Ben Simmons, Disgruntlement, and The Process

Tarlin and Mike look for lessons learned from the acrimony surrounding Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers as we head into the 2021-2022 NBA Season. After another disappointing finish for the Sixers in the NBA Playoffs in the Summer of 2021, neither Joel Embiid nor Doc Rivers gave Ben Simmons the support he was looking for. Then after Ben asked for a trade, the drama increased as his request has not yet been granted. Simmons eventually appeared at practice but was so disengaged that Doc ended up sending him home. Ben’s since spoken with the team and is choosing to take time away as he is not mentally ready to play at this time.

What lessons can we find in this developing sports soap opera? What does it tell us about leadership? What can we learn by Running It Back to Sam Henkie and The Process? Who should take the reins and how will this resolve? Will Philly Persevere, Pivot, or Kill at this point? How much can teams cater to delicate stars and at what point does it become toxic?

We cover all of this and even get Tarlin’s lightning round run through a cavalcade of disgruntlement before we wrap up a relevant and insightful dive into the psyches and mindsets of the modern NBA.

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Kyrie, The Vaccine, and the NBA

Tarlin and Mike are back. This time it’s to talk about vaccines and the NBA with the spotlight on Andrew Wiggins, Bradley Beal, and the mercurial Kyrie Irving as we head into the 2021-2022 season. We touch on the comments by LeBron James and Draymond Green in response to the decisions of several players to opt-out of the Covid-19 vaccine despite its impact on their ability to suit up regularly.

What lessons can this teach us about leadership? How does this tie back to Sandy Koufax, Joe Montana, and the 1997-1998 Chicago Bulls? Is Kyrie a latter day heyoka as understood by the Sioux people–one who walks backward much in the way that Phil Jackson famously described Dennis Rodman? And what can be learned by the example of Wiggins who ultimately opted into the vaccine?

We cover all of this and hope to tease out lessons learned from the challenge of vaccine protocols to team dynamics in the world of sports and in our everyday lives.

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That’s My Quarterback – TO and Tony

NFL QB Controversy 2021 Kickoff Edition

To kick off our second year of Running It Back, Tarlin and Mike are back to talk NFL, beginning by returning to 2008 and Terrell Owens’ legendarily tearful “That’s My Quarterback” press conference. We recall how Owens defended his quarterback, Tony Romo, who was taking heat from the press for vacationing in Cabo with Jessica Simpson during the Cowboys’ bye week prior to losing to the future Superbowl Champion New York Giants.

We look for lessons to be learned from this and other QB controversies across the league in 2021 as we get amped up listening to The Mad Fanatic’s hype track for Drew Lock,That’s My Quarterback.

From there, we’re off to the races, tracking the controversies emerging everywhere while looking for lessons for our professional lives based on controversies with the “CEOs on the field.” Whether it’s Mac Jones, Aaron Rodgers, Daniel Jones, or Justin Fields, Mike and Tarlin bring hot takes and sharp connections to QB conversations present and past.

We’re excited to be back for another year of Running It Back. Thanks for joining us for the ride.

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Simone Biles and the Tokyo Olympics

Tarlin and Mike are back to talk about the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo. What initially may have touched on the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat across the full span of athletic competition has become a global conversation about lessons to be learned from Simone Biles’ decision to opt-out of the Finals of the Team All-Around, the Individual All-Around, and several of the individual events in Women’s Gymnastics.

What lessons can be learned about empathy, grace, and psychological well-being based on what has happened in Tokyo and how the conversation has reverberated around the world. Does it make sense for us to equate Simone’s decision with taking a “Mental Health Day” or is there more going on here? And what are the ramifications of using elite athletes performing at or close to perfection as models for us to learn from in our day-to-day lives?

It’s a zeitgeisty conversation that we’re happy to lean into. We hope you enjoy listening!

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Space Jam and Space Jam 2

Tarlin and Mike are back again with a special bonus episode of Running It Back where we look for lessons learned from the Space Jam franchise coinciding with the recent release of LeBron’s new film, Space Jam: A New Legacy. To start, we give respect and a little tunefulness in honor of the late great Biz Markie, RIP.

Then we begin by digging back into the context around the first Space Jam movie which was fleshed out in The Last Dance documentary which we’ve covered on other shows. We bask in a little 90s nostalgia for MJ’s charisma and a cast of NBA Legends at the time including Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, Larry Johnson, Mugsy Bogues, and Shawn Bradley.

From there, we jump to the Summer of 2021 and the release of the new Space Jam vehicle featuring LeBron, Diana Taurasi, Clay Thompson among others. How does the new version stack up against the OG Space Jam? What are our thoughts on Don Cheadle’s performance as Al G Rithm in the WB Serververse? What marketing advice do we have for Warner Brothers and who is Mike’s pick to star in Space Jam 3?

