The Decision: 10 Years Later

On July 8, 2010 ESPN handed LeBron an hour of prime time television. You don’t need a crystal ball to know where this is going…but it helps.

10 years later LeBron James’ Decision has been durably prophetic. He came into Jordan’s NBA house wearing 23 throwing chalk dust into the air and asked to be recognized as a king…in the absence of any significant championship achievements. Umm, yeah not gonna happen.

If an NBA player wants to leave one team for another team that’s great. Free agency has only been around since 1988; this isn’t some ABA afros era CBA clause. Free agency is a modern condition and fans and franchises are used to this turbulent process. And I mean it’s in the name agency means action or intervention, especially such as to produce a particular effect. Athlete empowerment via free agency is good for the NBA and for players and sometimes it’s good for the fans and franchises.

While a cozy narrative The Decision wasn’t athlete empowerment. This was narcissism and selfishness: a Twitter trailer of who we’d all become. Like the way, we justify douchebag Twitter behaviour in the name of justice or a taking moral stance. It’s never been about those things.

As a franchise player from Ohio LeBron could have overhauled the Cavs into a storied franchise on par with the Celtics, Lakers, and the Bulls. He could. He did not. The Last Dance opened and closed with young “hair Jordan” shortly after being drafted?—?expressing his vision to transform the moribund Bulls into a prime NBA destination. Six championships later Jordan succeeded; he fulfilled his goal and delivered on his destiny.

Michael Jordan did The Work. He could. He did.

Back then LeBron James overestimated his value and his contributions to the NBA and to pop culture. It’s the equivalent of Hanson thinking they’re on par with Prince or Bowie.

Currently, The Decision stands as an ancient media hieroglyph depicting unfulfilled promise; a rejection of potential; arrogance, and ultimately cowardice. It is a systematic failure on par with Apollo 13 (in spite of these failures like those undaunted astronauts LeBron was also able to “go home”).

Look when a president leaves the White House his reputation begins an earnest renovation and ultimately a restoration. He’s slowly classified as “he wasn’t that bad.” A lot of the bad is completely overlooked in favour of emphasizing the good. (W. Bush is currently going through this process and it’s so disturbing: dude started 2 endless wars. 2! There’s not a lot of good to rebut that.)

However no amount of time; no reputation renovation can salvage The Decision’s ongoing fallout. Universal criticism is warranted for LeBron James (and ESPN): past tense and present tense because that’s where we’re at and why we’re forced to acknowledge it 10 years later. We’ve seen what it has become.

The ultimate legacy of The Decision is that it helped LeBron perfect his infomercial executions cleverly deflecting away from his legion of failures on the basketball court. The Decision is LeBron’s version of Jordan’s “getting cut from his high school basketball team” mythology. The failure of that tv special made him better.

LeBron learned how to control his narrative; unable to win he instead learned how to spin. The primary problem with LeBron controlling the narrative is that he cannot (and should not) be trusted. The spectacle should solely be on the court not off the court: after all, it is called a court for a significant reason: you will be judged by how you play.

And leading up to The Decision LeBron James was found wanting; he was considered a failure. He had seven years in Cleveland yet he failed to deliver championships (plural) how could they be considered great years?

This isn’t even about being compared to Michael Jordan rather it is appreciating the one universal standard for all NBA franchise players. That standard is the same for Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, etc. the onus and pressure is completely on them to deliver consistent greatness.

It’s no different than when Brad Pitt or Tom Hanks is signed to a movie…are there other actors in the film: sure. If the film becomes a box office failure is it those other actors’ fault? No, it’s the responsibility of Tom Hanks or Brad Pitt to deliver a box office hit. LeBron James had no hits when he left Cleveland to go to Miami. We’re not handing out cookies for self-esteem encouragement or valuing participation awards. One simple wonderful NBA standard?—?deliver consistent greatness?—?and it does not deviate from era to era.

The Decision’s cataclysmic failures include shifting narrative production from the mainstream media to the player.

(In the old days the mainstream media shaped the American agenda. The editors and producers dictated the issues. Having grown up with that?—?recognizing the valid potential for control?—?I have to say that’s a far better system than social media where there is no accountability or trust of any kind.)

