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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NB85-18: Michael Jordan’s rookie NBA season – All-Star Game – February 10, 1985 | Podcast

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Michael Jordan's air, apparent

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

 

* 1985 NBA All-Star Game – February 10, 1985

 

In this episode, we break down the NBA’s thirty-fifth All-Star Game. The game was played at the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana, in-front of a then-record NBA crowd of 43,146. We were fortunate to have access to the game DVD, giving us plenty of topics and moments to talk about, including the alleged ‘freeze-out’ of Michael Jordan, supposedly led by Isiah Thomas.

We chat about Alex English and his humanitarian efforts. Following encouragement from Alex, his fellow stars donated their game payments to an Ethiopian relief effort. The game itself was played at a fast pace, led by perennial All-Stars, Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas. Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon – who finished with similar stat-lines – were the only rookies who played in the game.

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, Ralph Sampson, Larry Nance, George Gervin, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Moses Malone, Bernard King, Sidney MoncriefTerry Cummings & Calvin Natt.

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NB85-15: Michael Jordan’s rookie NBA season – December 25, 1984, through January 8, 1985 | Podcast

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Nothing cavalier about this Michael Jordan hammer

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

 

* NBA regular season – December 25, 1984, through January 8, 1985

* 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 just five games in this span – two wins and three losses.

We discuss Bernard King‘s 60-point explosion on Christmas Day – still not enough to deliver cheer to Knicks’ fans. We also break down the Chicago Bulls’ splits, as they rounded out the 1984 calendar year. We talk about the Player of the Month winners for November (Alex English) and December (Larry Bird), and chat about the NBA’s best-performing players, milestones reached 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, Magic JohnsonPurvis ShortIsiah Thomas, Bill LaimbeerDominique Wilkins, Quintin Dailey & Hakeem Olajuwon.

 

Chicago Bulls games discussed:

 

Box Score: Dec 27, 1984 – Cleveland Cavaliers @ Chicago Bulls

Box Score: Dec 29, 1984 – Atlanta Hawks @ Chicago Bulls

Box Score: Jan 2, 1985 – Chicago Bulls @ Atlanta Hawks

Box Score: Jan 4, 1985 – Milwaukee Bucks @ Chicago Bulls

Box Score: Jan 5, 1985 – Chicago Bulls @ New York Knicks

 

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NB85-14: Michael Jordan’s rookie NBA season – December 10 through 24, 1984 | Podcast

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Michael Jordan challenges Dan Roundfield

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

 

* NBA regular season – December 10 through December 24, 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 – two wins and five-consecutive losses – it took a double-overtime victory against Atlanta, for Chicago to end (what would be) their longest-losing streak of the entire season.

We talk about the Bulls’ inability to win close games; they would compete with their opposition for 46 minutes, before fading out, late. Our ‘NBA Trivia’ feature returns in this episode. How strong is your basketball knowledge?! We chat about the NBA’s best-performing players, milestones reached – including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar becoming the first player to surpass 32,000 points – 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, Otis Birdsong, Bill Laimbeer, Ralph Sampson, Derek Smith, Jawann Oldham, Alex English, Magic JohnsonOtis Thorpe, Isiah Thomas, Larry Bird, Kevin McHalePurvis ShortIsiah Thomas, Dominique Wilkins, Quintin Dailey, Bernard King, Hakeem Olajuwon & Terry Cummings.

 

Chicago Bulls games discussed:

 

Box Score: Dec 11, 1984 – Detroit Pistons @ Chicago Bulls

Box Score: Dec 12, 1984 – Chicago Bulls @ Detroit Pistons

Box Score: Dec 14, 1984 – Chicago Bulls @ New Jersey Nets

Box Score: Dec 15, 1984 – Philadelphia 76ers @ Chicago Bulls

Box Score: Dec 18, 1984 – Houston Rockets @ Chicago Bulls

Box Score: Dec 20, 1984 – Chicago Bulls @ Atlanta Hawks

Box Score: Dec 22, 1984 – Boston Celtics @ Chicago Bulls

 

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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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NB85-2: Michael Jordan’s rookie NBA season – 1984 USA Olympic Training Camp / 1984 Draft | Podcast

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1984 NBA Draftees - Jordan and Olajuwon

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

 

* Team USA 1984 Olympic Training Camp

* 1984 NBA Draft

* NBA TV’s Original Documentary: “THE84DRAFT”

* Roland Lazenby’s book – Michael Jordan: The Life

 

The most prominent players mentioned in this episode, include: Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Sam Bowie, Chuck Person, Charles Barkley, Terry Cummings & Julius Erving.

 

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

 

May 23, 1984 – Rockets win coin flip with Blazers

May 23, 1984 - Fort Scott Tribune

 

May 23, 1984 – Rockets win flip again, will draft Olajuwon

May 23, 1984 - Spokesman Review

 

Jun 5, 1984 – Pros consider draft picks

Jun 5, 1984 - Wilmington Morning Star

 

Jun 14, 1984: Jordan’s draft is June 19

Jun 14, 1984 - Wilmington Morning Star

 

Jun 15, 1984 – Person hoping to make team

Jun 15, 1984 - Gadsden Times

 

Jun 16, 1984 – NBA files suit, seeks to replace Clippers

Jun 16, 1984 - Milwaukee Sentinel

 

Jun 17, 1984 – Rockets expect to make Olajuwon first pick

Jun 17, 1984 - Gadsden Times

 

Jun 17, 1984 – Preps to attend summer camps

Jun 17, 1984 - Wilmington Morning Star
 

Jun 19, 1984 – Predicting first-round draft picks a guess past top three

Jun 19, 1984 - Times Daily

 

Jun 19, 1984 – Olajuwon’s parents have worries over son’s education, not draft

Jun 19, 1984 - Kentucky New Era
 

Jun 19, 1984 – NBA (Draft predictions)

Jun 19, 1984 - Kentucky New Era

 

Jun 19, 1984 – Stockton Jazzed at Utah’s choice

Jun 19, 1984 - Spokane Chronicle
 

Jun 20, 1984 – NBA draft underlines strength of U.S. Olympic team

Jun 20, 1984 - Kentucky New Era

 

Jun 21, 1984 – 76ers Reject Erving Deal

Jun 21, 1984 - Toledo Blade

 

Jun 22, 1984 – Jordan might own a city

Jun 22, 1984 - Wilmington Morning Star

 
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