Tag Archives: NBA on NBC

1995: The Best Year of My Life

For some, it’s difficult to pull images of one’s life from fifteen years ago. For me, it’s nothing. Just don’t ask me about fourteen or sixteen years ago. I don’t really remember 1996. And 1994 is a little cloudy. But 1995 stands out like a sore thumb. Without a doubt, it was the best year of my life.

I was 10 years old, going on 11, when the new year hit. I was in fourth grade at the time. By September, I’d be a fifth grader, the top of the food chain at my elementary school. And of course we all know what fifth grade entails: One’s initial exposure to sex ed and drug abuse resistance education (otherwise known as D.A.R.E.). My memories of studying marijuana and developing breasts are fond, yet distant.

Like most 10-year-olds, my interests were fairly limited. Sports, TV, music, candy, baseball cards, video games…these were my vices. More than most kids, however, I was a sports fan.

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Pro Sports Have Lost Their Kid Appeal

nbaonnbcAs a kid growing up in the ’80s and ’90s, your typical Saturday morning meant one thing: the NBA on NBC.

Admit it, every time you hear the familiar tune of “Heart of a Champion,” you’re transported back to a childhood weekend in front of the old-school Hitachi TV set. There’s Marv Albert, calling the game. Mike Fratello providing commentary. Bob Costas, Peter Vecsey, and Hannah Storm in studio. Michael Jordan going head-to-head with John Starks. Those were the days.

Back then, professional sports made it their mission to reach out to the youth of the world. Primetime games were played at 10:00 AM on Saturday mornings. Shows like NBA Inside Stuff with Ahmad Rashad were geared towards engaging a younger crowd, as well as adults. Even the NBA All-Star Weekend featured a pre-event tailored especially for pre-pubescents. The stars of yesteryear were role models (despite what Charles Barkley might profess), and the best of the best capitalized on their kid-friendly fame to expand their fan base (think M.J. in Space Jam).

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