Posts Tagged ‘David Letterman’

David Letterman sure loved the NBA

NEW YORK - APRIL 11: Basketball legends Magic Johnson (left) and Larry Bird (center) talk with Dave (right) about their friendship and their rivalry on the court when they visit the Late Show with David Letterman Wednesday, April 11, 2012 on the CBS Television Network. This photo is provided by CBS from the Late Show with David Letterman photo archive. (Photo by Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images)

Magic Johnson (left) and Larry Bird (center) are interviewed on the Late Show with David Letterman on April 11, 2012 (Photo by Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS via Getty Images)

By Jeff Case

In case you’ve been living under a rock or something the last week or so, here’s an update: The “Late Show with David Letterman” is nearing the finish line and, tonight, David Letterman will host his final show. For 33 years and across two networks, the “Late Show” forever changed the face of late-night TV talk shows behind Letterman’s unique sense of humor and style. Amazingly, when he walks off the stage tonight, he will have hosted 6,028 broadcasts.

(The Indianapolis Star has a great look at the life and times of the TV icon here.)

Letterman, an Indiana native, is also a well-known sports fan and, in particular, a basketball fan and Indiana Pacers fan (he even did a Pacers-themed Top 10 once). Everyone from Reggie Miller to Shaquille O’Neal to Michael Jordan (who gave Letterman some guff over wearing adidas shoes) appeared on the show, as did former NBA commissioner David Stern and current commissioner Adam Silver.

With that in mind, here’s a look back at some of Letterman’s best NBA-related interviews …

VIDEO: David Letterman interviews Michael Jordan in 1986
David Letterman interviews Patrick Ewing in 1989 (FF to the 30 minute mark)

VIDEO: David Letterman interviews Isiah Thomas in the late 1980s

VIDEO: David Letterman interviews Reggie Miller and Spike Lee in 1994

VIDEO: David Letterman interviews Grant Hill in 1994

VIDEO: David Letterman interviews Dennis Rodman in 1997

VIDEO: David Letterman interviews Charles Barkley in 2006

VIDEO: David Letterman interviews Dwyane Wade in 2006

VIDEO: David Letterman interviews Magic Johnson and Larry Bird


Charles Barkley Visits David Letterman

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It’s a tradition unlike any other: The NBA season is about to begin, so Charles Barkley sits down with David Letterman. Chuck gets a particularly good line in when Dave asks about the Knicks being good this season…

VIDEO: Charles Barkley on David Letterman

Frank Vogel’s Stupid Human Trick

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER –A few weeks ago, a friend of mine turned up with a couple of tickets to a taping of Late Show with David Letterman. Now, I grew up on Dave, staying up way too late throughout middle and high school to watch his NBC show. When he bounced to CBS, I bounced with him. When I started interviewing people for a living, I watched Dave and appreciated just how good he is at talking to his guests — getting them to comment on sensitive subjects, making the conversation relevant and interesting all the while sprinkling in humor and jokes. As I grew up I stopped watching as often, but I can not understate how profound an effect Dave, and particularly his sense of humor, had upon making me, me.

I moved to New York City a little over a decade ago and have walked past the Ed Sullivan Theater in midtown Manhattan hundreds of times, but I’d never gone in, never made an attempt to go to a taping. And then the opportunity fell into my lap — and with the legendary “Jungle” Jack Hanna as the guest, no less. I was all in.

We got there early and were seated in the balcony, and I was so excited I was nearly buzzing. As Paul Schaffer and the CBS Orchestra warmed up the audience with The Police’s “Synchronicity II,” in my head I allowed myself to play out elaborate scenarios as to what might happen if Dave ended up doing something involving the audience and I got to meet him. Just in case, I tried to think of one question I could ask Dave if I found myself face-to-face, so I wouldn’t totally freeze up and be comedy fodder for Dave. It didn’t take me long to decide that I would ask Dave how he felt about the title chances of the Indiana Pacers.

I never got anywhere close to Dave that night, which was fine, because the entire experience was so perfect and true to what I hoped it would be like that I have no complaints. But I still think my question would have been a hit. As anyone who watches Late Show with David Letterman every night can tell you, Dave’s favorite NBA team is the Indiana Pacers — Letterman was born in Indianapolis and went to nearby Ball State University. Dave’s given us his Top Ten Reasons he love the Pacers — “4. It’s still fun to say Detlef Schrempf.” — and Pacers legend Reggie Miller has been a frequent guest.

So perhaps it’s only fitting that current Pacers coach Frank Vogel appeared on the Letterman show before he actually got the gig with the Pacers. Way back in 1986, as the TNT crew recently pointed out, Vogel was a contestant on Stupid Human Tricks, where he showed off some fancy ballhandling.

As Dave might have said, “Remember, this is not an exhibition, it is a competition. Wagering is encouraged.”

(via B/R)

Carmelo Anthony talks playoffs with David Letterman

by Micah Hart

I think David Letterman is the best of the Late Night hosts at interviewing athletes and getting them, if only slightly, to loosen up from their athlete-speak ways.

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Shaq does Letterman

by Micah Hart

After serving as Rajon Rondo’s personal escort, Shaquille O’Neal showed up on the Late Show with David Letterman last night and was his usual, charming self.

Not many people can get away with wearing a suit with a hoodie, but I guess Shaq is one of them.

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