Anytime somebody parrots the benign talking points “LeBron has never been in a scandal” or “he opened up I Promise a school for at risk kids” they’ve bought into the narrative that he has craftily been able to sell. We’ve deviated from on court success which is what should be driving marketing and fashioning the ultimate player narrative. NBA mythology is based on what you’re done, not who you are.

That’d be like memorializing Curry as a great NBA player because post-Warriors championship he refused to go to the White House as long as Trump is President. That’s not a thing. It’s not even cool.

Because it was so poorly executed; clearly not well thought-out or well-organized The Decision remains a cautionary tale in this era of outspoken athletes and having a platform. Having a platform is good; what is not good is issuing a terrible product no matter the stance.

Mediocrity is not inspiring. You gotta be good if not great at the gig. The best narrative is winning. Winning is timeless.

And so here we are 10 years later.

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Photo Credit: The Cleveland Plain Dealer. (And if you can’t read the fine print above, it states, “Gone. 7 years in Cleveland. No rings.”)

#CouchWorthy: Blackballed (Who Makes The Game?)

Today Quibi released more full episodes on YouTube including the first episode of Blackballed. Sigh. Set in 2014 Blackballed begins when audio of NBA owner Donald Sterling who was recorded…in his home making racist comments was irresponsibly given to the media. The doc follows the challenges the predominately black NBA players and coach (Doc Rivers!) faced as they formulated a response.

However, as you’ll see in this first episode…it starts off by criticizing Jordan for the whole “Republicans by sneakers!” thing…basically committing the “crime” of not speaking up which is contrasted with LeBron/DWade’s “modern activism.” (Muhammad Ali lost his Championship and years of his prime fighting time…LeBron put up a hoodie for Trayvon Martin. It’s really not the same inspiring athlete activism.)

My issue isn’t what Donald Sterling said/did: there was already plenty of evidence to suggest a pattern. I didn’t need the tapes and his recorded comments which of course were still wrong. My issue is that we comfortably glossed over how the comments were recorded.

Donald Sterling was recorded in his own home without his permission. Yo…we’re ok with that?! Nobody in the media…nobody in the NBA said anything. Really? I’m not comfortable with that at all.

I hope the doc eventually addresses that: because flat out that’s wrong. Why are we glossing this over? The ends do not in any way shape or form justify the means. There’s no way I’m willing to bend on this.

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#CouchWorthy: 40 Years of Rocky: The Birth of a Classic

I never clued in that Rocky wasn’t a gifted fighter.

His actual X-Men ability was to withstand punishment contrasted with his deep hunger. He could tolerate a middle class life—or lower middle class—because that’s extremely punishing. Rocky had a high pain tolerance so if it wasn’t for his hunger he’d still be trapped in a cold Philadelphia ghetto.

As Stallone put it he’s fighting for an ideal:
“The character was not supposed to be a gifted fighter..he was gifted in other ways. He just could take an incredible amount of punishment and he was fighting for an ideal. He had no illusions that he was a winner; he just wanted an opportunity.”

That’s a quote from 40 Years of Rocky: The Birth of a Classic, a “winsome” tribute to the timeless movie and iconic character. From director Derek Wayne Johnson whose previous work includes John G. Avildsen King of the Underdogs. (Think of this as a sorta-sequel to that doc.)

A broad mixture of previously seen footage and unseen footage is deftly stitched together: home movies, behind the scenes footage, and rehearsal footage shot by John G. Avildsen, as well as on-set footage all narrated by a goofy and somewhat embarrassed Sylvester Stallone. It was the late 70s so style was not ah…common.

It’s Rocky.

You know him…you’ve spent so much time with him. As the title suggests 40 years of Rocky easily means a Survivor scored montage of all the Rocky moments in your life. And how they’ve been good moments. There’s an entire 80s generation addicted to getting off the mat with their dukes up bloody yet determined to still fight. (There’s also an entire 80s generation terrified at getting soft…of letting success dull the hunger and becoming satisfied. Rocky III is one of the best 80s horror movies. That movie still gives me nightmares.)

The past month has given us powerful and potent documentaries on Michael Jordan and Bruce Lee. Now it’s Rocky’s turn: the GOAT trilogy. Cue Robert Teppers’ No Easy Way Out:

“We’re not indestructible
Baby better get that straight
I think it’s unbelievable
How you give into the hands of fate
Some things are worth fighting for
Some feelings never die…”

Indeed. What an astonishing run that started with a movie that started with Sylvester Stallone’s 3 day writing marathon.

