NB87-4 – December 1 through 15, 1986 – Michael Jordan’s third NBA season | Podcast

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Michael Jordan's 40-point game streak

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

 

* NBA regular season – December 1 through 15, 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 1986-87 NBA season. The Chicago Bulls played eight games in this span – three wins and five losses.

 

Notable milestones:

 

Links discussed:

  • Human Highlight Film versus Air Jordan

 

This episode continues our coverage of the 1986-87 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!

Tune in to hear this and plenty more, as we uncover some hidden gems from the NBA’s golden era.

Others mentioned in this episode, include: Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Tom ChambersAlvin Robertson, Charles Oakley, Alex English, Wilt Chamberlain, David Greenwood, Mike BrownIsiah Thomas & Curtis Kitchen.

 

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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AIR072: Michael Holton – NCAA Championship finalist, NBA / CBA veteran and broadcaster | Podcast

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Michael Holton - Portland Trail BlazersNCAA Championship finalist, NBA / CBA veteran and broadcaster, Michael Holton.

 

 

High School: Pasadena, California

Michael was a great player in high school. As a senior (1979), he averaged 27 points per game. He discusses his fondest memories of playing high school basketball. Fifteen years later – when Michael entered the coaching ranks – he’d reunite with his high school coach, George Terzian. Michael also talks about his decision to sign with the UCLA Bruins.

 

College: University of California Los Angeles

Years: 1979-80 – 1982-83 | Coaches: Larry Brown & Larry Farmer

Michael was a starter as a freshman and was named the Bruins’ outstanding first-year player. He recalls his initial fear of perhaps not being good enough to succeed on the next level – that fear was quickly allayed. After winning only eight of the first 14 games, the Bruins caught fire at the perfect time; steamrolling through the 1980 NCAA Tournament, all the way to the Championship Game versus the Louisville Cardinals. For perspective, here’s the list of teams that UCLA defeated and some of the big-time players Michael encountered:

  1. Old Dominion (Mark West)
  2. DePaul (Terry Cummings & Mark Aguirre)
  3. Ohio State (Kelvin Ransey & Clark Kellogg)
  4. Clemson (Larry Nance & Mitchell Wiggins)
  5. Purdue (Joe Barry Carroll).

In the 1980 Championship game, UCLA lost 59-54. The Cardinals were littered with future-NBA players: Darrell Griffith, Derek Smith, Rodney McCray & Jerry Eaves. Michael reflects on that amazing run to the final.

Holton’s freshman season was the senior year for Kiki VanDeWeghe – who went on to star in the NBA, notching-up seven seasons of 20-plus points per game in the 1980s – Michael talks about the importance influence of the Bruins’ junior and senior players.

As a sophomore in 1981 (outright) and junior in 1982 (tied with Ralph Jackson), Michael was named the Bruins’ Outstanding Team Player. UCLA made the second round of the 1981 NCAA Tournament, but missed the post-season in 1982. Former guests and friends of the show, Mark Eaton and Nigel Miguel, joined the Bruins around this time, too. Michael talks about the transition from (coaches) Larry Brown to Larry Farmer.

As a senior, Michael was named captain and led the team in free-throw percentage. His college career ended (1983) with a second-round exit to the Utah Utes. After reaching the title game as a freshman, Michael contrasts his feelings about exiting the tournament early (as a senior).

 

1983 NBA Draft

Date: June 28 | Location: New York | Pick: 53 (Round 3) | Team: Golden State Warriors

 

NBA / CBA career | Years: 1983-84 – 1991-92

Season: 1983-84 | Team: Puerto Rico Coquis

Coach: Herb Brown (Larry’s older brother)

Michael’s opportunity to play in the NBA would have to wait one season. After Golden State waived him (October, 1983), he signed with the Coquis; the Continental Basketball Association’s (CBA) newly-minted expansion franchise. The Coquis made it to the playoffs, before bowing out to Phil Jackson’s Albany Patroons in the semi-finals.

