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.

 

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AIR040: Jim McIlvaine (Part II) – Marquette star and NBA veteran | Podcast

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Marquette star and seven-year NBA veteran, Jim McIlvaine.

In part two of this special double-episode, I welcome back Marquette great and NBA veteran, Jim McIlvaine. If you missed part one, we discussed Jim’s college career in-depth, where he was a stand-out at Marquette. He talked about his selection in the 1994 NBA Draft and first three NBA seasons – including, a completely open and honest assessment of his free agent move from the Washington Bullets to the Seattle SuperSonics, in 1996.

This episode features part two of our chat – we continue discussing Jim’s playing days with Seattle, his relationship with George Karl and the coaching staff, plus, more great stories from on and off the court. Jim talks about his career-ending injury whilst a member of the New Jersey Nets.

We also talk about some of the radio and TV commentators he admires, and chat about his current role as a broadcaster at the university where he starred; Marquette. Towards the end of our mega-chat, Jim shares a wonderful, funny story about Gene Hackman – star of the excellent basketball movie, Hoosiers.

 

Links to topics discussed (more added soon):

Statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference | Profile

Jim McIlvaine online: Twitter | Facebook

 

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

Follow: Facebook | Twitter | Google+

Subscribe: iTunesRSS | Website

Feedback: e-mail (audio welcome) | Voicemail

 

AIR039: Jim McIlvaine (Part I) – Marquette star and NBA veteran | Podcast

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Marquette star and seven-year NBA veteran, Jim McIlvaine.

In a first for the podcast, this conversation will be released in two installments. Our chat was almost two hours, in length – I’m pretty sure that Jim’s wife had the authorities on speed dial, ready to report him missing – however, all’s well that ends well – Jim returned to normality at its conclusion and I couldn’t be happier with the finished episode.

In part one, we discuss Jim’s early years playing basketball and learn a great deal about his college career, where he was a stand-out at Marquette. This includes a funny story about Marquette’s early 1990s exhibition series that touched down here in Australia, then onto New Zealand and Fiji – complete with a near international incident. Also, if you’re a fan of the great documentary, Hoop Dreams, you won’t want to miss this chat.

We talk about the 1994 NBA Draft and Jim’s two seasons in Washington, playing for the Bullets. He openly-discusses his free-agent move to Seattle – a contract widely debated at the time and still mentioned on occasion, to this day. On top of this, we learn about the importance and value of the National Basketball Retired Players Association (the NBRPA), of which Jim is a lifetime member.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more open, honest and engaging guy, than Jim – I’m confident you’ll enjoy this conversation as much as I did, recording it. Thank you, Jim, for your generous availability.

Part two of this conversation will examine Jim’s career in Seattle, his trade to the New Jersey Nets and injuries that ultimately led to his NBA retirement. We also discuss Jim’s broadcasting career, great basketball movies and his classic encounter with Gene Hackman.

We’re now in the final days of 2013, as this episode is released. I hope you thoroughly enjoy the holiday season and have a great New Year. Exciting plans are ahead for 2014 – I hope that you continue to join me on this podcast journey. Thank you very much for your support.

 

Links to topics discussed (more added soon):

Statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference | Profile

Jim McIlvaine online: Twitter | Facebook

 

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

Follow: Facebook | Twitter | Google+

Subscribe: iTunesRSS | Website

Feedback: e-mail (audio welcome) | Voicemail