40 Years of Rocky: The Birth of a Classic is available on Amazon and iTunes on June 9. Highly Recommended.

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Jordan Ain’t No Joke Episode 6 (The Last Dance Podcast)

“Entering the 1997-98 NBA season, the Chicago Bulls had won 5 championships in the previous 7 years. But as they sought their second three-peat, the future of the dynasty was in doubt. As preparations began for the 1997-98 season, Jordan and the Bulls granted unprecedented access to a film crew for the entire year.”

As Jordan was preparing to conclude his time with the Bulls: 3 friends in Toronto were about to graduate from University. This is their story as seen through the ESPN/Netflix docu-series The Last Dance.

My Summer Lair host Sammy Younan hangs out with JT and DC to present Jordan Ain’t No Joke.

Jordan Ain’t No Joke Ep 6 covers Episodes I through X of The Last Dance.

Notable Quotable:
“Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together – mass hysteria.” — Dr. Peter Venkman

A Deep Three:
The Miami Heat retired Michael Jordan’s number 23 in April 2003 to honor Jordan’s achievements and contributions in basketball. The Heat are the only NBA team other than the Chicago Bulls to have retired the number 23 jersey.

1:00:
Introductions: The Ice Breaker
Q: We survived the end of the Bulls dynasty only to face the end of the world with Y2K. Do you have any Y2K memories…were you fearful? Was it media hype?

4:46:
Since we’re talking about the The Last Dance as a whole: where would you like to start:
Q: Was Jordan a bully or did we all just soft?

8:02:
Q: Would you say Jordan was a bully with Isiah Thomas and the Olympics?
Isiah Thomas scores a gold medal for being a jerk.

15:45:
Q: Does Horace Grant have the truth or does he just have tears?
The Last Dance soundtrack includes so much crying.

18:42:
Q: Was the Bulls Horace Grant team better or was the Bulls Rodman team better?
The Bulls are like The Beatles…

39:35:
Q: Can you explain what Jordan’s Love of the Game clause in his contact was?
Jordan wanted to crush fools at the Y.

49:50:
Q: The portrayal or the betrayal of Pippen: was Pippen fairly treated by this doc?
People get so furious so fast with Tyrese.

56:20:
Q: Who gets screwed over by The Last Dance more than anybody else?
Every detective story is focused on: “Who Benefits.”

59:00:
Q: What if Jerry Krause wasn’t as bad as we thought. What are your Jerry Krause emotions?
“Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying.”

1:04:17:
Q: Did Jerry Reinsdorf get off too easy in The Last Dance?
Did he take “ownership” for his decisions?

1:19:32:
Q: Do you think that Jordan’s relationships should have been part of The Last Dance or do you think that was all appropriately off limits?
The Kids!

1:24:00:
Q: The ultimate question really is: what you think of the docuseries as a whole?
Storytelling vs the stories we tell.

1:43:49:
Q: Would it have helped to have some sort of a narrative or narrator?
The Last Dance needed The Wonder Years Narrator especially over the game footage.

1:56:30:
Q: Where do we go from here: can we expect more 90s NBA stories or has Jordan said all he’s going to say?
The Last Dance is The Last Word.

JT’s Recommendations
O.J.: Made In America
Stop At Nothing: The Lance Armstrong Story

DC’s Recommendations
30 for 30: Lance

Sammy’s Recommendations
Jason Hehir’s Next Project (which is?!)

Closing Jordan Rap Reference
“Hoop dreamin’, hangin up pictures of my idols/Jordan was like Jesus, SLAM was like the Bible/I used to read it twice and cut the pictures out/Had the Jordan free throw dunk tongue stickin’ out…” J Cole: I Got It

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Jordan Ain’t No Joke Episode 5 (The Last Dance Podcast)

“Entering the 1997-98 NBA season, the Chicago Bulls had won 5 championships in the previous 7 years. But as they sought their second three-peat, the future of the dynasty was in doubt. As preparations began for the 1997-98 season, Jordan and the Bulls granted unprecedented access to a film crew for the entire year.”

As Jordan was preparing to conclude his time with the Bulls: 3 friends in Toronto were about to graduate from University. This is their story as seen through the ESPN/Netflix docu-series The Last Dance.