 

Seasons: 1984-85 – 1985-86 | Teams: Phoenix Suns / Florida Stingers / Chicago Bulls

Coaches: John MacLeod / Bobby Bowman (CBA) / Stan Albeck

In late September of 1984, Michael signed with the Phoenix Suns as a free agent – joining former Bruins teammates, Mike Sanders and Rod Foster. Holton recalls the step-up from Puerto Rico to the Suns. His Suns met the would-be NBA Champion, L.A. Lakers, in the first round (0-3) of the 1985 Playoffs. As he displayed throughout our chat, Michael has a great sense of humor, regaling his first taste of playoff basketball.

After a 0-4 start to season, Phoenix waived Holton. He returned to the CBA and played a key role – scoring 13 points – leading his CBA All-Star team to a 110-108 win over defending champs, Tampa Bay, in Florida. That was February 11, 1986. Michael details the wonderful background behind his meeting with the Chicago Bulls’ VP of Operations, Jerry Krause, moments after the aforementioned CBA game. Holton signed the first of two 10-day contracts with the Bulls – he’d later sign with the team for the rest of the season.

Michael Holton joined the Bulls franchise at a fascinating time in its history. Michael Jordan had broken his foot in just the third game of the season; he hoped to make an on-court return before season’s end. Holton’s future with the Bulls was largely dependent on Jordan’s injury rehabilitation. He shares unique insight into his early interactions with not only his new teammates, but his practice-court battles with a young Air Jordan.

We discuss the details behind this incredible promotional poster – Raging Bulls – that Michael appeared on.

Raging Bulls - Michael Holton

When Michael was left off the Bulls’ (1986) post-season roster – to make way for Jawann Oldham – he accepted an offer to play overseas for the Great Taste Coffee Makers, in the Philippine Basketball Association. He enjoyed considerable success in a short span – including two 40-plus point games.

 

Seasons: 1986-87 – 1987-88 | Team: Portland Trail Blazers

Coach: Mike Schuler

Michael signed as a veteran free agent with the Blazers, in August of 1986. He joined the team for its Summer League games in Los Angeles. In one of those games, he scored 37 points against his former team, the Phoenix Suns.

The Trail Blazers’ Mike Schuler, replaced the legendary Dr. Jack Ramsay. In his first season (1987) at the helm, Schuler led the Blazers to a 49-33 record – the best effort for a Portland team since the 1978 campaign – and won Coach of the Year honors.

Holton’s second season with the Blazers resulted in an even-better regular season (53-29). His responsibilities also increased significantly as he became a trusted part of the rotation. Michael discussed his increased role with the team and some of the all-time Blazer greats that he played with, including Clyde Drexler and Terry Porter.

 

Seasons: 1988-89 – 1989-90 | Team: Charlotte Hornets

Coaches: Dick Harter & Gene Littles

As one of the (Blazers) players left unprotected for the (June 23, 1988) NBA Expansion Draft, Michael was picked by a new franchise – the Charlotte Hornets. He was selected sixth by the Hornets (12th overall), who alternated picks with the other new franchise – the Miami Heat. We chat about the build-up to the Hornets’ NBA debut and how the city at-large, immediately fell in love with the new franchise.

The new franchise’s amazing fans ensured that Charlotte Coliseum would be packed to the rafters. The Hornets led the league in attendance in eight of its first 10 seasons – they were in second place, the other two occasions.

Holton started at point-guard in Charlotte’s first 60 games and arguably had his best NBA season in 1989, averaging 8.3 points, 6.3 assists and one steal per game, in just over 25 minutes per contest.

Michael required back surgery prior to the start of the 1990 season. After an 8-32 start, Coach Harter was replaced by Gene Littles. He steered the team to an 11-31 finish, as the Hornets ended the season at 19-63. Holton only managed 16 games in total and didn’t return to the court until late February (1990). He talks openly about his recovery from surgery, watching from the sidelines as the team really struggled, and the franchise’s expectations of his return. Three days shy of the start to the 1991 season, Charlotte waived Michael.

 

Seasons: 1990-91 & 1991-92 | Teams: Tulsa Fast Breakers & Tri-City Chinook

Coaches: Henry Bibby (Breakers) & Steve Hayes (Chinook)

Michael finished his playing career with stops in the CBA. First, with the Tulsa Fast Breakers and then, the expansion Tri-City Chinook. He reflects on how his on-court career played out, including his last attempt to make it back to the NBA.

Michael transitioned into coaching, not long after retiring as a player. Following stints in high school and two seasons with Oregon-based colleges, he returned to UCLA – this time as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. The team enjoyed great success (1996 through 2001). Michael talks about what it was like to return to the Bruins, almost 15 years after he left the school as a player.

We also talk about Michael’s tenure as head coach at the University of Portland. He left the Pilots in 2006, after five seasons. He shares his thoughts on leading the team and highlights from the journey. NBA great, Terry Porter – Holton’s former teammate on the Blazers – was recently named head coach at the University of Portland. We briefly talk about the task ahead of Terry, as the upcoming season approaches.

These days, Michael works for the Portland Trail Blazers’ broadcasting team. Recently, he teamed up with his former (UCLA and NBA) teammate, Mike Sanders, for a camp in the Czech Republic – part of the Michael Holton Basketball Academy. He talks about the importance of giving back to the community.

I ask Michael to recall “The Game I’ll Never Forget”. Our conversation concludes with a brief discussion about the significance of the jersey numbers that Michael wore throughout his career.

People mentioned in this episode, include: Sidney Green, John Paxson, Kyle Macy & Gene Banks.

 

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AIR068: Nigel Miguel – High School All-American, NIT Champion, Film Producer & Actor | Podcast

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Nigel Miguel and Michael JordanHigh School All-American, NIT Champion, Film Producer & Actor, Nigel Miguel.

 

High School: Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks), California

As a child, Nigel moved from Central America to California. We talk about his role models as a youngster, before transitioning into his high-school career, where, as a senior, he led his team to a 19-5 record, en route to winning the Del Rey League Championship. He was named a 1981 McDonald’s All-American, in the famous class that included Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing and Chris Mullin. He discusses the tremendous opportunities that afforded him, including a crucial role in the USA’s gold-medal win at the 1981 Albert Schweitzer Tournament (often referred to as the Mini-Basketball World Cup, or Junior Olympics).

1981 High School All-American Basketball Team

 

College: University of California Los Angeles

Years: 1981-82 – 1984-85 | Coaches: Larry Farmer & Walt Hazzard

Nigel played four seasons at UCLA. As a freshman, he was teammates with future Utah Jazz great – and friend of the show – Mark Eaton. In his sophomore season, Nigel’s Bruins made it the NCAA Tournament. He talks about the joy of making it to the tournament, coupled with the disappointment of a first-game exit.

In his junior and senior years, Nigel paired with all-time great, Reggie Miller. Prior to his last season with the team, Walt Hazzard – a player on John Wooden’s first NCAA Championship team – took the helm as UCLA coach. We discuss his lasting impact on Nigel and the team.. Miguel ended his Bruins career in style, scoring an equal game-high, 18 points, as UCLA won the 1985 NIT Championship, at the famed Madison Square Garden.

Nigel Miguel - UCLA Bruins

 

1985 NBA Draft

Date: June 18 | Location: New York | Pick: 62 (Round 3) | Team: New Jersey Nets

We talk about the lead-up to the draft, including team interviews that Nigel undertook, and, his one-on-one workout with the legendary Jerry West, on the court at the Great Western Forum.

 

CBA / NBA career | Years: 1985-86 – 1986-87

Season: 1985-86 | Team: La Crosse Catbirds

Coach: Ron Ekker

After being the last player cut from the New Jersey Nets’ training camp, Nigel signed with Wisconsin’s new CBA franchise, the La Crosse Catbirds. He talks about his fondness for that season, where he was named to the league’s All-Rookie team, averaging more than 17 points per game. Miguel was runner-up to future NBA All-Star, Michael Adams, for Rookie of the Year. The Catbirds made it to the 1986 CBA Championship series, before losing out to (former podcast guest) Ed Nealy and his Tampa Bay Thrillers.

