Ah, the fall of 1996. The Chicago Bulls were about to defend their title. NBA.com was inviting you to "go to the ‘net," and listen to .wav files of Jeff Van Gundy talking about New York's acquisition of Larry Johnson. Kobe Bryant(notes) had yet to play a game, and some of you had yet to be born. And if you were to waste the use of a time machine to go back to tell Sam Smith that he would be entering his third year of writing exclusively on the Internet, he would first ask you what the Internet was, before stabbing you in the shoulder with a penknife.
Somewhere out in Hollywood, the good folks at Warner Brothers were readying "Space Jam," a pretty terrible Michael Jordan feature that even the strongest Chicago Bulls backers (that's me), NBA freaks (ditto), and Merrie Melodies fans (the same; I like it when Bugs Bunny dressed up like a girl bunny) had a hard time sitting through. Fourteen years later, the most lasting part of the whole experience was the fact that Jordan used an on-set lot to get back into NBA shape with a gaggle of NBA superstars: