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AIR VS. SHAQ: THE NBA, NBC AND TURNER DREAM MATCHUP
Published May 8, 1995
The match-up of the Bulls and Magic in the NBA playoffs' second round was the focus of much media attention over the weekend, especially after the Hornets' Alonzo Mourning criticized the officiating as favoring Michael Jordan. After losing the series to the Bulls, Mourning said the "NBA got what it wanted" (Mult., 5/6). MEDIA REAX: In Boston, Bob Ryan writes that "the NBA and its television allies have distorted the game. Marketing the product line is one thing, but marketing a segment of the product at the expense of the game's core is another matter" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/7). In New York, William Rhoden writes on the NBA's "double standard," adding that the NBA has taken the concept of favoring individual superstars "to a completely new level" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/7). ESPN's Dan Patrick, opn Sunday's Bulls-Magic game: "Nike verses Reebok, Gatorade verses Pepsi, Michael verses Shaq. The matchup promises to be a commercial success" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 5/7). The N.Y. TIMES previewed the series by writing the "battle of the network stars comes down to two American commercial icons before it comes down to two of the NBA's premier teams" (Mike Wise, N.Y. TIMES, 5/7). USA TODAY reports that "advertisers cheer" the matchup (USA TODAY, 5/8). In Washington, Michael Wilbon writes, "Hopefully, the quality of play will justofy the jersey and sneaker sales" (WASHINGTON POST, 5/7).