My Summer Lair host Sammy Younan hangs out with JT and DC to present Jordan Ain’t No Joke.

Jordan Ain’t No Joke Ep 5 covers Episodes IX and X of The Last Dance.

Notable Quotable:
“Russell was already stumbling away. That hand on his backside was the equivalent of a maître d’ showing someone to their table.” — Bob Costas

A Deep Three:
According to Jim O’Brien: Chris Mullin was similar to NBA legend Larry Bird because both players lacked speed, had a great outside shot and had the innate ability to put their defender off guard. And ah…both are white players.

1:00:
Introductions: The Ice Breaker
Since this episode covers the final episodes of The Last Dance we’ll focus on endings: Team Tupac or Team Biggie: which of those tragic endings hit you the hardest?

4:45:
Our Suggested Titles for Episode IX
Don’t Mess With Black Jesus!

7:00:
Q: Do you miss those Pacer teams the way you do the Knicks or any other 90s NBA teams?
We never really talk about the Pacers.

13:13:
Q: Unbalanced: way too much in-game play vs modern talking heads?
Unmoored like a lost time traveller (whatever that means…)

15:35:
Q: Who is your favourite white NBA player?
Let’s put Larry Bird aside…

28:58:
Q: Who was Bison Dele?
“On July 6, 2002 Dele and his girlfriend, Serena Karlan, his brother Miles Dabord and skipper Bertrand Saldo set sail. Only Miles Dabord returned to shore.” Oh-Oh.

30:11:
Q: How does Jordan’s Flu Game compare to Pippen’s foibles?
Calling in sick at work? I know a guy who can write a doctor’s note for you…

33:16:
Q: Speaking of foibles: Bryon Russell Makes The List.
Foolishness.

42:50:
Q: Who is the Jordan of Comedy?
I mean…I think we all know.

44:54:
Our Suggested Titles for Episode X
“The Last Dance.”

1:03:28:
Q: What do you have to say about Game 6?
Hard to get through this without tears.

1:18:00:
Q: Do you feel the way this final Bulls run came together: was it destiny or just the necessary push the Bulls’ needed to conclude their dynasty?
Carpe That Diem.

1:20:30:
Q: With a heavy heart…should we talk about that coffee can scene?
I wanna hear Jordan’s version of Oh The Places You’ll Go!

1:27:34:
Q: What are your recommendations?
The Last Dance is over…pop culture is not.

JT’s Recommendations
Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals
Dave Chappelle’s Equanimity & The Bird Revelation (& The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize)
I Can’t Accept Not Trying: Michael Jordan on the Pursuit of Excellence

DC’s Recommendations
The Truth:
Discover full Bulls games on YouTube; go beyond The Last Dance.

Sammy’s Recommendations
Jason Hehir documentaries:
The Fab Five (ESPN Films)
The ‘85 Bears (a 30 for 30)

Closing Jordan Rap Reference
“Don’t be mad cause you can’t do what I can/Like when Jordan went up, took that shot and switched hands.” Pete Rock: Don’t Be Mad

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Jordan Ain’t No Joke Episode 4 (The Last Dance Podcast)

“Entering the 1997-98 NBA season, the Chicago Bulls had won 5 championships in the previous 7 years. But as they sought their second three-peat, the future of the dynasty was in doubt. As preparations began for the 1997-98 season, Jordan and the Bulls granted unprecedented access to a film crew for the entire year.”

As Jordan was preparing to conclude his time with the Bulls: 3 friends in Toronto were about to graduate from University. This is their story as seen through the ESPN/Netflix docu-series The Last Dance.

My Summer Lair host Sammy Younan hangs out with JT and DC to present Jordan Ain’t No Joke.

Jordan Ain’t No Joke Ep 4 covers Episodes VII and VIII of The Last Dance.

Notable Quotable:
“I had no problem with “The Glove.”” — Michael Jordan

A Deep Three:
For the 1996 NBA Finals…Bulls vs Sonics NBC intro-ed the series and Game 1 to highlights set to…the Terminator Theme song. NBA on NBC is just GOAT level. Wow Just Wow.

1:00
Introductions: The Ice Breaker
Jordan famously left the NBA to play baseball becoming another iconic two sport athlete: so are you Team Bo Knows or Team Neon Deion?

