There are so many ways I could introduce Audie Norris. European basketball star with Barcelona, former Portland Trail Blazer, global ambassador of the NBA, even a certified backboard breaker. We talked about everything. From coaching kids to teaching Kristaps Porzingis the bank shot, his main influences in basketball and greats from different parts of the world. A packed episode of The Handle podcast.
Coach Hal Wissel came on the podcast to talk about a wide array of topics. From his humble beginnings as the head coach of Trenton State to working out Kobe Bryant as the Director of Player Personnel of the New Jersey Nets, there was a whole lot for me to ask as the host and so much was still left on the table (possible part two some time down the line). We chatted about him being a part of the first three-coach staff with the Atlanta Hawks, a whole lot of Hubie Brown, the numerous successes and victories of his career, and more.
"The jumpingest white boy I've ever seen" is how Wilt Chamberlain described two-time NBA All-Star Don Kojis. Kojis, after all, might have been the first basketball player to regularly throw down alley-oops when he did so with the Phillips 66ers. He also managed to have great success with Team USA before turning pro and enjoying a lengthy career in the NBA. All of that and some more discussed in this episode.
When Ron Grandison turned 30 in the summer of 1994, this was the list of his past basketball experiences: UC Irvine - Tulane - University of New Orleans - CBA - Boston Celtics - hiatus from basketball - Athletes in Action - CBA - Charlotte Hornets - CBA - Spain - CBA. With 75 NBA games under his belt during those years, you wouldn't exactly guess that this would be the player who Pat Riley would specifically pick up that summer. Or that he would start him a season later in Miami. Did I mention that he was Jeff Van Gundy's first signing as the Knicks head coach? A podcast episode of great stories by a man who worked his way to everything he achieved in basketball.
Glenn McDonald, the hero of the legendary 1976 NBA Finals Game Five! The former Boston Celtic revealed what persuaded him to play for the underdogs that were the Long Beach State 49ers, how veterans like John Havlicek took him under their wings at Boston and what followed in his life and career after that clutch showing at the Garden.
This episode could have been called "Coby Dietrick Steals the Show" if I actually did titles for each conversation. A 13-year pro in the ABA and the NBA, most notably with the San Antonio Spurs, and someone with experiences in Europe and the CBA, Dietrick had a lot to tell. Colorful teammates, wonderful times abroad and unique stories about games, contract signings and the business of basketball. All of that can be heard in this podcast episode.
Two-time ABA champion and All-Star Brian Taylor came on the podcast to take us through the significant stops he has had in his basketball career. From being quite the pioneer at Princeton and a New York Net in the ABA to fun times with the San Diego Clippers, Brian told many great stories throughout our conversation.
Whether it is the ABA's Kentucky Colonels or any of the attempts of bringing them back in the form of an NBA team, J. Bruce Miller has long been involved in Louisville's professional basketball scene. A conversation with him gave us the chance to explore his career as a sports lawyer, talk about the impact of Adolph Rupp and touch on several topics regarding basketball in the state of Kentucky.