AIR063: Clay Johnson – NBA Champion, two-time Junior College All-American and Missouri star | Podcast

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Clay Johnson - Los Angeles Lakers

Two-time Junior College All-American, Missouri star and NBA Champion, Clay Johnson.

Clay discusses his childhood love of multiple sports – including three years playing soccer (football) – where he developed skills that he would use to his advantage, on a basketball court. His journey to the NBA almost didn’t happen. Following high school, Clay contemplated a career as a plumber, before being convinced to attend junior college, where he became a two-time All-American at Penn Valley Community College. He still ranks (see pages 26 & 58) Top 10 for ‘Rebounds in a Season’ and ‘Rebounds in a Career’. Atop these lofty achievements, he’s also a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA Region XVI) Hall of Fame.

Johnson was recruited to the University of Missouri, by Coach Norm Stewart. As a junior, Clay scored a career-high 39 points, in a game against Colorado. In his senior season, he was a team captain, hitting a game-winning jump shot, to advance Mizzou to the second round of the Big Eight Postseason Tournament. Remarkably, with a losing record (14-15), the team (also featuring Larry Drew) qualified for the 1978 NCAA Tournament. In his final game as a Tiger, Clay torched Utah for 30 points.

We talk about the 1978 NBA Draft, where Clay was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers in the fifth round. Clay recalls his experiences playing in the Summer Pro League and some NBA preseason games. He was waived by Portland, before the regular season commenced.

Clay took his considerable skills to the Western Basketball Association and Continental Basketball Association, where he displayed his talents for a few seasons – primarily with the Billings Volcanos – determined to make his way back into the NBA.

Clay Johnson - Billings Volcanos

 

In August of 1981, Clay signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers. He had to wait until April of 1982, to make his NBA debut – as fate would have it – against Portland, the team that first drafted him, back in 1978.

We chat about Jeff Pearlman‘s excellent book, Showtime, where Clay is quoted on his dislike of (Lakers) Coach Paul Westhead. He contrasts that, with the high esteem he holds for Coach Pat Riley, who Johnson played under, during his two seasons with the Lakers. Clay was a member of the Lakers’ 1982 NBA Championship squad. We talk about his experiences on that team and playing alongside (future) Hall of Famers, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and James Worthy.


 

Clay’s last NBA season was 1984, as a member of the Seattle SuperSonics. After failing to come to terms with Coach Lenny Wilkens, Johnson returned home to Missouri, joining the CBA’s Kansas City Sizzlers.

Family aside, Clay’s energy and passion – since his playing career ended – revolves around his Clay Johnson Foundation, where he mentors youth in the Kansas City area and around the country.

 
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AIR060: Memorable NBA Games – Dominique Wilkins returns to Atlanta (1994) – Clippers at Hawks | Podcast

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Trading Places - Dominique Wilkins and Danny Manning

Adam and Aaron discuss Dominique Wilkins‘ first-game back in Atlanta, as an opposition player – March 25th, 1994. Nique dropped 36 points on his former team, as the L.A. Clippers defeated the Atlanta Hawks by three points. This game took place just four weeks after the Hawks’ blockbuster trade, that sent Dominique to the Clippers, in exchange for two-time NBA All-Star, Danny Manning.

We discuss all the key aspects of the game. We talk about the SportSouth broadcast and its commentary team of Tim Brando and Mike Glenn. Bob Weiss is overlooked in this story-line. He was now coaching the Clippers, however, had just spent the previous three seasons, with the Hawks. We chat about the commentary team’s mention of an alleged rivalry between former teammates, Kevin Willis (1992 NBA All-Star) and The Human Highlight Film. We talk about each team’s roster and our memories and opinions on this memorable match-up – arguably a forgotten gem of the 1994 NBA season.

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: Ron Harper, Mark Jackson, Mookie Blaylock, Stacey Augmon, Bo Outlaw, Harold Ellis, Duane Ferrell, Jon Koncak, John Williams & Elmore Spencer.

Statistics mentioned in many episodes, are courtesy of Basketball-Reference.

Thanks to Paul Vido of the Downtown team, for the Danny Manning photo (above).

 

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NB85-16: Michael Jordan’s rookie NBA season – January 9 through 23, 1985 | Podcast

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Jordan nix Knicks

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

 

* NBA regular season – January 9 through 23, 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 eight games in this span – four wins and four losses.

