Adam and Aaron discuss the 1988 NBA All-Star Game – one of the greatest ever. Michael Jordan scored 40 points, en route to Most Valuable Player honors.
We devote an entire episode to our favorite All-Star Game, ever. We cover a multitude of topics, including how and when we first watched this game – plus, its ongoing effect on our NBA-fandom. We talk about the CBS television coverage, pre-game player introductions and national anthem; Adam freely admits to choking up, before the game even commenced. We chat about the vast array of (future) Hall of Fame players, who competed in this game.
We break down Pat O’Brien’s, “At the Half” (TV segment), featuring a great story about then-coach of the Utah Jazz – and, regular funny-man – Frank Layden. There’s even brief discussion of the Legends Game, Three-Point Shootout and Slam-Dunk Competition. Controversy reigns supreme, when we answer a listener-submitted question. All this aside, we dissect the game’s key moments, great plays and all the statistics that matter and records that were flirted with, or broken. If you enjoy a laugh, the closing credits alone are definitely worth a listen, too.
To top it all off, Aaron’s dogs, Jasmine and (the appropriately-named) Wilkins, each contribute to the episode’s pre-music opener. Here’s a photo of Jasmine.
This may be the definitive topic-based episode, to date!
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.
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.
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.
It’s important to distinguish, these are my favorite players – clearly, subjective. A host of past players resonate with me for many reasons; a select moment in time, a well-played, yet under-appreciated career, or merely happenstance.
In no particular order, here are my favorite guards of the Jordan-era [obviously MJ-excluded; must have played at least 4 seasons against MJ's Bulls]:
Notable: 2-time All-Star (1988, 1990) | 6th all-time, steals per game
Opinion: criminally underrated player, deserving of much higher recognition. He had a stunning six season span (1985-1990) averaging 17.0 pts, 7.6 rbs, 7.5 ast and 2.5 stl per game. Oh, and he’s only 6’3″.
Notable: 3-time All-Star (1990-1991, 1994) | 6th all-time, assists per game
Opinion: an outstanding player, mere percentage points from averaging 20 pts / 10 ast for nine consecutive seasons (1989-1997). I loved his exuberant celebrations on court, plus his fearless penetration in the lane. This resulted in assists to open team mates, or an attack on the rim.
Here, KJ gives The Dream, his own night-Mayor (see what I did there?):
Notable: UK (Wildcats) standout, turned pro as a sophomore | Flair for the dramatic
Opinion: an acrobatic and entertaining player, confident in his ability. He has career averages of almost 15 pts / 3 rbs / 3 ast / 1 stl, in under 30 minutes per game. Rex could light up a scoreboard, had a sweet shooting stroke and was a maestro of dunk. I even had his photo on my high school diary (too much information?)
Notable: All-Defensive (2nd) Team (1993) | All-Star (1994) | Sixth Man of the Year (1997)
Opinion: whilst never beating Jordan in the Playoffs, Starks is a first-ballot nominee, for the role of MJ’s nemesis. I admired his tenacity, in-your-face style of play and all out hustle. Plus, John’s road to the NBA is a fascinating tale in itself.
Notable: Rookie of the Year (1989) | 6-time All-Star (1993-1998) | NBA Champion (2002)
Opinion: part of the famed ‘Run TMC’ [part 1 / part 2] at Golden State. He was All-Star MVP in 1995 and Sacramento’s franchise player for seven seasons (1992-1998), averaging 23.3 pts, 3.7 rbs, 4.1 ast and 1.3 stl per game. A consummate professional, lauded as MJ’s toughest defender, by none other than Jordan himself.
Obvious omissions: clearly, the following players are all-time greats at their position. They didn’t make the cut as they’re not my favorites of the era – due to team/s played for or rivalries against MJ’s Bulls – imagined or otherwise…