• AIR059: Cedric Ceballos – NBA All-Star, 11-year veteran & Slam Dunk Champion

    July 19, 2015

    NBA All-Star, 11-year veteran & Slam Dunk Champion, Cedric Ceballos.

    Prior to delving into Cedric's on-court prowess, we talk about his love for music and the famous album, 'Basketball's Best Kept Secret', featuring Dana Barros and many others.

    Little-known fact: Cedric was a ball-boy at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Ceballos went on to star at Ventura College, before playing his junior and senior seasons at Cal State Fullerton - where he was scouted by Jerry West - averaging better than 22 points & 10 rebounds per game.

    Cedric discusses the 1990 NBA Draft, and his flurry of emotions, waiting to hear his name called. He was selected 48th overall, by the Phoenix Suns. Ced talks about his transition from college, and learning the game from veterans like Tom Chambers, Eddie Johnson & Dan Majerle.

    Our conversation also uncovers the fascinating truth behind Dee Brown's victory - punctuated by his memorable, pumping-up of the Reebok shoes, and 'Blind Dunk' - in the 1991 Slam Dunk Competition.

    Cedric won the 1992 contest, finishing with his famous 'Hocus Pocus' jam, dedicated to Magic Johnson. Few people know, that Cedric & Dee competed in a college dunk contest, at the Orlando All-Star Classic. 25 years later, prepare to hear the inside story that will change most of what you know about the history of the NBA's 1991 Dunk Contest.

    We break down the 1993 season. Paul Westphal was named as coach, the Suns traded for Charles Barkley and Cedric led the league in field-goal percentage (57.6). Phoenix steamrolled the league, en route to 62 wins and the number-one seed in the Playoffs. The Suns survived their first-round series against the upstart Lakers, with an overtime victory in the fifth and deciding game.

    Injury hit Cedric at the worst possible time. He broke his foot during the 1993 Western Conference Finals; missing the NBA Finals against Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and the Chicago Bulls. He talks about the emotions of supporting his team from the sidelines.

    We cover Cedric's trade (September, 1994) from Phoenix to the L.A. Lakers, where he enjoyed NBA-career highs in scoring, rebounds and assists. Ceballos was named an All-Star, however, an incident with Dikembe Mutombo, days prior to the 1995 All-Star Game, led to Cedric missing the game due to injury. In a cruel twist of fate, Mutombo would receive his second All-Star nod.

    Magic Johnson returned to the NBA during the 1996 season. Cedric talks about co-captaining the Lakers with Nick Van Exel, the impact of Magic's return and how it felt to miss the opportunity to challenge for a title, playing alongside one of the all-time greats.

    Cedric appeared in the iconic movie, Space Jam. We talk about his memories of the experience and the effect it continues to have on his life.

    He also opens up about playing basketball inside The Jordan Dome - the purpose-built workout facility, constructed for Jordan's use, during downtime around the filming of the movie.

    During the 1997 season, Ceballos was traded back to Phoenix - the Suns were in turmoil, but Cedric and his (new) teammates turned the season around, steering the franchise into the Playoffs.

    In the 1998 season, Cedric was traded to Dallas. He talks about the challenges of playing for a franchise that was fighting for relevancy. He speaks fondly of former-teammate, (Australia's) Chris Anstey and a great victory the Mavs had over the rampaging Bulls, in March of 1998.

    After his time with the Mavericks, he closed out his NBA career with stops in Detroit and Miami. He then played in various leagues around the USA, became a member of the Harlem Globetrotters and also headed overseas to play professionally.

    We briefly discuss Cedric's other interests, including ShootersRev and The Stream World.

    Thanks to Paul Corliss and the NBRPA team, for scheduling Cedric’s podcast appearance.

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  • AIR058: Terence Stansbury – Temple University Hall of Famer, NBA & European veteran

    July 19, 2015

    Temple University Hall of Famer, NBA & European veteran, Terence Stansbury.

    We discuss the unique origin of Terence's high school basketball career. He mentions some of the players he admired, including Julius Erving, Walt Frazier, Pete Maravich, Wilt Chamberlain and Joe Bryant.

    Terence starred at Temple, leading his Owls to the 1984 NCAA Tournament. At that Tourney, he hit a game-winning buzzer-beater, to defeat the might of St. John's, led by Chris Mullin, Bill Wennington & Mark Jackson. That victory setup the last game of Terence's college career, against Michael Jordan and the North Carolina Tar Heels. We discuss both games - the latter, Stansbury more than held his own, against Jordan.

    Stansbury trialed for Team USA's 1983 Pan-American Games squad, then, in 1984, was one of the select group, invited to participate in Team USA's Olympic Trials. Terence details great moments from both experiences, including his first (in person) meeting with Charles Barkley and rooming with another future Hall of Famer, John Stockton.

    We chat about the famous 1984 NBA Draft, where the Dallas Mavericks selected Terence with the 15th overall pick. We cover his brief, yet intriguing, tenure with the Mavs, before the trade that sent him to the Indiana Pacers, where he played two of his three NBA seasons.

