NB86-9: Michael Jordan’s second NBA season – January 23 through February 6, 1986 | Podcast

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Adam & Aaron celebrate the 30th anniversary of Michael Jordan‘s second season in the National Basketball Association. This episode covers:

 

* NBA regular season – January 23 through February 6, 1986

* 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 1985-86 NBA season. The Chicago Bulls played eight games in this span – two wins and six losses.

The Michael Jordan-less Chicago Bulls were struggling to keep its head above water. Could they weather the storm, prior to the on-court return of the franchise cornerstone? The Bulls had some great individual performers – the talented (rookie) Charles Oakley; the sporadic brilliance of (troubled) Quintin Dailey; and ageing star, George Gervin, to name a few – yet couldn’t string together more than three-consecutive wins since Jordan injured himself in just the third game of the season.

In other NBA news, the Los Angeles Clippers had their first win – since moving from San Diego – over the cross-town Los Angeles Lakers. On the topic of historical achievements, Manute Bol recorded an astonishing (equal career-high) 15 blocks, in his Washington Bullets’ win versus the Atlanta Hawks.

Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics continued to steamroll opponents, en route to a 13-game winning streak; remarkably, it wouldn’t be the longest such streak the team enjoyed during this season. Tune in to hear this and plenty more, as we uncover some hidden gems from the NBA’s golden era.

This episode continues our coverage of the 1985-86 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!

Others mentioned in this episode, include: Kiki VanDeWegheCharles Oakley, Alex EnglishKelly Tripucka, Patrick EwingDavid Thirdkill, Charles BarkleyKyle Macy & Keith Lee.

 

Chicago Bulls games discussed:

 

86-01-25 – Phoenix Suns @ Chicago Bulls

86-01-27 – Chicago Bulls @ Dallas Mavericks

86-01-28 – Chicago Bulls @ New York Knicks

86-01-30 – Boston Celtics @ Chicago Bulls

86-02-01 – Houston Rockets @ Chicago Bulls

86-02-02 – Chicago Bulls @ Indiana Pacers

86-02-04 – Detroit Pistons @ Chicago Bulls

86-02-06 – Chicago Bulls @ Milwaukee Bucks

 

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AIR070: Rolando Blackman – Kansas State legend & four-time NBA All-Star | Podcast

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Rolando Blackman - Dallas Mavericks

Kansas State legend and four-time NBA All-Star, Rolando Blackman.

 

High School: William E. Grady Career and Technical, New York

As a young boy, Rolando moved from Panama to New York. We discuss his successful transition to a new country and how he managed to learn – then master – a second language, all from just the age of eight.

To this point, Rolando’s sporting love was football (soccer). After two years of struggling to find others who shared his love of the game, he began to take an interest in basketball, courtesy of his soon-to-be mentor, Ted Gustus. What followed was a transformation from “a kid who couldn’t play…a kid who was throwing the ball away”, to being named one of the city’s top high-school players. Perseverance, passion and focus was paramount. Three times (seventh, eighth and ninth grade) Blackman was cut from his high-school team, before making his breakthrough and fast becoming one of the state’s finest players.

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College: Kansas State University

Years: 1977-78 – 1980-81 | Coach: Jack Hartman

We chat about Rolando’s decision to attend Kansas State University. He had upwards of 200 offers from schools across the country. For three of his four college seasons, Rolando was teammates with friend of the show, Ed Nealy. As a junior, the Wildcats made it to the NCAA Tournament, before bowing out (second round) with a two-point loss to eventual champions, the Louisville Cardinals. Individually, Blackman had a fantastic season, being named Big 8 (now Big 12) Player of the Year and 3rd-Team All-American.

Following his junior season, Rolando was invited to the Olympic trials (May, 1980) in Kentucky. Upwards of 50 nations – USA included – boycotted the (July) Games, protesting the Soviet’s invasion of Afghanistan. Whilst researching for my conversation with Rolando, I discovered that (his) Team USA participated in exhibition games – dubbed the ‘Gold Medal Series‘ – against teams of NBA stars, culminating in a match-up against the 1976, gold medal-winning U.S. Olympians. Rolando reflects on the trials, the exhibitions that followed and the moment he realized he was one of the nation’s elite players.