4:05
Our suggested titles for Episode VII
“Way to go Craig.”

9:45
Q: How do you find the documentary’s balance between the personal and the basketball? Like are you missing Jordan’s wife and kids?
She’s an ex-wife…for a reason.

18:13
Q: Do you wish we saw more of Phil Jackson as the Bulls coach?
Phil needs a Last Dance…but like in 11 parts.

24:00
Q: Would you wanna be Jordan’s teammate or face Jordan? Which beating do you want to take?
“Beatings…nothing more than beatings.”

30:35
Q: Was Jordan’s Dad getting murdered connected to his gambling?
Maybe the media was always this bad…at their job…

39:00
Q: Was Jordan suspended for 18 months…True or False?
May as well believe a National Enquirer headline about an Elvis sighting.

48:44
Q: What do those “break” tears mean for Michael Jordan?
Crying Jordan is the new and improved Crying Game.

1:02:24
Q: What are you expecting to see in Episodes Episode IX and X?
The Man; The Myth; The Legend…

1:06:51
Q: Does Pippen’s Bad Light Moments dim the brightness of his NBA career?
Do you love Pippen less because of his flaws or more because of his flaws?

Recommendations
Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable by Tim Grover

2 More Tim Grover Recommendations
This SI profile & this GQ profile.

Closing Jordan Rap Reference
“Jay’s status appears to be at an all-time high/Perfect time to say goodbye/When I come back like Jordan/Wearin’ the 4-5/It ain’t to play games witchu/It’s to aim at you.” Jay-Z: Encore

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Jordan Ain’t No Joke Episode 3 (The Last Dance Podcast)

“Entering the 1997-98 NBA season, the Chicago Bulls had won 5 championships in the previous 7 years. But as they sought their second three-peat, the future of the dynasty was in doubt. As preparations began for the 1997-98 season, Jordan and the Bulls granted unprecedented access to a film crew for the entire year.”

As Jordan was preparing to conclude his time with the Bulls: 3 friends in Toronto were about to graduate from University. This is their story as seen through the ESPN/Netflix docu-series The Last Dance.

My Summer Lair host Sammy Younan hangs out with JT and DC to present Jordan Ain’t No Joke.

Jordan Ain’t No Joke Ep 3 covers Episodes V and VI of The Last Dance.

Notable Quotable:
“Republicans Buy Sneakers, Too.” — Michael Jordan

A Deep Three:
“Danny Ainge Ainge was draft by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1977 playing for them in 1979. Mostly a second baseman, he played third base and outfield positions as well, hitting .220 in his baseball career with 2 home runs and 146 hits in 211 games. After three years with the Blue Jays, Ainge decided to pursue a career in basketball and was chosen in the 1981 NBA draft by the Boston Celtics, who had to buy out Ainge’s contract from the Blue Jays after a legal battle.”

1:00
Introductions: The Ice Breaker
Q: What are your favourite 90s Must See TV Shows (In honour of Jerry Seinfled’s Last Dance cameo)

3:41
Our suggested titles for Episode V
Be Like Mike…Except You Don’t Want To Be Like Mike

7:55
Q: Does it surprise you Spike Lee hasn’t been as involved with The Last Dance?
Did we get Bamboozled?

17:35
Q: Do you know what a sneaker pimp is?
Show Shoes: Shoes To Show

23:00
Q: Do you know how much Jordan shoes make?
There’s no Jordan vs LeBron debate because “Republicans buy sneakers too.”

34:25
Q: “They didn’t know me…why are they doing this to me?”
Toni’s Tears

36:34
Q: Was it a Dream Team or a Mean Team?
Actually it was an NBA Scheme for International ballers

39:26
Q: Is this Isiah Thomas’ Last Dance?
Isiah Thomas’ tears: but I met the criteria!

44:30
Q: Who is the Top Dog?
Jordan is Alpha of the Alphas

46:00
Our suggested titles for Episode VI
Cigarettes instead of cigars…

47:00
Q: When you see the cigars, the drinking, the gambling, the fresh suits: are the Chicago Bulls our generation’s Rat Pack?
Does that make B.J. Armstrong Joey Bishop?!

49:17
Q: Was Jordan’s gambling a media constructed narrative?
Always Bet On Black!