Continued interest from the New Jersey Nets (and L.A. Lakers), led to Nigel’s return to (Nets) training camp, in anticipation of a roster spot for the 1986-87 NBA season. He talks about the seemingly-innocuous ‘tweak’ of his ankle, during a lead-up game. That quickly led to an inner-monologue: “My foot is on the ground…but I don’t feel anything”. He’d fractured his heel bone and damaged his Achilles tendon.

NBA veteran, Buck Williams, helped Nigel put his injury into context – offering suggestions on how to overcome the disappointment of having his professional career, seemingly reach an abrupt end.

 

Entertainment: Commercials, television, movies and more

After commencing rehabilitation for the 1987-88 NBA season, Nigel lost the desire to compete at the highest level, making a conscious decision to pursue other opportunities. His love for the entertainment industry, went as far back as high school – he attended classes with peers who had connections (family and otherwise) with the entertainment industry.

Miguel’s attorney helped connect Nigel with an agent and key members of the entertainment industry. Not long after, Dennis Hopper – recognizing the former-Bruins player – struck up a conversation with Miguel. Within an hour, Nigel was offered his first movie role, in Colors (1988). Future roles included the TV series, Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper (1992) and movies, White Men Can’t Jump (1992), Blue Chips (1994) and the iconic Space Jam (1996), where Miguel appears on-screen and off; he was Basketball Technical Advisor.

We chat about his crucial involvement in the behind-the-scenes running of the legendary Jordan Dome, where Michael Jordan took part in amazing pick-up games – including Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, Larry Johnson, Dennis Rodman & Jack Haley – during production of the film.

Nigel Miguel and Michael Jordan - The Jordan Dome

Green with envy - Nigel Miguel is an OG Monstar!

 

Nigel also details what it was like to be Michael Jordan’s ‘body double’ for seven years.

We chat about Nigel being named Belize’s ‘Goodwill Ambassador‘ (1994) and ‘Film Ambassador’ (2008), along with what the prestigious positions mean to him. Nigel also talks about creating II Jam Casting & Production.

I ask Nigel to recall “The Game I’ll Never Forget” and round out the conversation with a chat about the significance of his jersey number.

Nigel Miguel: IMDb | Media: Ardomi | Twitter: @FilmBelize

People mentioned in this episode, include: Cedric Ceballos, Pearl Washington & Gail Goodrich.

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

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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.

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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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NB85-26: Michael Jordan’s rookie NBA season – 1985 Playoffs – Round 1 | Podcast

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Rookie Michael Jordan

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

 

* 1985 NBA Playoffs – Round 1 (April 15 through 28)

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

 

In this episode, we discuss numerous happenings from the 1984-85 NBA season. The Chicago Bulls took on the Milwaukee Bucks – Jordan’s first foray into the postseason. The Bucks prevailed, winning in four games (3-1). We also cover each and every series, across both conferences.

East: Boston Celtics v Cleveland Cavaliers | Philadelphia 76ers v Washington Bullets | Detroit Pistons v New Jersey Nets

West: L.A. Lakers v Phoenix Suns | Denver Nuggets v San Antonio Spurs | Houston Rockets v Utah Jazz | Dallas Mavericks v Portland Trail Blazers

We reference this image (April 18, 1985) from the Chicago Tribune.

Rookie Michael Jordan defies gravity

 

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, Terry Cummings, Paul Pressey, Sidney Moncrief, Fat Lever, Alex English, Rolando BlackmanMark Eaton, Hakeem Olajuwon, Sidney Green, Thurl BaileyBilly Paultz, Audie Norris, Lewis Lloyd & Charles Pittman.

 

Chicago Bulls games discussed:

 

Box Score: Apr 19, 1985 – Chicago Bulls @ Milwaukee Bucks

Box Score: Apr 21, 1985 – Chicago Bulls @ Milwaukee Bucks

Box Score: Apr 24, 1985 – Milwaukee Bucks @ Chicago Bulls

Box Score: Apr 26, 1985 – Milwaukee Bucks @ Chicago Bulls

 

We also refer to this classic, fifth and deciding game, from the Western Conference. The visiting Utah Jazz, stun the Houston Rockets – a franchise-defining victory.

 

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