Rolando Blackman - Team USA (1980)

 

As a senior at Kansas State, Rolando’s buzzer-beating, second-round heroics, helped advance his Wildcats, deep into the NCAA Tournament – ultimately making a trip to the 1981 Elite Eight. It’s widely agreed that his game-winner versus Oregon State – along with U.S. Reed and John Smith’s same-day buzzer beaters – solidified the term, ‘March Madness‘.

 

1981 NBA Draft

Date: June 9 | Location: New York | Pick: 9 (Round 1) | Team: Dallas Mavericks

We discuss Rolando’s first-round selection and he shares a fantastic draft-day story about fellow-1980 Olympian and future (Dallas) teammate, Mark Aguirre.

 

NBA / Euro career | Years: 1981-82 – 1995-96

Seasons: 1981-82 – 1991-92 | Team: Dallas Mavericks

Coaches: Dick Motta, John MacLeod & Richie Adubato

Rolando joined the expansion Dallas Mavericks, after just their first season in the NBA. They went 15-67 before he entered the scene. The team improved markedly in his first-two seasons with the Mavericks. He talks about the transition from being a college standout, to steering a fledgling team in the NBA.

I refer to my conversation with another friend of the show, Dale Ellis, when I ask Rolando to recall the franchise’s first (series) victory in the 1984 NBA Playoffs. It culminated in a crazy finish to the fifth-and-deciding first-round game versus the Seattle SuperSonics. The game was played at Moody Coliseum, due to Reunion Arena’s already-existing booking to host a WCT (tennis) tournament. Dallas won the game in overtime, not before both teams were ushered back from the dressing rooms, to play out the final second on the clock – which didn’t start, the first-time around. The game is known as ‘Moody Madness‘.

Rolando Blackman’s passion for life, is perhaps best demonstrated in the 1987 NBA All-Star Game. In the final three seconds of the fourth quarter, down two points, he drove strong to the hoop, as a contingent of Larry Bird, Julius Erving, Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan tried to stop him. A foul was called, just before the time expired. Blackman stood alone, needing to make both free-throws, to force an overtime session. Rolando details his mindset on the final moments of regulation, the ensuing shots from the charity stripe and how he dealt with the countless distractions – most notably, Magic Johnson‘s attempts to limit Isiah’s incessant trash-talking. As you may expect, we also deep-dive into Rolando’s famous exclaim – “Confidence, Baby, confidence!” – one of the NBA’s most-memorable moments ever.


 

2017 marks the 30th anniversary of that game. Rolando also discusses his opinion of Tom Chambers‘ All-Star Game MVP honors. Speaking of All-Star Games, we chat about the 1986 contest, played at Dallas’ Reunion Arena. Rolando talks about being the Mavericks’ sole on-court representative.

It wouldn’t be a conversation about the 1980s Dallas Mavericks, if we didn’t cover the team’s battles against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Mavericks extended the World Champion Lakers, to seven games in the 1988 Western Conference Finals.

From 1988 through 1992, the Mavericks were coached by John MacLeod and then, Richie Adubato. The franchise began a decline that would bottom out, the year after Blackman left the team. Rolando candidly discusses the series of events which led to the franchise’s lowest era to date.

 

Seasons: 1992-93 – 1993-94 | Team: New York Knicks

Coach: Pat Riley

In June of 1992, the Mavericks traded Rolando to New York. Instead of playing for Dallas’ 11-71 (1993) squad, he was a member of the mighty New York Knicks – a franchise set to seriously challenge the Chicago Bulls’ quest for a third-straight NBA title. We chat about Rolando’s move to New York and his thoughts on the trade.

