We enjoy a little bit of basketball and also a bit of nostalgia. With the new NBA season tipping off in 10 days time we count down 10 memorable performances.
Firstly, please get this audio going to help set the scene...
Growing up in Australia during the 80's made it difficult to follow the NBA. There was no easy access to American basketball back then. As we moved in to the 90's though, Don Lane on ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) started illuminating our homes with the NBA and NCAA late at night on Fridays.
It was around 1992 when Network Ten took hold of the broadcasting rights, with the network owning popular ratings at the time. This produced a basketball boom Australia-wide. The whole country could tune in for NBA Action and the NBA Game of the Week at midday every Saturday. We started imitating Michael Jordan's fade-aways and reverse layups. We began collecting Upper Deck, Fleer and Skybox. We bought One-on-One, SLAM and Beckett Monthly. We watched White Men Can't Jump, Space Jam, Blue Chips, Hoop Dreams and Above the Rim.
Many years have past since that era. For this post, we are going to go back 20 years to 1997. Here are the best plays of that season according to NBA Action.
The Best Players of 1996-97
10. Penny Hardaway
Orlando Magic, Point Guard
20.5 points / 4.5 rebounds / 5.6 assists / 1.6 steals / 0.6 blocks
9. Latrell Sprewell
Golden State Warriors, Shooting Guard
24.2 points / 4.6 rebounds / 6.3 assists / 1.7 steals / 0.6 blocks
8. Tim Hardaway
Miami Heat, Point Guard
20.3 points / 3.4 rebounds / 8.6 assists / 1.9 steals / 0.1 blocks
7. Scottie Pippen
Chicago Bulls, Small Forward
20.2 points / 6.5 rebounds / 5.7 assists / 1.9 steals / 0.5 blocks
6. Hakeem Olajuwon
Houston Rockets, Center
23.2 points / 9.2 rebounds / 3.0 assists / 1.5 steals / 2.2 blocks
5. Glen Rice
Charlotte Hornets, Small Forward
26.8 points / 4.0 rebounds / 2.0 assists / 0.9 steals / 0.3 blocks
4. Shaquille O’Neal
Los Angeles Lakers, Center
26.2 points / 12.5 rebounds / 3.1 assists / 0.9 steals / 2.9 blocks
3. Grant Hill
Detroit Pistons, Small Forward
21.4 points / 9.0 rebounds / 7.3 assists / 1.8 steals / 0.6 blocks
2. Karl Malone
Utah Jazz, Power Forward
27.4 points / 9.9 rebounds / 4.5 assists / 1.4 steals / 0.6 blocks
1. Michael Jordan
Chicago Bulls, Shooting Guard
29.6 points / 5.9 rebounds / 4.3 assists / 1.7 steals / 0.5 blocks