54:29
Q: Was anybody surprised The Last Dance team didn’t use Kenny Rogers The Gambler to score a montage?
Maybe they were chicken… #Rimshot

58:52
Q: Were the Chicago Bulls’ NBA Finals anticlimactic?
The West was not the best…

1:03:25
Q: Did we talk about Kobe yet?
August 23, 1978- January 26, 2020

JT’s Recommendation
Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight
Bonus Recommendation (Listen for it to be revealed…)

Sammy’s Recommendation
The Dream Team (an NBA TV 2012 documentary)

DC’s Recommendation
YouTube Official Olympics channel

Closing Jordan Rap Reference
“I’m Jordan with the mic, huh, wanna gamble?”
A Tribe Called Quest: Lyrics to Go

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The Last Dance Meets The Untouchables

In the first episode of Jordan Ain’t No Joke (a Last Dance podcast) I mentioned sports writer Roland Lazenby who tweeted the following this morning:

Oh man. THAT is what I’ve been trying to say or express I just didn’t know how to do it.

Dude went off today on Twitter…all kinds of rich and insightful NBA gems. Here’s another one:

We do this for movies: we adjust Star Wars’ box office from 1970s dollars to today’s money factoring in inflation etc.

And it’s not fair to just say Jordan would score 40 points per game in today’s era; it’s cheap like talk. Like we were alive when the NBA introduced the 3 point shot (1979…Larry Bird’s NBA debut actually.). From 1979 to 2020 we’ve seen how that shot has evolved because the NBA game has evolved.

It’s interesting. That’s something we haven’t discussed on the Jordan Ain’t No Joke podcast (yet…) how the game has “evolved” since Jordan and because of Jordan. And again with The Last Dance there’s a lack of context.

The game is not the same..the rules are not the same, the way it’s reffed is not the same. This is an NBA documentary but the NBA is not a static entity. Different NBA eras are not defined solely by players but how the game is played and the rules of the game.

If you’ve a chance read him on Twitter today. His coffee is strong.

This is another one I dug:

Oh Yes. He’s right. These aren’t tweets they’re grenades. It’s the baseball bat scene from Untouchables.

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Photo provided by the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Jordan Ain’t No Joke Episode 2 (The Last Dance Podcast)

“Entering the 1997-98 NBA season, the Chicago Bulls had won 5 championships in the previous 7 years. But as they sought their second three-peat, the future of the dynasty was in doubt. As preparations began for the 1997-98 season, Jordan and the Bulls granted unprecedented access to a film crew for the entire year.”

As Jordan was preparing to conclude his time with the Bulls: 3 friends in Toronto were about to graduate from University. This is their story as seen through the ESPN/Netflix docu-series The Last Dance.

My Summer Lair host Sammy Younan hangs out with JT and DC to present Jordan Ain’t No Joke.

Jordan Ain’t No Joke Ep 2 covers Episodes III and IV of The Last Dance.

Notable Quotable:
“I could have been a bomb, I could have been in jail, I could have been dead. But I worked my ass off to get here. I created this monster.” — Dennis Rodman

A Deep Three:
In August 1998, Carmen Electra’s mother died of brain cancer, and two weeks later, her older sister, Debbie, died of a heart attack. During this time, Electra had been dating NBA star Dennis Rodman. She and Rodman wed in November 1998 at Little Chapel of the Flowers in Las Vegas, Nevada. Nine days later, Rodman filed for annulment, claiming he was of “unsound mind” when the pair wed. Electra explained, “It’s easy to get caught up in a moment. You think it’s romantic, but then you realize, God, we did it in Vegas? It’s like getting a cheeseburger at a fast-food restaurant.”” I like that Carmen Electra believes in romance.

1:00:
Introductions: The Ice Breaker
Q: What’s the Air Jordans that got away? (Q: Which Air Jordan shoes do you wish you owned…)

4:25:
Q: From shoebox love to hate: where do you want to start with Episode 3?
Shoutout to Doug Collins’ Perm

6:40:
Q: Are the Pistons unrated…did you appreciate them in real time?
The Hate Is Always Gonna Be There

10:50:
Q: How Do You Solve a Problem like Isiah Thomas?
The Smile vs Dirty Tactics

11:52:
Q: Was the Dream Team Snub justified or did he deserve to be on there?
There’s a Magic but…

13:12:
Q: Where do you stand with the whole walking off without shaking hands?
The Bitterness Never Goes Away

16:25:
Q: Can you gloss over Jordan’s Dunk Contest?
Doug Collins’ Gum becomes “gum powder…”

29:40:
Q: Were you shocked that Rodman a Bad Boy was accepted?
Jordan likes winning more than he enjoys hate (he accepted Rodman)

33:28
Q: Is It still Load Management if it’s Vegas with Carmen Electra?
Rodman will “rebound…”

36:20:
Q: Jordan wants to know: why do you doubt?
“Go home, motherfuckers, go home!”