The 1994 season is one of my all-time favorites. The league was in transition, with the then-retired Michael Jordan, playing baseball. The Houston Rockets and (Blackman’s) New York Knicks were poised to make the leap to the NBA’s elite. After disposing of the New Jersey Nets in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, en route to the NBA Finals, the Knicks went to seventh-and-deciding-games, in the next-three series – versus, Chicago, Indiana & Houston. Rolando shares his thoughts on the end of his NBA career, plus, talks about his decision to finish his playing days with international stints in Greece and Italy.

After retiring as player, Rolando would return to Dallas. In the early 2000s, he was a Player Development Coach for the Mavericks. These were crucial years in the development of future Hall of Famer, Dirk Nowitzki. Rolando talks about how closely he worked – and scrimmaged – with a young Dirk.

Within the decade, Rolando also coached internationally. In the 2006 season, he was an assistant coach to Avery Johnson, as the Mavericks made it to the NBA Finals. We discuss his future ambitions within the sport of basketball.

In 2000, the Mavericks retired his famous #22 jersey. Then, in 2007, Kansas State retired his #25 jersey. In 2015, Blackman was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.


 

I ask Rolando – though it’s almost a certainty we’d know what he’d pick – to recall “The Game I’ll Never Forget”. Our conversation concludes with a quick chat about the significance of his jersey numbers.

People mentioned in this episode, include: Sam Bowie, Sam Perkins, Hubert Davis, James Worthy & Kurt Nimphius.

 

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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AIR069: Great NBA Games – Indiana Pacers vs Chicago Bulls (May 31, 1998) | Podcast

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Michael Jordan drives to the hoop

Adam and Jeff discuss Chicago’s must-win Game 7, to clinch the Eastern Conference and make a sixth trip to the NBA Finals – May 31st, 1998 – the Bulls take on the visiting Pacers, at the United Center.

We cover all the key aspects of the game. We discuss the NBC broadcast and its commentary team of Bob Costas, Doug Collins, Isiah Thomas, Ahmad Rashad and Jim Gray. We chat about Indiana’s rookie coach, the iconic Larry Bird, and his drive to give the Pacers their first-ever trip to the NBA Finals. Conversely, Phil Jackson dubbed this 1998 season, The Last Dance. Something had to give. We talk about each team’s roster and our memories and opinions on this do-or-die match-up.

 

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: Michael JordanScottie Pippen, Reggie Miller, Luc Longley, Mark Jackson, Toni Kukoc, Rik Smits, Steve Kerr, Dennis Rodman, Ron Harper, Travis Best, Chris Mullin, Jud Buechler & Jalen Rose.

Statistics mentioned, are often courtesy of Basketball-Reference.

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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NB86-3: Michael Jordan’s second NBA season – October 25 through November 8, 1985 | Podcast

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Michael Jordan - sidelined with a broken foot

Adam & Aaron celebrate the 30th anniversary of Michael Jordan‘s second season in the National Basketball Association. This episode covers:

 

* NBA regular season – October 25 through November 8, 1985

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

 

In this episode, we discuss numerous happenings from the first 15 days of the 1985-86 NBA season. The Chicago Bulls played seven games in this span – three wins and four losses. Without doubt, the biggest news of the young season, was Michael Jordan‘s fractured left foot – initially reported to be a ‘jammed ankle’ – suffered in the team’s third game. He’d miss 64 regular-season games.

We chat about Larry Bird‘s near quadruple-double that opened the Celtics’ season. That same game was also Bill Walton‘s debut with Boston. We also talk about the great play of the L.A. Clippers’ Derek Smith, who lit up the newly-relocated Sacramento Kings, for 36 points. Patrick Ewing made his NBA debut, however, suffered more losses in his first two weeks as a pro (seven), than he did in his entire senior season at Georgetown (three).

Further, we discuss John Paxson signing with the Bulls and Manute Bol‘s first NBA points. Also, we mention 40-plus point performances from Mark Aguirre, Alex English and Akeem Olajuwon, chat about Chris Mullin‘s heroics in his first regular-season game and much more.