We discuss Bernard King‘s quest to become the ‘perfect basketball player’, including unique training drills that prepared him for opposition double and triple-teams. We also break down the Chicago Bulls’ inconsistency. They alternated losses and wins in this period of time. We talk about Moses Malone‘s preseason workouts with Hakeem Olajuwon, chat about the NBA’s best-performing players, milestones reached – including Larry Bird‘s 10,000th point and Lenny Wilkens‘ 1,000th game as coach – 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, Adrian DantleyPhil Hubbard, Isiah Thomas, Larry SmithJack Sikma, Rod HigginsTom Chambers & World B. Free.

 

Chicago Bulls games discussed:

 

Box Score: Jan 9, 1985 – Chicago Bulls @ Boston Celtics

Box Score: Jan 11, 1985 – New York Knicks @ Chicago Bulls

Box Score: Jan 12, 1985 – Chicago Bulls @ Cleveland Cavaliers

Box Score: Jan 14, 1985 – Denver Nuggets @ Chicago Bulls

Box Score: Jan 16, 1985 – Chicago Bulls @ New Jersey Nets

Box Score: Jan 17, 1985 – Cleveland Cavaliers @ Chicago Bulls

Box Score: Jan 19, 1985 – Chicago Bulls @ Indiana Pacers

Box Score: Jan 22, 1985 – Portland Trail Blazers @ Chicago Bulls

 

The Gold Dust Twins [as mentioned in Chicago Tribune]

The Gold Dust Twins

 

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AIR037: 1994 NBA season – complete recap | Podcast

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Copyright © Chris Creamer

Adam and Aaron discuss the 1994 NBA season – the first, following Michael Jordan’s shock-retirement (October 1993). The in-depth conversation covers the entire season.

We talk about great games and memorable moments, including David Robinson’s all-time highest-scoring performance, that ousted Shaquille O’Neal, for the individual scoring title in The Admiral’s regular-season finale. We chat about the NBA’s only 60-win team – the Seattle SuperSonics – who, were ultimately stunned by the upstart Denver Nuggets in the first-round of the NBA Playoffs. We cover all the major award winners and reminisce about some of the notable retirees, including, three former-Bad Boys of the Detroit Pistons.

We delve into Scottie Pippen’s ascent as Chicago’s franchise player, plus, the incredible second-round Playoffs match-up between arch rivals, the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks. We also discuss other pivotal moments from the post-season – culminating with Olajuwon v Ewing in the 1994 NBA Finals.

Photos from my (Adam) 1994 NBA Tour, as mentioned in the episode. Also included, is Aaron’s photo with Bulls legend, John Paxson (Chicago, 2012).

 

Links to topics discussed:

Statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference | 1994 NBA Season Summary

1993: Michael Jordan retires | Bulls v Magic – Christmas Day

1994: Reggie Miller – Take a bow | Don MacLean / Don McLean

1994 NBA Playoffs: The Upset | Bulls v Knicks: Game 3 / Game 5 / Game 6

1994 NBA Finals: Top 10Hakeem’s Top 10

Johnny ‘Red’ Kerr / Adam Howes (curator)

Hoops Podcast: iTunes | Reece Pedretti / James McKern

 

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AIR036: Great NBA Games – Michael Jordan 69 points (1990) | Podcast

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Michael Jordan

Adam and Aaron discuss Michael Jordan’s all-time highest scoring game – March 28th, 1990 – MJ scored 69 points in the Chicago Bulls’ win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

We break down all key aspects of the game. We discuss TNT’s broadcast, the commentary team of Bob Neal and Doug Collins and the Cleveland newspaper article that possibly led to Michael Jordan’s explosive, all-around excellence. We dissect important moments throughout the contest and offer our opinions on relevant players from each roster. Winston Bennett fan? This podcast episode is made for you.

We also touch on the 1990 NBA season as a whole, plus, talk about how each of the two teams fared in the Playoffs. 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.

 

Links to topics discussed (more added soon):

Statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference

March 28, 1990 | Chicago Bulls at Cleveland Cavaliers [Box Score]

1990 NBA Season Summary | Johnny ‘Red’ Kerr / Adam Howes (curator)

 

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