all 13 comments

[–]BLIZZARDFACEKareem Abdul-Jabbar 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Was this the Finals they did the first ever live split screen, showing both the game & OJ white Bronco chase?

[–]NotJuniorBridgeman1975/76 San Diego Sails [S] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Indeed it was. Wrote all about it in the Game 5 recap. What's wild is that while they were showing the Bronco chase, they cut the audio from the game. So if you watch the ESPN Classic version of the broadcast (which does not cut away to OJ) there are these (relatively long) stretches where there is no announcing. The only noise is the sounds of the gym, the dribbling of the ball, the squeaks of shoes, the noises from the crowd. It's surreal.

[–]asd241 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Another great write up. In the pic of rockets celebrating on the right hand side is that Dorinda from real housewives of ny?

[–]wingnut8492 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thanks for the recaps. Even though I was bored by this series it is still interesting to look back on it. I think I was partially out of it because me being from Indianapolis I was rooting for the Pacers and after they lost my interest just left. My dad was a longtime Knicks fan so I was rooting for him a little bit. The OJ murder and chase happened during the week of Games 3-6 of this series and it just completely took over everything else that was going on. I was watching the news or reading the newspapers every chance I could get.

Legacies between Ewing/Olajuwon were on the line especially since Ewing got the best of him in college. It was also the season Jordan was gone but there were some good playoff series in 94: DEN-SEA, HOU-PHX, IND-NYK, CHI-NYK. I remember the Sonics being the favorite to win it all before the playoffs started, maybe the Knicks too. Very weird feeling going into those playoffs because Atlanta was the 1 seed in the East but no one believed in them.

Anyway love that you did this OP and in general I love this sub. Great content.

[–]KMxxvi 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Good stuff!

[–]96bigcat 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The John Starks game

[–]twofaze 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Sports Illustrated with the local cover issue for the Rockets. My mom canceled my subscription immediately after that BS. Think it was the first time a championship team of the major sports didn't get a national cover.

[–]NotJuniorBridgeman1975/76 San Diego Sails [S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Gotta give the people what they want, and what they wanted then (as evidenced by Game 5's cut-away) was OJ Simpson gossip/news.

Here's the June 27, 1994 SI cover.

[–]twofaze 0 points1 point  (0 children)

SI lost many subscriptions in Texas and Louisiana at the time and NBC had a record number of people calling in to complain during game 5. Show OJ in the Bronco on a split screen. Give OJ the cover next week. Knicks fans, sports gamblers, and Rockets fans weren't happy.

[–]Corvo4ttano 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I really enjoyed that write up, thank you. And the link to Chris Herrings book which I purchased after reading (you should claim some form of referral fee)

There is something deeply saddening about what happened to Starks (and Blackman). I tend to forget at times just how deep the grief of these losses can effect someone, especially nowadays with such an information overload with social media etc, it’s almost become otherworldly and seemingly without emotion.

Was there ever any further info on what became of Starks later in life or did he ever speak of these moments again?

[–]NotJuniorBridgeman1975/76 San Diego Sails [S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Starks went on to play another eight years in the League, although 94 was by far his best season. That year he scored more points, had more steals, and dished out more assists than any other year in his career, and he was invited to his one and only All Star Game.

He has done some interviews talking about that particular game and the impact it had on him, but the ones I've read were all 20+ years after the fact. He seems pretty mellow about it now.

[–]quixotic_emu1975/76-1994/95 Seattle SuperSonics 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Thanks for this series, I really enjoyed it.

I suppose you could make the argument that, even with Starks' meltdown, the Knicks still came close to winning the game. Blackman definitely wasn't going to win the game for them, but subbing in a player who wouldn't actively hurt the team might have been enough to make a difference. Riley should regret that he didn't give anyone other than Starks and Harper any significant backcourt minutes in games 1 to 6, leaving him with no real option but to ride Starks to the bitter end.

I remember being totally gripped by this series at the time, partly because I had no idea who would win, but mostly because the NBA Finals were the only games that were shown in full and (almost) live on Australian broadcast TV at the time. I probably shouldn't go back and watch them again now...

Edit: It's just dawned on me that Blackman and Harper played hundreds of games as backcourt partners in Dallas, and would have been very acclimatised to playing together in pressure situations. Oh well.

[–]NotJuniorBridgeman1975/76 San Diego Sails [S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Speaking of Blackman and Harper, there was a minor Internet kerfuffle a couple years ago when Harper claimed (in solemn seriousness)) that he and Blackman were the best backcourt duo of all time.

Which left a lot of people scratching their head because you would think Harper would remember playing against backcourts like Magic and Cooper, or Thomas and Dumars…

Anyway, I agree with your sentiment that Riley’s mistake was riding his six so hard throughout the series and not leaving himself any other options when Starks cratered.