ADAM Ryan's obsession with Michael Jordan began with the "The Shot" in Cleveland in 1989 and more than 20 years on has led to him earning a credit on the new documentary that is the talk of world sport at the moment.
The Last Dance is a 10-part series chronicling the Chicago Bulls' 1997-98 season and their quest for a sixth NBA title in eight years.
Episodes one and two dropped in Australia on Netflix last Monday - it was rushed forward from its original June date once the NBA season went into shutdown - in what is a series that has been particularly eagerly awaited by Ryan, who was born and bred in Bendigo before moving to Coffs Harbour in 2012.
Adding to Bulls' fanatic Ryan's excitement for the series is the fact he's been able to play a small role that earns him a reference in the special thanks section of the closing credits that lists both him and his In All Airness podcast that he began while still living in Bendigo.
"It all started with my Instagram account (also called In All Airness) and on that I've been posting mainly old Bulls and Jordan-related photos and videos over the past few years," Ryan said this week.
"Out of nowhere I got a message from a guy who was working on the production of the series and reached out to me wanting to know about the historical context of a few of the photos that I'd put up.
"So I told him a bit about the photos, where they had come from and what the context was behind them and they ended up asking if they could use some of the photos that I had provided, as well as some of the information that I had for the research that they were doing."
As well as providing some background to historical photos that had caught the eye of The Last Dance producers, Ryan also had a part to play in the episode two scenes that focus on Jordan's famous 63 points for the Bulls against the Boston Celtics in game two of their 1986 eastern conference first round series.
Played on April 20, 1986 - the Celtics won 135-131 in double overtime at the Boston Garden - Jordan's 63-point performance that afternoon remains an NBA playoff record.
The accompanying audio in the episode to the game is thanks to the work of Ryan and the extremes to which his Jordan fanaticism extends.
"On my Youtube channel I have the Chicago Bulls radio commentary for Jordan's 63-point game against Boston in the '86 playoffs," Ryan said.
"About 10-15 years ago I did a trade with a guy from the States who sent me five CDs of the Chicago radio call from that particular game and initially I didn't think too much more about it.
"But over the past couple of years I got rid of the audio on what was the CBS TV telecast and replaced it with what was the Chicago radio call. It took a while, but it came together really nicely and they've ended up using some of the radio call that I put on my Youtube channel in episode two, so that was pretty cool.
"It's only a minor contribution, but obviously a great thrill to have my name mentioned in the credits.
"I've been a massive Michael Jordan fan since 1989 and I'm 45 in June, so this series is certainly right in my wheelhouse."
An added bonus for Ryan was the accompanying mention of his In All Airness podcast, a massive promotional boost that has led to an increase in subscribers since the episodes aired.
"I didn't think I'd have much of a chance of getting the podcast name in. The doco went live in America five or six hours before I had the chance to watch and I was getting messages from people saying, 'are you aware your name and podcast appear in the special thanks at the end of the credits for episode one and two'," Ryan said.
"I've noticed a definite uptake in listeners to the podcast over the past three or four days, which has been great to have new people interested because I just do my podcast as a passion project... there isn't a cent to be made in it.
"I started it in October of 2012 in Bendigo just before moving to to Coffs Harbour and it's great to be able to get it associated with such a massive production that is celebrating one of the great sports teams of all time."
Among Ryan's vast array of Jordan memorabilia is what he guesses to be about 1000 Chicago Bulls games on video cassette, DVD and in digital form, with his collection beginning in 1989 and one of his earliest recordings that of Jordan's game-winner over Cleveland's Craig Ehlo in game five of the eastern conference first round series.
The iconic play which gave the Bulls a 101-100 win is simply known in NBA folklore as "The Shot".
"That was one of the first games I kept on video tape back in the day. I used to put in a video tape and hit record and would initially tape over the games the following week, but then I thought I'd keep the games and just buy new tapes," Ryan said.
"I remember the NBA being on the ABC in the late '80s, then on Channel 10 in the early '90s with Bill Woods and Steve Carfino and then I got pay TV in Bendigo in about 1995 and I'd record anything NBA that came on.
"I subscribed to a German-based company called Pontel that mailed out video tapes of games to anyone outside the US and I've got about three seasons worth of games from the Bulls during the '90s just from that and that's how my obsession came to be... I just kept collecting more, reading more and that's what led to my podcast in 2012."
Of the enormous collection of Jordan games he has in his collection, Ryan has five favourites.
"Definitely The Shot game in Cleveland in 1989 is one of them," Ryan said.
"There's game six of the 1998 finals (against Utah)... it's Jordan's last title with the Bulls, which I remember also being on the same day as my 23rd birthday.
"Maybe game two of the 1991 finals (against the L.A. Lakers). That was the Bulls' first ever NBA finals win and the game where Jordan does the exchange of hands mid-air and also hit 13-consecutive field goals.
"There's his comeback game in Indiana in March of 1995 after his first retirement to play baseball, which I've done an episode on.
"And the last one would probably be a game in his rookie season after the alleged freeze out of Jordan from some of the veterans in the All-Star game. The very next game Detroit came into Chicago and Jordan had 49 points in a Bulls OT win."
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.