AIR077: Andrew Bernstein – Senior NBA Photographer | Podcast

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Andrew Bernstein - Senior NBA PhotographerSenior NBA Photographer and Director of Photography for Staples Center, Andrew Bernstein.

 

He hasn’t played a single minute in the NBA. However, Andy Bernstein is a perennial contender for league MVP (Most Valuable Photographer). The 2017 NBA Finals will mark the 35th-consecutive time that Andy has covered the Association’s showcase event.

We discuss Andy’s rise from amateur shutterbug – his love for the camera was fostered by a (teenage) trip to the Western United States with his dad – to becoming one of the world’s greatest sports photographers.

Highlights of our conversation include Andy’s memories of an iconic rendition of the national anthem at his first All-Star Game (1983), his crucial involvement in creating the (taken from his bio) position of Senior Director of NBA Photos – a position he held for 25 years – a discussion about the meteoric changes in camera technology over recent decades and of course, he details wonderful stories behind how some of his most-historic photos came to be.

Larry Bird and Magic Johnson

Michael Jordan - Come Fly with MeFather and son - James Jordan celebrates with Michael Jordan

Topics / links discussed (include):

  • Marvin Gaye’s amazing performance at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game

  • Follow Andy’s wonderful output on Instagram:
 

#FBF @lakers vs. @celtics tonight brings back memories of another era in the rivalry. @nba #showtime #larrylegend #magicjohnson

A post shared by Andrew D. Bernstein Associates (@adbphotoinc) on

People mentioned in this episode, include: Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Lon Rosen, Terry Lyons, Pat Riley, David Stern, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant & Porter McKinnon.

 

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

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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.

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AIR069: Great NBA Games – Indiana Pacers vs Chicago Bulls (May 31, 1998) | Podcast

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Michael Jordan drives to the hoop

Adam and Jeff discuss Chicago’s must-win Game 7, to clinch the Eastern Conference and make a sixth trip to the NBA Finals – May 31st, 1998 – the Bulls take on the visiting Pacers, at the United Center.

We cover all the key aspects of the game. We discuss the NBC broadcast and its commentary team of Bob Costas, Doug Collins, Isiah Thomas, Ahmad Rashad and Jim Gray. We chat about Indiana’s rookie coach, the iconic Larry Bird, and his drive to give the Pacers their first-ever trip to the NBA Finals. Conversely, Phil Jackson dubbed this 1998 season, The Last Dance. Something had to give. We talk about each team’s roster and our memories and opinions on this do-or-die match-up.

 

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: Michael JordanScottie Pippen, Reggie Miller, Luc Longley, Mark Jackson, Toni Kukoc, Rik Smits, Steve Kerr, Dennis Rodman, Ron Harper, Travis Best, Chris Mullin, Jud Buechler & Jalen Rose.

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.

 

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AIR061: Great NBA Games – Chicago Bulls vs Boston Celtics (March 31, 1991) | Podcast

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Reggie Lewis drives on Michael Jordan

AdamAaron and Todd discuss a classic double-overtime game featuring Michael Jordan and Larry Bird – March 31st, 1991 – the Celtics take on the visiting Bulls, at Boston Garden.

We discuss all the key aspects of the game. We talk about the NBC broadcast and its commentary team of Marv Albert, Mike Fratello and Ahmad Rashad. We chat about the great regular season that each team was enjoying, as the Playoffs approached. We talk about each team’s roster and our memories and opinions on this exciting match-up.

Watch the Google Hangout below – recorded live on August 20, 2015 – or, should you prefer the audio-only version (above, or via your podcast app of choice), you’ll hear an edited version of the conversation.

 

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: Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, John Paxson, Reggie Lewis, Robert Parish, Kevin McHale, Brian Shaw, Kevin Gamble, Dee Brown, Ed Pinckney, Stojko Vrankovic & Cliff Levingston.

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.

 

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AIR032: Mike Fratello – NBA Coach of the Year, TV Broadcaster and The Czar of the Telestrator | Podcast

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NBA Coach of the Year, TV Broadcaster and The Czar of the Telestrator, Mike Fratello.

We discuss EuroBasket 2013, where Mike coached Ukraine to a fantastic 6th place finish; securing the team a spot in the 2014 FIBA World Cup. We then revisit Mike’s high school years, where he was a star athlete. He talks about his foray into coaching and the opportunities that would lead him all the way to the NBA. We talk about his intrinsic links to Hall of Fame legend, Hubie Brown.

Mike opens up on the re-building process that led the Hawks’ to four-consecutive 50-win seasons. We chat about his 1986 Coach of the Year season and he tells a fascinating story about how he helped motivate Dominique Wilkins, to reach even greater heights (literally and figuratively) as a player. We talk about the 1988 NBA All-Star Game, where he coached the Eastern Conference squad to victory.

Mike discusses his entry to the world of TV broadcasting, the origin of his classic nickname and relationship with the great Marv Albert and former guest of this show, Ian Eagle. You’ll also learn how Mike received a pair of game-worn, Shaquille O’Neal shoes, in unusual circumstances. We get the inside scoop on Mike’s experiences with Michael Jordan, including his time alongside MJ, as a coach at the Michael Jordan Senior Flight School.

We talk about Mike’s six seasons coaching the Cleveland Cavaliers and his stint with the Memphis Grizzlies. Plus, we somehow find time to talk about the 2014 NBA season. An incredible array of topics are covered. Thank you, Mike Fratello!

Thanks to former guest on this podcast, Bob Hill – he was key to making my chat with Mike, happen. Many thanks, Bob.

 

Links to topics discussed:

Statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference | Profile

EuroBasket 2013: Tournament Wrap | Formula of Success

1984: Bench-jockeying, NBA Style

1988: NBA All-Star Game | Hawks v Celtics – NBA Playoffs (Game 7)

1993: O’Neal collapses Shaqboard | 2002: NBA on NBC | 2012: Mike Fratello & Ian Eagle

Mike Fratello online: WebsiteTwitter

 

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AIR015: Ian Eagle – Emmy Award-winning play-by-play announcer and voice of NBA Action | Podcast

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Ian EagleEmmy Award-winning play-by-play announcer and voice of NBA Action, Ian Eagle.

We talk about the influence of Ian’s parents, on his path to becoming one of America’s most versatile commentators. He recalls great stories from the NBA Finals, his career to date and delivers stupendous impressions of Bill Raftery and Marv Albert. We talk New Jersey Nets (1990s), Jason Kidd’s impact (2002), the recent move to Brooklyn and plenty more. A free-flowing conversation injected with humor throughout.

 

Links to topics discussed:

“Send it in Jerome!”

Bulls v Nets – 1998 NBA Playoffs | Nets v Pacers – 2002 NBA Playoffs

Sports Broadcasting Camp | Bruce Beck & Ian Eagle

 

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

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Feedback: e-mail (audio welcome) | Voicemail