Michael Jordan, NBA, Portland discussed on Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network
Here's Ron. If you're a basketball fan particularly an NBA basketball fan I'm going to give me a book. I think you ought to check out. It's a fun book. It's called tip off how the nineteen eighty-four NBA draft changed basketball forever, and the author of the Book Is Sports columnist for the New York Daily News fill up. Bondi and when we look at Nineteen eighty-four, the significance of that draft in Nineteen eighty-four what made it so unique Philip. Well, just the sheer name, the celebrity power these were transcendent stars you had. You had Jordan you had Barclay. You had a lodge on you had John Stockton off coming out at the same time and yes sure it made it made an enormous difference. You know a guy like Barkley loan comes out there and he changes the way players are. and. Of course, Michael Jordan stands. Really, when I look back at the nineteen eighty-four draft, I think it was significant because it saved the NBA and what I mean by that in the early eighties that league was in trouble I know that their playoff games were played late at night on television they almost had to by the time they also had a drug problem in the NBA, a cocaine problem and I know from my agent who was Bob Wolff, who represented Larry Bird he said that the league was mortgaged to the tune of ninety million dollars in deferred payments. So this in a sense resurrected the NBA, save the NBA. Am I correct in making that You had a situation where seventeen of the twenty three teams we're losing money at the time, and we tend to Romanticise sort of nostalgically that period early in the early eighties in terms of what was going on on the court because you had bird against magic and it was spectacular stuff. But the truth was that the NBA, could not sell its product. As you said, they either had to put their games on late. At night or they were actually still showing hate replays of their playoff games on network television I mean, they could not sell US stuff. There was another dynamic to this nineteen eighty-four draft as well because there was a credibility problem with the NBA and that the previous season where they thought and even during the eighty four season where everybody thought that teams were throwing games in order to get a bad better draft position. Yeah, very much big big problem especially in regards to the Houston Rockets and the and the Chicago Bulls. That, the Dallas Mavericks were charging that the rockets were throwing games basically, not throwing not the players on the court mind you they were obviously tried but the lineups that were being played were outrageous. You had a an ancient thirty, eight old Elvin Hayes playing every minute of an overtime game You just had a lot of guys out there who couldn't get the job done and it was pretty clear. These teams were losing you know. Fourteen out of fifteen down the stretch that there was no real desire by management to win game. There was some intrigue as well with the big man where you mentioned Akeem ally Japan. But there was also Patrick Ewing Georgetown about whether he would come out or not. How did that factor into the eighty four draught? Oh, big time. You know if he had come out, it's still unclear who would have been drafted first ewing or logic on. and it was it did come down to the his a very to an eleventh-hour decision by doing not to come out some people insisted that maybe he was affected a little bit by the by the biological on decision but don't think that was the case I. Think he legitimately wanted to complete his career at Georgetown. Sure. Made a big difference for the Portland Trailblazers because suddenly instead of just merely choosing between two two. Can't miss big guys in a logical on and you suddenly they had to choose between either Sam Mbui. Or who was the big man but not a not a sure thing or Michael Jordan. They picked the wrong guy and talk about the coin flip which you know obviously came into play as far as Houston taking on. Yeah this pre lottery and. It was because of the shenanigans that were going on, they instituted a lottery the following year. But before the lottery came, we had all these coin flips that really determine the future of franchises you know the Chicago Bulls People Forget the Chicago Bulls lost a coin flip for Magic Johnson I mean that would've changed everything long long before Jordan came around but. In this case, there was a coin flip between the between the the the the blazers in the rockets and the blazers lost the rockets won for the second straight year the coin flip the previous year they had picked Ralph Sampson and there was you know there was some discussion among the rockets whether they should trade Sampson four that number four. Four, the number three pick in which case they could have also had Jordan. Can you imagine Michael Jordan and lodge you on together for a dozen years? Or so no brainer of course used to taking joon. But what was the thought process in Portland ultimately taking Sam Booey. Yeah, you had a situation where you know this was a franchise that had built championships around dominant passing center, a playmaking center and bill. Walton. and. They felt. That's exactly the model that they knew. They understood it and they wanted to repeat it. They had a already a solid bitchy. At, shooting guard they had both taxing, and they had this young kid Clyde Drexler. So they just didn't really see a spot for Jordan. So they picked by need rather than buy talent, and of course, it came back to bite them. One of the things that surprised me about Portland making that decision to go with SAM? mbui is that he was injury prone and if you think back to Bill Walton after the early success that he. Had with the Portland Trailblazers and winning the NBA Championship I was talking to Jack Ramsay about this after that he had some problems injury wise as well. He had some foot problem. So weren't they a little bit weary of taking somebody like a Sam Mbui who might fall into the same category as Bill Walton Injury, wise. Well, supposedly, they were weary and they supposedly did a lot of they performed a ton of physical exams they say. wits Buoy Stu inman was the general manager at the time Stu just died recently actually, but you know he had. Had A fine record. He was considered something of a personnel genius leading into this draft. He just thought it was such an upside with bully and then they did take these precautions with these physicals but you just. You know you just don't know I. Mean Look what has happened again history repeats itself they take the the trailblazers take. Greg. Oden a kid who had who already had some history of injuries to his hip and to his wrist and look what happened I mean. He you know who knows what his future is at this point, and so you just you just can't tell the nineteen eighty-four draft just for the record number three. Michael. Jordan goes to Chicago out of North Carolina and then another no of care on a fine player going to Dallas was Sam Perkins and rounding out the top five Charles Barkley from. Philadelphia. When we look back now nineteen eighty-four longtime ago. What do you think was the legacy? What did it actually mean.