Issue 34: Playing Basketball at The Office…Kind Of

Perhaps one of the greatest investments I’ve ever made was buying a little basketball hoop to hang up at my old office. Aside from my charming personality, this made me a very popular person among most of my coworkers, and arguably the most hated among those who didn’t like the sound of a ball swishing through the hoop.

That seems like semantics, considering we also often had loud music playing and a gong for people to ring when they achieved something cool (a feature which certainly was never abused), yet some people just don’t enjoy ballin’ out.

More recently, I purchased a pop-a-shot hoop for the home office/garage. This just arrived and I have yet to install it, but I imagine I will have similar delights.

As it turns out, I’m not the only one who enjoys playing basketball at the office. In fact, popular TV shows have devoted entire episodes to the sport infiltrating the workplace.

Perhaps you can see what I’m getting at — here are the best moments from the basketball episode of The Office.

The general plot of this episode is pretty simple: Either the office workers or the warehouse have to come in on a Saturday, and they decide to settle things with a game of basketball. Of course, the branch is probably getting shut down so the whole thing could be for naught, but still, there are some stakes here.

This episode aired back in 2005, and is only the fifth episode of the whole series. Michael Scott was still finding his footing, but we get some terrific Steve Carell moments that lay the foundation for the well-meaning but often terrible boss that would fill our TV screens in later seasons.

A few things to look for in the video above, as well as a few other fun facts about this episode:

  • Michael Scott’s free throw routine. Let’s all learn and embrace it.
  • Dwight Schrute trying to drink water around his facemask ends with a similar result to me trying to sip water normally out of a glass, without any kind of obstruction covering my face.
  • When Michael throws up his full-court heave, it goes well over the basket, a la Patrick Ewing shooting a free throw in Space Jam. But he actually made his first attempt (which clearly doesn’t fit the narrative), so the crew had to re-shoot.
  • Patrice O’Neal is in here as another warehouse worker. He’s a delight.
  • Brian Baumgartner, who plays Kevin Malone, isn’t on the team but is arguably the best athlete of The Office. He reportedly made 14 jumpers in a row (in a suit!) in between scenes.
  • Stanley Hudson’s dribbling technique is perhaps the greatest bit of improvisation ever. Much of this episode was improvised, but that one takes the cake. Also, that windbreaker looks fly.

That’s all ’til next time. Thanks for reading!


P.S. Did you get this email forwarded to you? Subscribe to Crisp Bounce Pass here.