    One of the Google searches that I did, whilst researching Terence's career, led to a photo of Paul Mokeski. As luck would have it, there's a classic story behind the snap, that began with a foul, and ended, many years later, close to five thousand miles away.

    Terence remembers former teammate, Dwayne McClain, a guy with links to my home country of Australia. They were teammates during the 1986 NBA season. The 'D-Train' was a standout at Villanova University, later, starring in the National Basketball League.

    It's impossible to chat with Terence Stansbury and not talk about his three-consecutive, third-place finishes in the Slam Dunk Competition (1985-87). I ask Terence about the origin of his famous 'Statue of Liberty 360' jam and the involvement of his family and friends, in the 1985 and 1986 contests, particularly.

    We also discuss the circumstances behind Terence's trade to Seattle. After the 1987 season, Terence briefly played in the Continental Basketball Association, before being presented with an opportunity to play in Europe (early 1988). From there, he played at the highest level, traveling to places such as Holland, Belgium, France - where he's a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame - Israel and Greece.

    We round out the conversation by covering Terence's current-day involvement with basketball.

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  • AIR057: Dale Ellis – Two-time All-American, All-Star & 17-year NBA veteran

    July 19, 2015

    Two-time All-American (Tennessee), All-Star and 17-year NBA veteran, Dale Ellis.

    We discuss Dale's high school basketball days, followed by his outstanding four seasons with the Tennessee Volunteers, where he was twice named All-American.

    Dale talks about his whereabouts on NBA Draft Day, 1983, when he was selected ninth overall by the Dallas Mavericks. We cover his three seasons with the Mavs, playing alongside fellow draftee Derek Harper, including these memorable finishes to games against the mighty Los Angeles Lakers.

    Dale discusses his trade from Dallas to Seattle, where he set the NBA record for highest, single-season scoring increase - from 7.1 (1986, Dallas) to a staggering 24.9 points per game (1987, Seattle). Ellis also won Most Improved Player and in that year's Playoffs, dominated his former team, helping steer the Sonics to the Western Conference Finals.

    We chat about some of the many great players that Dale played with, including Nate McMillan, Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, Tom Chambers, Xavier McDaniel, Avery Johnson, Dennis Rodman & David Robinson.

    Of course, with Dale Ellis as my guest, I had to ask about his incredible three-point shooting prowess. Dale was the first player in NBA history, to make 1000 three-point field goals. He competed in numerous Three-Point Shootouts, too, including the iconic match-up with Larry Bird, in 1988 at Chicago Stadium.

    When Dale mentioned Michael Jordan, I didn't need to be told twice, to ask more about their battles over the years. He recalls some funny stories and talks about MJ's greatness.

    Dale reminisces about his fantastic 1989 season. Aside from averaging a career-high 27.5ppg and being named to the All-NBA 3rd Team, he had an All-Star Weekend for the ages, winning the Three-Point Shootout and then scored 27 points the following day, for the Western Conference All-Stars. Dale also shares a great All-Star story, talking about his idol, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, plus, playing with future Hall of Famer, John Stockton.

    We also discuss his seasons spent with the Milwaukee Bucks, San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets and his return to Seattle in 1998, where he would lead the NBA, connecting on a staggering 46.4% of his three-point field goals.

    Last year (2014), Dale became just the fourth player to have his jersey retired, by the University of Tennessee. He discussed memories of his teammates, and how graduating from college (1985) was the hardest thing he has ever done in his life.

    We talk about the Inaugural 2015 Breakthrough Atlanta Celebrity Basketball Game, where Dale will lead his squad against former teammate, Dikembe Mutombo.

    Our conversation also covers Dale's modern-day involvement with basketball, his future ambitions and online presence.

    Thanks to Paul Corliss and the NBRPA team, for scheduling Dale's podcast appearance.

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

    July 19, 2015

    SEC 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.

    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.

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

    April 27, 2015

    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

    April 27, 2015

    Three-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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  • AIR051: Paul Corliss – VP, Marketing and Communications – NBRPA

    April 27, 2015

    NBRPA Vice President, Marketing & Communications, Paul Corliss.

    The National Basketball Retired Players Association, was founded in 1992 by NBA luminaries, Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Archie Clark, Dave Cowens and Oscar Robertson. The NBRPA is a non-profit association comprised of former professional basketball players (NBA, ABA, Harlem Globetrotters, and WNBA). It is the only alumni association of its kind, supported directly by the NBA and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA).

    We cover Paul’s career as a sports writer, after he graduated from college. He then worked at NASCAR and the NFL for the best part of ten years, before commencing his current role in 2011, alongside CEO Arnie Fielkow.

    We chat about the origins of the NBRPA and the wide array of (quoted from their website) ‘programs, services and benefits designed to help retired basketball players and their families successfully navigate life after the game’.

    Paul talks about the NBRPA’s unprecedented success at the 2015 All-Star Weekend. The Legends of Basketball participated in community-based projects, celebrated Black History Month and conducted numerous radio and on-air television interviews – in conjunction with NBA TV – that will air over the coming months.

