Posts Tagged ‘Showtime Lakers’

Hang Time Podcast (Episode 150) Featuring Bestselling Author Jeff Pearlman

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Transcendence for NBA players is an interesting concept. Does a player who starred in the 1950s or 1960s have any chance of being the same type of player today? What would the stars of this day and age look like if they plied their trade in the 1980s or 1990s?

Just because you ruled the basketball world in one era doesn’t guarantee you could do it again in every other era. Just how relevant a player is from one era to the other, however, is a debate that will rage on for generations. Where would the stars of yesteryear rank today?

Just because you score a career-high and franchise-record 61 points against the Charlotte Bobcats, as LeBron James did Monday night, doesn’t mean Hall of Famers like Dominique Wilkins are going to be impressed.

We gave it a good run this week on Episode 150 of the Hang Time Podcast featuring The New York Times bestselling author and fellow hoops head Jeff Pearlman, whose definitive work on the “Showtime Lakers” is available now and absolute must-read. The story of the origins, Hollywood roller coaster that Dr. Jerry Buss, Magic Johnson, Pat Riley, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the rest of the Showtime Lakers took us on was one of a kind. The back story on how the dynasty was built and maintained is one that you won’t want to miss.

We frame the discussion with some great stories about guys like Kurt Rambis, Michael Cooper, Mike Tyson (yes, Mike Tyson) and so many others who played a role in the Lakers becoming arguably the most famous franchise in NBA history and one of the most storied in all of sports.

Our friends at NBAE also provide us with a fantastic look back at Allen Iverson’s top 10 career plays, fresh off of his jersey retirement ceremony in Philadelphia Saturday, in Sounds of the Game. And the leader of the pack remains on his throne in this week’s edition of Braggin’ Rights.

Check out all of that and more on Episode 150 of the Hang Time Podcast Featuring The New York Times bestselling author Jeff Pearlman …

LISTEN HERE:

As always, we welcome your feedback. You can follow the entire crew, including the Hang Time Podcast, co-hosts Sekou Smith of NBA.com,  Lang Whitaker of NBA.com’s All-Ball Blog and renaissance man Rick Fox of NBA TV, as well as our new super producer Gregg (just like Popovich) Waigand and the best engineer in the business,  Jarell “I Heart Peyton Manning” Wall.

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VIDEO: The Starters talk LeBron’s big night and its place in history

Former NBA Star Woolridge Dead At 52





HANG TIME PLAYOFF HEADQUARTERS – Former Chicago Bulls star and 13-year NBA veteran Orlando Wooldridge died at his parents’  Louisiana home Thursday night, according to the Shreveport Times, the second blow to the league’s retired ranks this week.

Former NBA All-Star and broadcaster Jack Twyman died Wednesday.

Woolridge, 52, was reportedly under hospice care for a heart condition. A college star at Notre Dame and the sixth pick in the 1981 NBA Draft, Woolridge played six seasons for the Bulls, including averaging 22.9 points per game during Michael Jordan‘s rookie season.

He was a fan favorite in Chicago and beyond for his above-the-rim work, vicious dunks were one of his specialties. Suspended in 1987 for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, Woolridge finished with career averages of 16 points and 4.3 rebounds, playing for the Lakers, Nuggets, Pistons, Bucks and Sixers. He also spent time overseas and coached in the WNBA and the ABA after his playing career ended.

A 6-foot-9, 215-pound physical specimen with elite athleticism, Woolridge actually experienced some of his best years in the league as a role player with the Lakers under Pat Riley and on the receiving end of some of Magic Johnson‘s  passes.

That’s actually where I remember him best, though I remember him well from his days with the Bulls. He just seemed like a perfect fit with those Showtime Lakers, who never met an athletic finisher they didn’t like.

We dug through the archives for a glimpse of Woolridge in his prime (above), just in case you didn’t have the pleasure of watching him while he played.


Real Rivalries Are Back For Good





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – All that chest pounding from Metta World Peace last night was genuine, raw emotion in a game filled with it, a rivalry (yes, rivalry) that demands it these days.

Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and the rest of the Clippers certainly aren’t afraid to embrace the challenge of picking a fight with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and the rest of the Lakers. The bodies on court from opening tip until the final whistle serve as proof that the games between these two mean more than anyone was willing to let on when Paul joined the Clippers instead of the Lakers last month.

And when Gasol touched Paul on the top of the head in the final seconds of the Lakers 96-91 win at Staples Center, well …  it was on:

“He touched the top of my head, and I didn’t like that,” said Paul, who nearly landed with the Lakers last month before NBA commissioner David Stern squelched the deal. “You know what I mean. I don’t know if Pau’s got kids, but don’t touch my head like I’m one of your kids. I don’t know what his intentions were, like, ‘I’ll treat him like little Chris.’ I don’t know if he’s got kids, but I’m not one of them.”

The best part is the Lakers and Clippers are not alone. The authentic nastiness that many of us grew up with, that made the NBA so special during the Showtime Lakers-Big Three Celtics era through the Bad Boy Pistons-Jordan Bulls era and beyond, is popping up all over the league.

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Schooling The Next Generation On MJ

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Like every parent of a soon-to-be-teenage boy in this day and age, I’ve been bracing myself for the conversation.

Like my father before me and his before him, I’ll have to make sense of one of life’s most important topics to a 12-year-old still grappling with the basics of why brushed teeth and at least a hint of some sort of deodorant are an absolute necessity for the middle-school male on the move.

Coming up with the right words to explain why it is time for him to decide for himself who and what makes him tick led me back my own transitional moment that saw me go from a wide-eyed kid following the lead of my father to a teenage wannabe deciding for myself that his standard of greatness might be different from my own.

In a nutshell, it’s time for him to decide whose posters and pictures go up on his bedroom wall instead of asking me to do it for him.

The most vivid reminder I have of that phase of my life, of course, is connected to the game we all love. It was one day in eighth grade that it dawned on me that Michael Jordan, and not Magic Johnson, would be the singular superstar athlete of my generation. Sure, there were other stars in other sports fighting for that title. But it was clear to most anyone with any sense at all that Jordan was well on his way to being The Man early on his in NBA career. As much as I loved Magic and was devoted to the belief that he had indeed revolutionized the game as a 6-foot-9, do-it-all point guard capable of superhuman feats, Jordan had surpassed him in my then adolescent eyes.

(Thankfully, it’s Michael Jordan Week on NBA TV, so I can let my son tune in and see for himself.)

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