39:54:
Q: Does it bother you or make you happy we haven’t seen Toni Kukoc yet?
Sure but let’s also talk about The Last Dance soundtrack…

45:04:
Q: Did you like Scott Burrell back in the day?
“This guy…alright.”

47:13:
Q: Did the Pistons make the Bulls better?
Day After Elimination Workouts: It Begins.

40:40:
Q: Pistons won championships while the Knicks did not: if they hadn’t won would we look at them the way we look at the Knicks?
Sadness & Pity

55:14:
Q: For upcoming episodes whose tears are you excited to see?
The Dream Team

59:05:
Q: How many 3 point plays did Jordan average per game over the years?
“And One!”

JT’s Recommendations
30 for 30: The Two Escobars
30 for 30: Jordan Rides the Bus

DC’s Recommendation
Open Gym

Sammy’s Recommendations
30 for 30: Bad Boys
ESPN Films: The Fab Five

Closing Jordan Rap Reference
“I thought you could’ve been Jordan
Found out that you wasn’t even Ben Gordon…” Fabolous: B.O.M.B.S.

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Jordan Ain’t No Joke Episode 1 (The Last Dance Podcast)

“Entering the 1997-98 NBA season, the Chicago Bulls had won 5 championships in the previous 7 years. But as they sought their second three-peat, the future of the dynasty was in doubt. As preparations began for the 1997-98 season, Jordan and the Bulls granted unprecedented access to a film crew for the entire year.”

As Jordan was preparing to conclude his time with the Bulls: 3 friends in Toronto were about to graduate from University. This is their story as seen through the ESPN/Netflix docu-series The Last Dance.

My Summer Lair host Sammy Younan hangs out with JT and DC to present Jordan Ain’t No Joke.

Jordan Ain’t No Joke Ep 1 covers Episodes I and II of The Last Dance.

Notable Quotable:
“Everyone has three lives: a public life, a private life and a secret life.” — Gabriel García Marquez

“I mean, at that point, Michael Jordan’s already the ultimate sports alpha male. I mean, the only comparisons I can recall being apt were to Babe Ruth and Muhammad Ali. That’s it. That’s the list. There’s nobody else on it.” — Michael Wilbon

A Deep Three:
Jordan is drinking tequila according to this ESPN Article: Ramona Shelburne Confirmation…

1:00:
Introductions: The Ice Breaker
Q: What are some of your early Jordan memories? How did Michael Jeffrey Jordan come into your life?

9:30:
Q: Jerry Krause…villain or foil?
Dead Men Don’t Talk

13:40:
Q: Did you fully appreciate Pippen in real time?
That Pippen dunk on Ewing!!

28:32:
Q: Where do you hope to see the series go?
The Last Dance soundtrack

32:30:
Q: Jordan retired for 18 months…was that a trailer of post-Jordan life?
The Sam Smith Agenda

38:45:
Q: Did The Last Dance blow an opportunity for structure?
The Last Dense?

48:43:
Q: Would the Bulls (had they stayed together) won the lockout year (instead of the Spurs)?
Nick Anderson Tears

58:22:
Q: Do you consider Jordan mean?
Feelings Are Not Facts

1:02:25:
Q: Do the ends justify the means?
Bill Wennington has rings; Barkley and Stockton etc. do not. So…

JT’s Recommendations
Kobe Muse
Kobe Doin’ Work
Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight

Sammy’s Recommendations
Roland Lazenby’s NBA biographies:
Michael Jordan: The Life
Showboat: The Life of Kobe Bryant

Closing Jordan Rap Reference
“Psycho: I’m liable to go Michael, take your pick Jackson, Tyson, Jordan, Game 6
(Ball so hard) Got a broken clock…” Jay-Kanye: Niggas in Paris

-28-

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