NB86-11: Michael Jordan’s second NBA season – February 22 through March 8, 1986 | Podcast

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Dave Corzine and Michael Jordan - 1986

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

 

* NBA regular season – February 22 through March 8, 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 seven games in this span – two wins and five losses.

Chicago continued to fight for playoff position, as the on-court return of Michael Jordan finally seemed a real possibility. In his absence, the great play of Michael Holton – a recent CBA All-Star signee – helped the Bulls steady the ship in a season riddled with significant injuries.

In other NBA news, the Boston Celtics became the first team to reach 50 wins for the season. That milestone also marked a seventh-consecutive season of 50-plus victories for the franchise.

Charles Oakley‘s star continued to rise as he was named February’s Rookie of the Month. His stellar play was putting pressure to perform on fellow teammate and Bulls veteran, Sidney Green. 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: Dominique Wilkins, Mark AguirreMoses Malone, Sidney Moncrief, Doc RiversCharles Barkley, Robert ParishMicheal Ray Richardson, Rod Higgins, Tony Brown & Bryan Warrick.

 

Chicago Bulls games discussed:

 

86-02-22 – Seattle SuperSonics @ Chicago Bulls

86-02-24 – Chicago Bulls @ Detroit Pistons

86-02-25 – Philadelphia 76ers @ Chicago Bulls

86-02-28 – Cleveland Cavaliers @ Chicago Bulls

86-03-04 – Boston Celtics @ Chicago Bulls

86-03-05 – Chicago Bulls @ Boston Celtics

86-03-07 – Atlanta Hawks @ Chicago Bulls

 

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NB86-10: Michael Jordan’s second NBA season – February 7 through 21, 1986 | Podcast

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Michael Jordan seeks a second opinion on his 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 – February 7 through 21, 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 six games in this span – two wins and four losses.

Michael Jordan sought second (and third) opinions on his broken foot, before ultimately making the difficult decision to postpone his would-be (February) comeback plans. His Chicago Bulls were facing the distinct possibility of missing the 1986 NBA Playoffs, if the team’s form continued to plummet.

In other NBA news, Alvin Robertson entered rarefied air, becoming just the second player in history (joining Nate Thurmond) to record a quadruple-double, in the San Antonio Spurs’ win versus the visiting Phoenix Suns.

Larry Bird continued to star, as his league-leading Celtics became the first team to register forty regular-season wins. 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: Herb Williams, Moses Malone, Dominique Wilkins, Charles Barkley, Michael Holton, Kevin McKenna, Micheal Ray Richardson, Julius Erving, Kyle Macy, Mike Gminski & Jeff Lamp.

 

Chicago Bulls games discussed:

 

86-02-12 – Chicago Bulls @ Philadelphia 76ers

86-02-14 – Indiana Pacers @ Chicago Bulls

86-02-16 – Dallas Mavericks @ Chicago Bulls

86-02-17 – Chicago Bulls @ Indiana Pacers

86-02-19 – Chicago Bulls @ New Jersey Nets

86-02-21 – Portland Trail Blazers @ Chicago Bulls

 

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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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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NB86-7: Michael Jordan’s second NBA season – December 24, 1985, through January 7, 1986 | Podcast

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Chicago Bulls' Charles Oakley

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

 

* NBA regular season – December 24, 1985, through January 7, 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 six games in this span – three wins and three losses.

Legendary Philadelphia 76ers Public Address Announcer, Dave Zinkoff, passed away on Christmas Day. Julius Erving remained in Philadelphia to attend the funeral. We discuss his touching eulogy that honored his great friend.


 

We chat about Michael Jordan’s plaster cast – it was removed, just after Christmas, allowing him to increase his rehabilitation efforts. Newspapers suggested his on-court return would likely be February 1, 1986. However, Jordan’s first game back wouldn’t be until March 15.

In other NBA news, future Hall of Famer, Jamaal Wilkes, announced his retirement. George Gervin, praising the skills of opponent, Darryl Dawkins, quoted a line from a Memorex advertisement, popular in its day. This led to some interesting podcast follow-up, surrounding the history of the famous ad.


 

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: Alvin Robertson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Purvis Short, Dominique Wilkins, Tony Campbell, Sleepy Floyd, Herb WilliamsBob Thornton, Mike Smrek & John Havlicek.

 

Chicago Bulls games discussed:

 

85-12-26 – New York Knicks @ Chicago Bulls

85-12-28 – Indiana Pacers @ Chicago Bulls

85-12-30 – Chicago Bulls @ Cleveland Cavaliers

86-01-02 – Detroit Pistons @ Chicago Bulls

86-01-04 – Atlanta Hawks @ Chicago Bulls

86-01-07 – New Jersey Nets @ Chicago Bulls

 

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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AIR064: Bill Hazen – Broadcast veteran / play-by-play man during Michael Jordan’s rookie NBA season (1984-85) | Podcast

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Bill Hazen

Veteran broadcaster of more than 50 Michael Jordan rookie games (1984-85), Bill Hazen.