    This is a perfect opportunity to learn more about the NBRPA. We even have time to discuss some of Paul’s greatest memories of working with Magic Johnson, Bill Walton, Spencer Haywood, Jalen Rose, Teresa Weatherspoon, Ralph Sampson, Tiny Archibald and many other Legends of Basketball.

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  • AIR049: Mark Eaton – Utah Jazz great, two-time Defensive Player of the Year and NBA All-Star

    April 27, 2015

    Utah Jazz great, two-time Defensive Player of the Year and NBA All-Star, Mark Eaton.

    Few players have ever experienced a rise from near-obscurity to NBA All-Star, like Mark Eaton. We discuss Mark’s incredible transition from auto-mechanic to NBA-draftee and ultimately, Defensive Player of the Year (twice) and All-Star honors.

    We chat about Mark’s two seasons at Cypress Junior College, that led to him accepting a scholarship at UCLA. During his time with the Bruins, Mark had a brief, yet crucial encounter with all-time great, Wilt Chamberlain. The future-impact of that meeting forever changed Mark’s focus on the game of basketball.

    We cover Mark’s early years in the NBA and how he adapted to playing at the highest level. He details his strong relationship with coaching great Frank Layden – the man who coined the phrase, “You can’t teach height” – Layden coached Mark in his first six-plus seasons with Utah.

    Mark talks about his defensive-prowess that led to him being named a two-time Defensive Player of the Year. We also discuss the 1989 All-Star Game, where Mark was honored by the coaches and named as a reserve.

    No conversation with a Utah Jazz great would be complete, without discussing John Stockton and Karl Malone – two Hall of Fame players that Mark was teammates with for almost ten seasons.

    We also chat about Mark’s post-NBA career and his involvement with the television, radio and restaurant industries. Since 2006, Mark has been a sought-after business and motivational speaker.

    Learn more about the life of one of the greatest defensive centers in NBA history.

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  • AIR048: Roosevelt Chapman – Dayton legend, NBA draftee and international star

    February 5, 2015

    Dayton Flyers’ all-time leading scorer and NCAA star, Roosevelt Chapman.

    Adam & Aaron welcome Roosevelt to the podcast, with an in-depth discussion of his very successful, well-traveled, yet largely-unheralded basketball career. If ever a guest warranted featuring on the show, Roosevelt ‘Velvet’ Chapman is that guy. In 1984, within the span of just three months, he starred in the NCAA Tournament, was invited to the Team USA Olympic Trials and was selected in the NBA Draft.

    Roosevelt talks about his early years in Brooklyn and how his game developed on the playgrounds of New York City. He discusses some of the future NBA stars he grew up with, including Chris Mullin, Mark Jackson and Rod Strickland, to name a few. The development of Chapman’s game earned him the opportunity to attend the University of Dayton. We chat about his incredible senior season at college, where he led the Flyers to the Elite Eight in the 1984 NCAA Tournament – overcoming Wayman Tisdale and Detlef Schrempf in the process; finally succumbing to Patrick Ewing and his Georgetown Hoyas.

    Roosevelt discusses his involvement in the Team USA Olympic Trials in 1984, including two great stories involving Michael Jordan and John Stockton. He opens up about his selection in the 1984 NBA Draft and what led to him pursuing opportunities to play professionally – achieving great success – traveling around the world.

    This is one of my favorite episodes of the show, to date. Roosevelt’s story is fascinating; discovering the history and importance of players who often fly under the radar, is a passion of mine. Aaron & I are confident you’ll enjoy this feature.

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  • AIR046: Rick Barry – One of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History

    February 5, 2015

    One of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, Rick Barry.

    Rick discusses his first sporting love of baseball – he talks fondly of his hero – the reason behind his choice to wear the iconic jersey number 24. Incredibly, as a high-school senior, Rick almost gave up on his future Hall of Fame career, due in large-part to his then-coach.

    We chat about the origins of his unique, underhanded free-throw shooting technique and its impact on his overall game. Rick talks about his passion for basketball and his immense desire to win. We talk about his outstanding college career at the University of Miami and how it prepared him to make an instant impact at the next level. We discuss the 1965 NBA Draft, where Rick was one of 10 future All-Stars selected.

    We cover Rick’s NBA Rookie of the Year triumph, playing against Wilt Chamberlain in the 1967 NBA Finals and Barry’s decision to join the fledgling ABA (he won the 1969 ABA Championship) for its inaugural season. Rick talks candidly about being forced to sit out the entire 1968 season, when he was arguably in the prime of his career. We chat about his All-Star Game memories (eight in the NBA, four in the ABA) and his 1975 NBA Championship glory.

    We talk about Rick’s last two NBA seasons in Houston and how injury prematurely halted his career; interestingly, an NBA rule-change possibly denied Rick’s plan to join the Boston Celtics or Los Angeles Lakers.

    Rick discusses his Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement, his foray into coaching (1990s) and the opportunities missed at NBA level. We round out the conversation, learning about Rick’s current-day interests, including a love of fly fishing and his business pursuits.

    We run the gamut of discussion topics that shed light on the competitive nature of a true basketball great.

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