the colors of purple and teal. They identify that with the Hornets name. Now, it seems like the real girlfriend is back (laughs) – so to speak.

I think the city will embrace it and with the name change, there will be more pride instilled in the franchise. Michael Jordan and Fred Whitfield and all those guys understand that. That’s why they wanted to bring the name-change back. It is going to be great for the franchise.

A: [Mutombo’s Nuggets defeated Gill’s Sonics: 1994 NBA Playoffs] After losing Game 5 and returning to the locker room, what happened behind closed doors?

K: Well, it was like a morgue. It was completely silent and like a train hit us. We didn’t know what happened. I don’t know if you saw, but I’m a big boxing fan. Manny Pacquiao fought Juan Manuel Marquez; in a fight in which he got knocked out. Manny was winning the fight and then, all of sudden – boom – one punch…he’s out. Exactly the feeling we had when we lost to the Denver Nuggets.

A: At what point in your career, did you increase your physical conditioning, with boxing and aerobic-type exercises?

K: About my 10th year in the league, I started to do mixed-martial arts – things you’d see on the UFC. I did that for extra conditioning in the summer time – being a 10th year player, you need something else to take it to another level, to keep you ahead of the younger players and that’s why I did it. My first love was always boxing. I used to box when I was a kid. I went back to my first love. I had four professional fights – I may have another one – I’m not sure right now. I’m trying to work out the details. However, that is my passion and I do it every day.

A: I know that recently you set a goal to get back to your ideal NBA game-shape. The physical conditioning that you’re talking about – is this one of the driving forces behind that decision?

K: It is. My brothers actually bet me that I couldn’t get into that type of shape again. At Christmas, at my parents’ house, my brothers actually bet me that I couldn’t do it. I said, ‘OK’. It’s a challenge – I always look for challenges – I’m going to do it. I’ve already been in a month of training and I’ve got about a month and a half to go. We’ll see. I’m half way there (laughs).

A: Who did you get amped up for and look forward to playing, when you read your NBA schedule?

K: Well, I’ll tell you what. I used to get amped up to play against Drazen Petrovic. He always brought the best out in me. He and I had some terrific battles. I loved playing against Michael, because…one thing, Michael had the Mike Tyson effect. He had the other guys beat before they even got to the arena. They were afraid of him, you know. That never worked on me. I was never afraid and I relished playing against him – even though he was the greatest to ever play the game. I’m not going to stop him; but, I’m going to make it hard for him. I made it very hard for him to score, but, he still scored. He also had the best offense – the Triangle.

You know, we can go back to Kobe Bryant and how great he was. Shaquille O’Neal. Scottie Pippen. Another guy I loved playing against, even though I didn’t guard him – Hakeem Olajuwon. I think he was the second best player I’ve ever played against. Players like that…you know, Glen Rice and I had a lot battles. Also, Grant Hill. A lot of people don’t know; had Grant Hill never been injured, we’d be talking about one of the greatest players to ever play this game. He was one of the most difficult guys to cover as well.

 

Links to topics discussed:

Statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference | Profile

NCAA: Retrospective | Flyin’ Illini1989: Elite Eight

NBA: Draft | Dunk Contest | Highlights | Nuggets v Sonics | Kendall v MJ

Boxing: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Fight Night

Kendall Gill online: Twitter | Instagram | The Backcourt Online

 

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