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

Play

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

 

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.

Follow: Facebook | Twitter | Google+

Subscribe: iTunesRSS | Website

Feedback: e-mail (audio welcome) | Voicemail

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

Play

Magic Johnson - Los Angeles Lakers

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

 

* NBA regular season – January 8 through 22, 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 – one win and five losses.

We chat about the Bulls’ continued struggle to remain competitive, in the absence of (still injured) Michael Jordan. Conversely, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers – led by superstars, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson – seemed headed for a would-be rematch of the previous season’s NBA Finals.

In other NBA news, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar became the first player to surpass 34,000 career points. Meanwhile, the rivalry between Jawann Oldham and Manute Bol, led to a frightening brawl at Chicago Stadium. That fracas offset another (video) tidbit that was highlighted on (NBA Entertainment’s) Awesome Endings.


 

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: Darwin Cook, LaSalle Thompson, Calvin Natt, Marques Johnson, Purvis Short, Charles Oakley, Kyle Macy, Otis Birdsong & Herb Williams.

 

Chicago Bulls games discussed:

 

86-01-11 – Los Angeles Clippers @ Chicago Bulls

86-01-14 – Washington Bullets @ Chicago Bulls

86-01-15 – Chicago Bulls @ Detroit Pistons

86-01-17 – Philadelphia 76ers @ Chicago Bulls

86-01-19 – Chicago Bulls @ Washington Bullets

86-01-20 – Los Angeles Lakers @ 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.

Follow: Facebook | Twitter | Google+

Subscribe: iTunesRSS | Website

Feedback: e-mail (audio welcome) | Voicemail

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

Play

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.

"<strong

 

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.

 

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

Follow: Facebook | Twitter | Google+

Subscribe: iTunesRSS | Website

Feedback: e-mail (audio welcome) | Voicemail

NB86-6: Michael Jordan’s second NBA season – December 9 through 23, 1985 | Podcast

Play

Manute Bol eviscerates Jawann Oldham

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

 

* NBA regular season – December 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 1985-86 NBA season. The Chicago Bulls played seven games in this span – three wins and four losses.

Around the league, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers continued their fantastic starts to the season. We chat about a (possible) ‘cast-breaking ceremony’, to check whether Michael Jordan‘s broken foot had healed. However, this news only plays the role of ‘supporting cast’, in an episode where Manute Bol stands tall…very tall. In the absence of Jeff Ruland (broken ankle), Bol’s first-career start resulted in 18 points, 12 blocks and nine rebounds.

We also talk about the reasoning behind Jordan’s decision to (mostly) not travel with his team. The Chicago Tribune reported that teammates were voicing their disappointment in MJ’s ‘lack of moral support’ – he even declined the request (to attend games) of Bulls’ GM, Jerry Krause.

The Dallas Mavericks’ Mark Aguirre, was suspended by his team, after refusing Coach Dick Motta’s request to re-enter a game, in Atlanta. Motta took exception to Mark helping his friend, Dominique Wilkins, to his feet, after the pair collided, earlier in the game.

Further, we discuss some milestones. It was a great span for the San Antonio Spurs. Alvin Robertson was named the NBA’s Player of the Week, notching a career-high 41 points against the Denver Nuggets. In that same game, Artis Gilmore eclipsed 23,000 career points (ABA and NBA).

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: Sidney Green, Melvin Turpin, Hot Rod Hundley, Jawann Oldham, Mark EatonFat Lever, Rolando Blackman & Doug Moe.

 

Chicago Bulls games discussed:

 

85-12-10 – San Antonio Spurs @ Chicago Bulls

85-12-12 – Philadelphia 76ers @ Chicago Bulls

85-12-14 – Sacramento Kings @ Chicago Bulls

85-12-15 – Chicago Bulls @ Boston Celtics

85-12-17 – Boston Celtics @ Chicago Bulls

85-12-19 – Washington Bullets @ Chicago Bulls

85-12-21 – Utah Jazz @ 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.

Follow: Facebook | Twitter | Google+

Subscribe: iTunesRSS | Website

Feedback: e-mail (audio welcome) | Voicemail

NB85-29: Michael Jordan’s rookie NBA season – 1985 Playoffs – NBA Finals | Podcast

Play

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

 

* 1985 NBA Finals (May 23 through June 9)

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

 

The penultimate episode of #NB85. We discuss numerous happenings from the 1984-85 NBA season. This time, The Finals. Make sure you stay tuned for our final episode. We have a tremendous guest joining us, to finish the series in style.

NBA Finals: L.A. Lakers v Boston Celtics

This episode continues our coverage of the 1984-85 NBA season. 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 BirdByron Scott, James Worthy, Julius Erving, Scott Wedman, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dennis Johnson, Kevin Loughery, Jawann Oldham, Quintin Dailey, David Greenwood, Bryant Reeves, Jim Jackson & Hot Rod Williams.

 

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.

Follow: Facebook | Twitter | Google+

Subscribe: iTunesRSS | Website

Feedback: e-mail (audio welcome) | Voicemail

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

Play

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.

 
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.

Follow: Facebook | Twitter | Google+

Subscribe: iTunesRSS | Website

Feedback: e-mail (audio welcome) | Voicemail