AIR054: Mario Elie – Three-time NBA Champion & Rockets’ 30-Year Team member | Podcast

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Mario Elie - moments before his 'Kiss of Death'Three-time NBA Champion and one of Houston’s Top 10 Players of all-time, Mario Elie.

We discuss Mario’s incredible journey from New York’s Power Memorial High School, through to becoming a three-time NBA Champion – a perfect example of hard work, determination and achievement. Many years before he joined the Golden State Warriors, Mario was teammates with future Hall of Famer, Chris Mullin. We reminisce about Mario’s HS career and decision to play for American International College. He had a stellar run and was named Conference Rookie of the Year (1982), three-time All-American and led his division II team to the Elite Eight in the 1985 NCAA Tournament. He was inducted into AIC’s Hall of Fame in 2005, and earlier this year, had his #41 jersey retired.


 

The Milwaukee Bucks selected Elie with pick 160 (7th round) in the 1985 NBA Draft. His first NBA game was more than five seasons later (Dec 28, 1990). In the interim, Mario played in numerous countries across Europe – Ireland, Argentina and Portugal, to name a few – further developing his game. He returned to home soil and played in developmental leagues across America, including the USBL, WBL & CBA (where he would become an All-Star).

In December, 1990, Mario’s NBA opportunity arrived, courtesy of then-76ers GM, Gene Shue. The countless miles of travel and perseverance paid off. After a brief stint with Philadelphia, Mario signed with Golden State, where he played alongside the famed ‘Run TMC’ (Hardaway, Richmond & Mullin). Two seasons later (1993), he was a Trail Blazer.

We chat about the moment Mario found out he was traded to the Rockets, and deep dive into his career with Houston, where he played five seasons and won two NBA Championships. In the do-or-die Game 7 of the 1995 Western Conference Semi-Finals, he made one of the biggest shots in NBA history – affectionately known as the ‘Kiss of Death’. He shares the details of how that famous show of emotion, came to be.


 

Prior to the (1999) lockout-shortened season, Mario signed as a free agent with San Antonio, where he won his third NBA title. He talks about his key role in Sean Elliott‘s Memorial Day Miracle and the leadership of Hall of Famer, David Robinson, and (future Hall of Famer) a young Tim Duncan. I even find a way to briefly talk about another teammate of Mario’s, Australian legend, Andrew Gaze.


 

Recently, the Houston Rockets celebrated the 20th anniversary of their back-to-back NBA Championships. Mario talks about that experience and the joy of re-connecting with many of his friends and former teammates, including Vernon Maxwell, Sam Cassell, Robert Horry, Clyde Drexler, Hakeem Olajuwon, Otis Thorpe, Kenny Smith, Chucky Brown, Rudy Tomjanovich and more.


 

We round out the discussion, by chatting about Mario’s coaching background. He has worked as an NBA assistant coach for the best part of ten years. He discusses those experiences, his future ambitions at the highest level and the ultimate moment of his career, to date.

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AIR053: Luc Longley (three-time NBA Champion) talks Jordan’s, “I’m back”, Bulls and more | Podcast

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Luc and JordanThree-time Olympian / NBA Champion and Australia’s first ever NBA player, Luc Longley.

Today marks the 20th anniversary of Michael Jordan‘s (first) NBA return. I’m delighted to welcome back Luc Longley to the podcast. We discuss his recollections of the hoopla surrounding MJ’s return to the Chicago Bulls, following Jordan’s 1993 retirement.

This conversation is much more than simply chatting about Jordan’s comeback. We also delve deeper into Luc’s career with the Bulls and reminisce about some of Chicago’s memorable playoff series’, versus:

– New York Knicks (1994: Toni Kukoc‘s game-winner and Scottie Pippen‘s monster dunk on Patrick Ewing)

– Orlando Magic (1995: Bulls’ shock exit and Horace Grant‘s post-series celebration)

– Orlando Magic (1996: Chicago’s four-game sweep and Luc’s match-up against Shaquille O’Neal).

Further, I share my story about meeting Luc in 1991 and he talks fondly about the friendships he developed playing alongside memorable teammates, including Bill Cartwright, John Paxson and B.J. Armstrong. We find time to talk about his assistant coaching role with the Australian Boomers, the future of basketball in Australia and the importance of players like Andrew Bogut, Patty Mills, Joe Ingles and Dante Exum.

We also reference a great article that recently appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, titled, “Luc Longley – from running with the Chicago Bulls to falling in love with basketball again”. You can read the feature here (written by David Sygall).

Oh, and Luc totally tricks me into believing a ludicrous story about Jordan, that somehow I didn’t even bat an eyelid at. This is a really enjoyable chat.

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AIR052: (Our) Greatest NBA Broadcasters and Commentators | Podcast

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Mike Fratello (The Czar) and Marv(ellous) Albert

Adam & Aaron select their Top 5 NBA Broadcasters / Commentators.

We chat about those responsible for fostering our respective love for the game of basketball. Primarily, we talk about the golden era of not only the NBA, but commentary, too. This episode is littered with sound-bites from some of the most-iconic commentators the game has ever known. We primarily focus on the time-frame 1984 to 1998. We know you’ll enjoy this audible trip down memory lane.

A sprinkling of those mentioned / sound-checked in this episode, include: Marv Albert, Mike Fratello, Ron Thulin, Bob Neal, Doug Collins, Bob Costas, Peter Vecsey, Dick Stockton, Hubie Brown, Ahmad Rashad, Michael Jordan, Shawn Kemp, Isiah Thomas, Dennis Rodman, Rick Mahorn, Gary Payton, Dikembe Mutombo, Karl Malone, Toni Kukoc, Reggie Miller & Robert Pack.

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AIR036: Great NBA Games – Michael Jordan 69 points (1990) | Podcast

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Michael Jordan

Adam and Aaron discuss Michael Jordan’s all-time highest scoring game – March 28th, 1990 – MJ scored 69 points in the Chicago Bulls’ win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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.

 

Links to topics discussed (more added soon):

Statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference

March 28, 1990 | Chicago Bulls at Cleveland Cavaliers [Box Score]

1990 NBA Season Summary

 

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

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