We break down all key aspects of the game. We discuss TNT’s broadcast, the commentary team of Bob Neal and Doug Collins and the Cleveland newspaper article that possibly led to Michael Jordan’s explosive, all-around excellence. We dissect important moments throughout the contest and offer our opinions on relevant players from each roster. Winston Bennett fan? This podcast episode is made for you.
We also touch on the 1990 NBA season as a whole, plus, talk about how each of the two teams fared in the Playoffs. 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.
High School All-American, University of North Carolina star and NBA veteran, Joe Wolf.
We discuss EuroBasket 2013, where Joe was an assistant coach to Mike Fratello, steering Ukraine to a sensational 6th place finish; earning the team a guaranteed spot in the 2014 FIBA World Cup. Joe talks about his amazing high school basketball career, where he was (2005) named Wisconsin’s greatest ever player. He discusses his career at North Carolina, playing alongside greats of game, including Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins, Brad Daugherty and Kenny Smith. We also learn Joe’s whereabouts, on the day he was drafted into the NBA, in 1987. We break down his 11-year NBA career, his years coaching in the (now defunct) CBA and NBA D-League and five seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks; culminating last season, as the lead assistant to Scott Skiles.
Thanks again, to former guest on this podcast, Bob Hill – he was pivotal is helping make this conversation come to fruition. Many thanks, Bob.
Our conversation covers the whole season – we discuss best / worst team records, all major award winners and notable retirees. We also focus on the Bulls’ historic 72-10 record. We chat random stats, fake player nicknames (amazingly make a return) and of course, the 1996 Playoffs – culminating with Jordan v Payton / Kemp in the 1996 NBA Finals.
Cleveland Cavaliers hero and NBA veteran, Craig Ehlo.
We discuss Craig’s formative years and days playing college basketball. We talk about the injury that sidelined most of his rookie season in Houston. We chat about the Rockets’ run to the 1986 NBA Finals against Larry Bird and the mighty Boston Celtics. We cover his great tenure with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the battles against Jordan’s Bulls – including The Shot, in the 1989 NBA Playoffs. We also touch on Craig’s ambition to coach at the highest level.
It’s important to distinguish, these are my favorite players – clearly, subjective. A host of past players resonate with me for many reasons; a select moment in time, a well-played, yet under-appreciated career, or merely happenstance.
In no particular order, here are my favorite guards of the Jordan-era [obviously MJ-excluded; must have played at least 4 seasons against MJ's Bulls]:
Notable: 2-time All-Star (1988, 1990) | 6th all-time, steals per game
Opinion: criminally underrated player, deserving of much higher recognition. He had a stunning six season span (1985-1990) averaging 17.0 pts, 7.6 rbs, 7.5 ast and 2.5 stl per game. Oh, and he’s only 6’3″.
Notable: 3-time All-Star (1990-1991, 1994) | 6th all-time, assists per game
Opinion: an outstanding player, mere percentage points from averaging 20 pts / 10 ast for nine consecutive seasons (1989-1997). I loved his exuberant celebrations on court, plus his fearless penetration in the lane. This resulted in assists to open team mates, or an attack on the rim.
Here, KJ gives The Dream, his own night-Mayor (see what I did there?):
Notable: UK (Wildcats) standout, turned pro as a sophomore | Flair for the dramatic
Opinion: an acrobatic and entertaining player, confident in his ability. He has career averages of almost 15 pts / 3 rbs / 3 ast / 1 stl, in under 30 minutes per game. Rex could light up a scoreboard, had a sweet shooting stroke and was a maestro of dunk. I even had his photo on my high school diary (too much information?)
Notable: All-Defensive (2nd) Team (1993) | All-Star (1994) | Sixth Man of the Year (1997)
Opinion: whilst never beating Jordan in the Playoffs, Starks is a first-ballot nominee, for the role of MJ’s nemesis. I admired his tenacity, in-your-face style of play and all out hustle. Plus, John’s road to the NBA is a fascinating tale in itself.
Notable: Rookie of the Year (1989) | 6-time All-Star (1993-1998) | NBA Champion (2002)
Opinion: part of the famed ‘Run TMC’ [part 1 / part 2] at Golden State. He was All-Star MVP in 1995 and Sacramento’s franchise player for seven seasons (1992-1998), averaging 23.3 pts, 3.7 rbs, 4.1 ast and 1.3 stl per game. A consummate professional, lauded as MJ’s toughest defender, by none other than Jordan himself.
Obvious omissions: clearly, the following players are all-time greats at their position. They didn’t make the cut as they’re not my favorites of the era – due to team/s played for or rivalries against MJ’s Bulls – imagined or otherwise…