Listen in to find out!

For more great shows like this Subscribe to Running It Back wherever you get your podcasts. And check us out at RunningItBack.fm

Giannis the King – 2021 NBA Finals Edition

Tarlin and Mike are back to break down the 2021 NBA Finals, beginning with CP3 before concluding with Giannis. How do we place players like Giannis and the Point God and their respective teams into the annals of history now that the Milwaukee Bucks have triumphed in six games? What lessons can be learned from the example of the Bucks culture and the leadership style of Giannis Antetokounmpo that can be applied in other areas of our lives?

And what of the old adage, “Offense wins games, Defense wins championships?”

We cover all of this and even speculate about potential casting decisions for Space Jam 3. Listen in and enjoy!

CP3 the Point God

Tarlin and Mike are back looking for lessons learned in sports. This time we take a deep dive into the career arc and leadership lessons of one Christopher Emmanuel Paul III, aka CP3, aka the Point God. How have the last two years in his lengthy NBA career allowed for a new understanding of his leadership style and championship pedigree?

We compare CP3 to other NBA greats who never won a Championship and go back and forth while running it back to the 1993 NBA Championship–the last time the Suns made it to the Finals. How will the Point God stack up with the pantheon of NBA legends and what lessons can we draw from his evolution as a leader culminating in this historic run in the Valley of the Sun?

Listen in to find out.

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The Malice in the Palace

Tarlin and Mike run it back to November of 2004 where the infamous Malice in the Palace took place in Auburn Hills, Michigan. We draw parallels between a recent spate of incidents between players and fans and what quickly escalated into the worst fracas in NBA history during a game between the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers. The Malice involved players fighting fans in the stands and on the court and was much more severe than what we’ve seen in the 2021 NBA Playoffs so far, but we look for lessons to be learned for today here.

If you want to refresh your memory, here’s the video of the melee. And here’s a great interview of Reggie Miller by Dan Patrick that gets at what it was like to be amid the chaos back in the day.

Ron Artest, Ben Wallace, Stephen Jackson and others brought a toughness that we haven’t seen lately in the NBA, but the roiling emotions and poor boundaries on the part of fans can lead to out-of-control scenes like what we saw in Detroit in 2004. We spend time finding narratives and connections to the Malice in the Palace that resonates in the disruptive times we’re living in today.

If you enjoy what you’re hearing, subscribe wherever you get your podcast. Visit us at RunningItBack.fm for more great shows like this.

Naomi Osaka’s Withdrawal from the 2021 French Open Due to Mental Health

Tarlin and Mike are back to draw lessons learned from Naomi Osaka’s recent withdrawal from the 2021 French Open citing mental health concerns around appearing for press conferences. We dig into this kerfuffle with the leadership of Roland-Garros over her decision to skip press conferences so she could focus on tennis and run it back to recent tennis history with Naomi’s first Grand Slam title at the 2018 US Open versus her idol, Serena Williams. That match is emotionally challenging to watch and it clearly has had a profound impact on Osaka that we wanted to explore more deeply.

Whether it’s the tennis of the match itself, the cringe-worthy umpiring controversy between Serena and umpire Cesar Ramos, the equally painful to watch Trophy Ceremony, or Naomi’s post-match press conference in 2018, we explore all the angles to try to understand and empathize with where Naomi is coming from.

Along the way, we dig into other famously awkward media appearances by Allen Iverson, Marshawn Lynch, Rasheed Wallace, Greg Popovich, and Bill Belichek before concluding with our thoughts on mental health awareness and the recent trend towards its destigmatization in sports. Naomi is taking a stand here as a role model and leader in Gen Z and we want to recognize her courage as we look to learn from the history contentious relationships between athletes like Naomi and the press.

If you like what you’re hearing subscribe to Running It Back wherever you get your podcasts and visit us at RunningItBack.fm

Sports Parenting Lessons from the Houses of Woods, Williams and Ball

Tarlin and Mike return again. This time to run it back to the history of dominant sports dads who built cultures and drew fire as their offspring rose to unprecedented heights in the sports world. We begin by looking at the story of LeVar Ball who is attempting to build a family business in the NBA with Lonzo Ball and likely 2021 Rookie of the Year LaMelo Ball already thriving. From there, we run it back to the narratives around Earl Woods raising Tiger Woods and Richard Dove Williams Jr raising Venus and Serena Williams.

What do these stories have in common and what lessons can we learn about parenting, leadership, and family? We explore all of this and also look at the frequently unsung roles of the mothers in these sports families. Are we really talking about Co-CEOs as the key to building a sports legend? How are these alpha Dads reminiscent of Steve Jobs? And is Kultida Woods truly the Tiger Mom of all Tiger Moms?

Listen in to find out. And be sure to subscribe to Running It Back wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at RunningItBack.fm for more great shows like this!