Hazen previously appeared on the finale of our #NB85 series. However, that was an edited-down version, relating solely to the 1985 Chicago Bulls. This is the entire conversation, covering Bill’s whole career, to date.

Hazen was born and raised in Chicago. We briefly discuss the city’s history of professional basketball; leading to the expansion Bulls’ entry, in the NBA’s 1966-67 season.

Bill discusses his broadcasting career. His journey began in Columbus, Indiana – working as a disc-jockey and producing commercials – before he landed “the break of a lifetime” and moved to Milwaukee, becoming Sports Director for WISN Radio. This also gave Bill the opportunity to call play-by-play for the Marquette Golden Eagles, surrounded by luminaries Al McGuire, Hank Raymonds and Rick Majerus.

Later, Bill took a job as a sports broadcaster and talk-show host, at Houston’s KTRH. As circumstance would have it, when the talk show was not on the air, the station broadcast Houston Rockets games. Bill then worked play-by-play on TV games, for the Rockets’ late-1970s teams, calling names like Moses Malone, John Lucas and Rudy Tomjanovich, to name a few.

You’ll hear some amazing accounts of Michael Jordan’s first season in the NBA. Hazen was in attendance at Angel Guardian Gym – the Bulls’ practice facility for Jordan’s rookie season – he watched Michael shake hands with new coach, Kevin Loughery, before training camp had even commenced.

We reminisce about some of the great moments during Jordan’s first season as a pro, including this remarkable piece of commentary that Bill exclaimed, in November, 1984.


 

Another stellar piece of Bill’s commentary, was later used in the iconic advertising campaign, ‘America’s Game / NBA Action: It’s FANtastic’.


 

We also discuss Bill’s early use of computer technology to prepare for games and the dismantling of numerous personnel – coaches, executives and broadcasters – following the Bulls’ 1985 season.

In the mid-1990s, Bill worked for ESPN International, recording live audio to accompany ‘Game of the Week’ packages, distributed overseas. Also at this time, Bill called games for the NFL and produced live audio for the 1995 MLB World Series.

We conclude our wide-ranging conversation, chatting about Bill‘s production company.

The most prominent people mentioned in this episode, include: Michael Jordan, Kevin Loughery, Johnny Red Kerr, Paul Westhead, Orlando Woolridge, Jerry Sloan, Sidney MoncriefJawann OldhamDave Corzine, Rod Thorn & Vernon Maxwell.

 

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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NB85-30: Michael Jordan’s rookie NBA season – Special guest, Bill Hazen (broadcaster) – 1985 series finale | Podcast

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Bill Hazen and Michael Jordan

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

 

* Bill Hazen‘s broadcasting career with the Chicago Bulls (1983-85)

* Never-before-told accounts of Michael Jordan’s rookie NBA season

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

 

The ultimate episode of #NB85. We finish our series with an in-depth interview, inviting Bill Hazen on the show, to talk about his experiences covering the Chicago Bulls (1983-85). Bill was the play-by-play man for more than 50 of Michael Jordan’s rookie games.

Hazen was born and raised in Chicago. We briefly discuss the city’s history of professional basketball; leading to the expansion Bulls’ entry, in the NBA’s 1966-67 season.

You’ll hear some amazing accounts of Michael Jordan’s first season in the NBA. Hazen was in attendance at Angel Guardian Gym – the Bulls’ practice facility for Jordan’s rookie season – he watched Michael shake hands with new coach, Kevin Loughery, before training camp had even commenced.

We reminisce about some of the great moments during Jordan’s first season as a pro, including this remarkable piece of commentary that Bill exclaimed, in November, 1984.


 

Another stellar piece of Bill’s commentary, was later used in the iconic advertising campaign, ‘America’s Game / NBA Action: It’s FANtastic’.


 

We also discuss Bill’s early use of computer technology to prepare for games, the dismantling of numerous personnel – coaches, executives and broadcasters – following the 1985 season, Bill‘s production company and much more.

This episode concludes our coverage of the 1984-85 NBA season. Thanks for taking the time to listen to the series. If you enjoyed the content, please share it with your friends!

Make sure you keep an eye on my website. Research is already under way for #NB86. A new series, devoted to 1985-86 – Michael Jordan’s tumultuous second year in the NBA – also, a season highlighted by a stunning Boston Celtics championship team.

The most prominent people mentioned in this episode, include: Michael Jordan, Kevin Loughery, Johnny Red Kerr, Paul Westhead, Orlando Woolridge, Jerry Sloan, Sidney MoncriefJawann OldhamDave Corzine, Rod Thorn, Fred Carter, Dick Motta, Bill BlairVernon Maxwell & Phil Johnson.

 

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