Podcasts, The Step Back

Michael Jordan and All-Stars in 1989


The Over and Back NBA History Podcast is debuting a new series, Down Memory Lane, in which we talk with NBA writers and podcasters about past moments that shaped their NBA fandom. Adam Ryan of the In All Airness podcast joins us to discuss the 1989 NBA All-Star Game, Michael Jordan’s “The Shot” against Cleveland, and the Chicago Bulls vs. the New York Knicks in the 1989 playoffs.

We talk about Adam’s exposure to the NBA living in Australia, watching VHS tapes of moments over and over again, how much the All-Star Game meant in an era in which fewer games were on national television, big performances in 1989 from Michael Jordan and Karl Malone, an amusing stat line from John Stockton, missing Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, and the final all-star appearances for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Moses Malone.

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We also discuss how the 1989 Cavaliers with Mark Price and Brad Daugherty were a rising young power in the East, the exciting moments leading to the famous finale of Game 5 of the Bulls vs. Cavs series, and how Jordan’s jumper became known as “The Shot”.

We also look at Game 6 of the Bulls’ series vs. a rising Knicks team with Patrick Ewing dubbed the “Bomb Squad” for their record-setting three-point shooting under coach Rick Pitino, former Bull Charles Oakley vs. former Knick Bill Cartwright, Scottie Pippen getting ejected for a fight, and more Jordan playoff heroics. We also discuss at what exact point Jordan became the undisputed best player in the NBA and how the NBA’s style in the 1990s might have changed if Pitino had stayed in New York.

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