AIR071: Phoenix Rising – Suns (1968-69 through 1993 NBA Finals) | Podcast

Play

Phoenix Suns - 25th Anniversary

Adam and Adam discuss the evolution of the Phoenix Suns. From the franchise’s 1968-69 inception, through to the 1993 NBA Finals.

We cover a wide range of topics. You’ll soon learn why Adam is a true Phoenix Suns ‘Super Fan’. When he was a young boy, the Suns were Phoenix’s only professional sports team. We chat about the 1976 season and the Suns’ improbable first trip to the NBA Finals. That 1976 team was lovingly referred to as the ‘Sunderella Suns’. Earlier this year, Tom Leander released a fantastic documentary – of the same name – devoted to the 40th anniversary of that iconic squad [Part I | Part II].


 

Our main topic of discussion, focuses on how the Suns franchise was rebuilt from the ground-up, throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s, culminating with their 1993 NBA Finals appearance. We cover some of the off-court issues that plagued the team during the 1980s, then discuss the tragic death of promising Suns center, Nick Vanos. Plus, Adam has a great story about the 1988 NBA Draft and the aftermath of the Suns selecting Dan Majerle. It wouldn’t be a conversation about the Phoenix Suns, if we didn’t chat about Tom Chambers‘ insane jam over Mark Jackson.


 

In November, 1990, Adam sat next to photographers, near the basket support at Memorial Coliseum, to watch the visiting Chicago Bulls – who went on to win the 1991 NBA Finals – take on the Phoenix Suns. He talks about his unique view and memories of that game. The Suns continued to strengthen their roster and all the pieces fell into place, when they traded for Charles Barkley, not long after the 1992 NBA Finals. We talk about the 1993 post-season. Phoenix narrowly escaped a first-round humiliation to the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Lakers. Paul Westphal boldly predicted the Suns would win in five games, which they did. We then discuss the 1993 NBA Finals and how the Suns worked their way back into the series, after losing their first two (home) games at America West Arena.

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: Curtis Perry, Kevin Johnson, Alvan Adams, Michael Jordan, Larry Nance, Tim Perry, Cedric Ceballos, Mike D’Antoni & Steve Nash.

Statistics mentioned, are often courtesy of Basketball-Reference.

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

AIR056: Rick Brown – SEC Legend, NBA veteran & European Champion | Podcast

Play

Rick (Rickey) BrownSEC Legend, NBA veteran and European Champion, Rick Brown.

We discuss Rick’s early career and his tough, yet rewarding, decision to move to Atlanta and play high-school basketball. His outstanding HS years put Rick on the national radar and he was recruited by numerous colleges, including Michigan and Kentucky. Ultimately, he decided to move back home and played four years with Mississippi State University.

Rick was one of the players that the Golden State Warriors drafted, after they traded away Robert Parish and dealt their number three pick to the Celtics, in the 1980 NBA Draft – that selection would be Kevin McHale – effectively forming Boston’s Hall of Fame, ‘Big Three’.

Rick recalls his years with the Warriors, and talks about playing with personalities like World B. Free, Bernard King and Joe Barry Carroll. Golden State traded Rick to Atlanta, mid-way through the 1983 season – this was Dominique Wilkins‘ rookie year. We talk about his time with the Hawks and also his role in Larry Bird‘s incredible 60-point game, in 1985.

After finishing his NBA career, Rick moved overseas and achieved high levels of success, becoming a European Champion in the process. He played ten years in Europe, with very-recognizable names, including Mike D’Antoni, Bob McAdoo and Arvydas Sabonis. One of Rick’s greatest moments, happened in 1992, when he won his team (Real Madrid) the European Cup Final.

 

Last year (2014), Rick was inducted into Mississippi State University’s Sports Hall of Fame. He talks about that honor and the importance of leaving a legacy to his family. We also briefly chat about his sons who are looking to make a name for themselves in the future.

Rick Brown in the low-post

After our conversation, I briefly invite my good friend, Cobi Sobrino – who was in attendance at the 1992 European Cup Final – onto the show. He recalls the game and Rick’s impact on European basketball.

Rick Brown - about to score

Rick - modern day

 

My Forgotten Legends (Cobi’s basketball-history website / podcast).

Chloé (Rick’s wife) runs, Bread-Winning Moms (blog / podcast) mentioned in this episode.

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