This episode continues our coverage of the 1985-86 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!

Others mentioned in this episode, include: Buck Williams, Terence Stansbury, Wes Matthews & Georgi Glouchkov.

 

Chicago Bulls games discussed:

 

Box Score: Oct 25, 1985 – Cleveland Cavailiers @ Chicago Bulls

Box Score: Oct 26, 1985 – Detroit Pistons @ Chicago Bulls

Box Score: Oct 29, 1985 – Chicago Bulls @ Golden State Warriors

Box Score: Oct 31, 1985 – Chicago Bulls @ L.A. Clippers

Box Score: Nov 2, 1985 – Chicago Bulls @ Seattle SuperSonics

Box Score: Nov 6, 1985 – Chicago Bulls @ Detroit Pistons

Box Score: Nov 7, 1985 – Chicago Bulls @ New Jersey Nets

 

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.

 

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

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NB86-1: Michael Jordan’s second NBA season – pre-draft / 1985 Draft, 1985-86 Bulls training camp and preseason games | Podcast

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Chicago Bulls - Beloit College, Wisconsin - October, 1985

Adam & Aaron celebrate the 30th anniversary of Michael Jordan‘s second season in the National Basketball Association. This episode covers:

 

* Off-season news, notes and quotes

* 1985 NBA Draft

* Chicago Bulls 1985-86 training camp and preseason games

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

 

We’re back with a new series. Starting mid-June, 1985, we discuss a wide array of interesting topics and happenings, from the NBA’s off-season.

We chat about the Chicago Bulls’ moves to sign a new head coach, in the wake of Kevin Loughery‘s firing. We cover the 1985 NBA Draft and the multitude of deals that Chicago made, to secure Charles Oakley‘s arrival and the team’s future.

You’ll learn about the ‘Schlitz Malt Liquor Summer Basketball League’, hosted at Chicago State University, in late June and early July, 1985. Professional players who took part, included Michael Jordan, Isiah Thomas, Reggie Theus, Terry Cummings, Orlando WoolridgeMaurice Cheeks.

We also talk about the burgeoning career of (Washington Bullets draftee) Manute Bol. The Chicago Tribune ran a great feature on Bol, covering his then-stint with the United States Basketball League, where he was averaging an astonishing 12 blocks per game.

In late July, 1985, the University of Illinois at Chicago, hosted an NBA Rookie Summer League, featuring the Bulls, Hawks, Cavaliers, Pistons, Pacers & Bucks. The teams played a series of exhibitions, open to the public. Players involved – referred to as rookies, free agents and fringe pros – included Spud Webb, Joe Dumars, Kevin Willis, Tony Campbell, Ron Anderson, Antoine Carr, Terence Stansbury & Randy Breuer.

To encourage camaraderie and team unity, the Bulls held their (1985-86) preseason training camp at Beloit College, Wisconsin. Aside from basketball, Michael Jordan served as an honorary official (coin toss) at the Beloit-Cornell football game.

Michael Jordan - Beloit College football - October 2, 1985

 

We detail the Bulls’ interest in (free agent) Kyle Macy and the formerly-retired Billy McKinney. Plus, Spencer Haywood made a comeback attempt – attending training camp with the Pistons – two seasons removed from his last NBA game.

We recap Chicago’s 1985-86 preseason games. They were the only team without a win.

Chicago Bulls - 1985-86 preseason

Chicago Bulls - statistics

 

To round out the episode, we talk about the Bulls’ trade for George Gervin, on the eve of the regular season. That deal had ramifications – for more than one reason.

This episode begins our coverage of the 1985-86 NBA season. If you enjoy the content, please share it with your friends! For context, here’s our 30-episode series, exploring Michael Jordan’s rookie campaign.

Others mentioned in this episode, include: Mike Dunleavy, Quintin Dailey, Dave CorzineWes Matthews & Adrian Branch.

 

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.

 

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

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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.

 

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

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Feedback: e-mail (audio welcome) | Voicemail