Is the “Big 3” Era Over in the NBA? ūüŹÄ

Is the Superstar “Big 3” Era Over in the NBA? ūüŹÄ Knicks’ Cinderella Run & the Rise of the WNBA ūüĆü

On this episode of the Running It Back sports podcast, hosts Tarlin Ray and Mike Palmer break down:

  • Golf star Scotty Scheffler’s bizarre arrest before the PGA Championship ūüöď Drawing hilarious comparisons to Tiger Woods and John Daly mugshots
  • The New York Knicks’ unexpected underdog playoff run led by the “Nova Knicks” ūüóĹ Is this gritty team the end of NBA’s superstar “Big 3” era?
  • Why the WNBA is having a moment with rising stars like Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese ūüĎÄ Is this the tipping point for the league’s popularity?
  • Should NBA teams stop chasing manufactured “Big 3” superstar trios? ūü§∑‚Äć‚ôāÔłŹ The benefits of cohesive, role-oriented squads

Get insight, analysis and laughs as the hosts banter about the latest NBA, golf and WNBA storylines in this must-listen episode! ‚õ≥ÔłŹūüŹÄūüĎā

Hoops IQ Part 1 – Jalen Brunson vs Luka Doncic – Recorded Live at ASU+GSV

NBA Playoffs 2024

Running It Back recorded live together in person for the first time! Mike Palmer and Tarlin Ray record this podcast live from the 39th floor of a hotel in San Diego while attending the ASU+GSV education technology conference. Despite the non-sports setting, we managed to discuss a variety of basketball topics in our signature free-flowing style.

Our main focus rests on Jalen Brunson’s impact on the New York Knicks and his potential to be one of the most underrated stars in the NBA this playoff season. We debate his elite basketball IQ, leadership qualities that have unlocked teammates like Isaiah Hartenstein, and how his game compares to past greats like Isiah Thomas and Kevin Johnson. Other storylines include our playoff predictions, the Knicks’ chances against teams like the Bucks, Celtics and 76ers in the East, and frequent references to the 1990s Knicks.

Sans our usual prep, and in-person, not in Zoom, the new dynamic brings a fresh energy to the conversation. Don’t miss insights into leadership, life, and more while chopping it up heading into the 2024 NBA Playoffs.

Caitlin and the Ant-Man: Beyond the Arc and Above the Rim

Caitlin and Ant Man

Mike and Tarlin are back with another must-see episode of Running It Back, and this time we’re raving over the transcendent athletes taking the sports world by storm. The dynamic duo kicks things off by marveling at Anthony Edwards’ jaw-dropping block against the Pacers, with the “Ant-Man” soaring through the air and hitting his head on the rim and backboard in a play that instantly etched itself into highlight reel lore.

But the real star of the show is Caitlin Clark, the unstoppable scorer from Iowa who’s shattering records and captivating audiences with her unconscious shooting and elite playmaking. Tarlin can’t get enough of Clark’s gravitational pull, watching her games from start to finish as she makes a serious case for being this generation’s Steph Curry…but an even better passer.

The guys go full historian, waxing poetic about the iconic moments that made viewers stop everything – from Dr. J’s acrobatic scoop layup to Michael Jordan’s hand-switch bucket against the Lakers. They run through a veritable Mount Rushmore of must-see athletes, where absolute legends like Tiger Woods, Usain Bolt, and Serena Williams all get their shine. We even touch on chess and bowling legends as we run the gamut of riveting sports endeavors.

With March Madness on the horizon, we implore folks to appreciate Caitlin’s greatness and keep an eye on rising stars like Juju Watkins while filling out those brackets. Don’t snooze on the Women’s Bracket, because when generational talents like these take the floor, you simply can’t afford to miss it. Get your popcorn ready!

Beyonce versus Taylor – NBA Comps Edition

Beyonce vs Taylor

Tarlin and Mike are back connecting amazing entertainers in pop culture to lessons learned from the world of sports. This time we follow up on the success of our Taylor Swift / Must-See Athletes episode by hearing about Tarlin’s Beyonc√© concert experience and his thoughts on finding the right “drip” for the show. We debate which athletes compare to top musicians, landing on LeBron vs MJ for Beyonc√© and Steph Curry for Taylor Swift, who continues to dominate the cultural zeitgeist with her connection with NFL star Travis Kelce. We dive into the Dame Lillard trade, struggling young NFL quarterbacks, and the pathetic U.S. Ryder Cup performance in a wide-ranging conversation you won’t want to miss.

If you’re a concert-going Dad thinking through your fashion choices or a casual golf fan who wants keeping score to be easier, we’ve got something in store for you. We tease upcoming episodes on Deion Sanders, the current state of play in the NFL, and the tip-off to the new-look NBA season. Join us for all of this And share the love as we continue to grow.

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Jokic, Murray and the Nuggets – Lessons Learned from the 2023 NBA Finals

Jokic, Murray, Nuggets

Tarlin and Mike return to talk Lessons Learned from the 2023 NBA Finals as Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and the Denver “Chicken” Nuggets prepare to close out the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. We start with a conversation about the crazy weather and some (TMI) details about Tarlin’s footcare regimens before digging into what we can learn from the selflessness and chemistry of the 2023 Denver Nuggets. Once again we compare the Miami Heat to the 1999 New York Knicks before going deeper into the connections between the 2023 Nuggets and the 1999 San Antonio Spurs. Are we on the verge of a new dynasty? How does Jokic compare to other legends of the game and what legendary NBA Duo is an easy target for comparison with Jokic and Murray? What does this teach us about leadership, chemistry, and the importance of intangibles? Listen in to find out.

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Jimmy “Freakin” Butler, Building Culture, and the NBA Coaching Carousel

Jimmy Butler

Tarlin and Mike are back after a couple of months of laying low since our Advice for Ja Morant episode. Tarlin dives right into his takes on “Himmy” Butler‚Äôs clutch performance versus Grant Williams in the Boston Garden. Note: some of his prep was done with Hoops GPT. When does it make sense to ‚Äúpoke the bear?‚ÄĚ How great is Jimmy Buckets as the playoff competitor as the Heat makes a heroic run reminiscent of the 1999 Knicks? We recall a legendary Game of Zones episode featuring Jimmy ‚Äú22 Jump Street‚ÄĚ Butler and give props to Coach Spoelstra and Darvin Ham as we think about how this all connects to culture, coaching, and continuity.

Then we say goodbye to Coach Budenholzer, Monte Williams, Nick Nurse, and Doc Rivers and argue for some patience and resolve while building culture before concluding with some rays of hope for the Knicks franchise with MSG rocking due to the culture-building talent of Jalen Brunson.

Don’t miss our triumphant return to the podwaves as we gear up to start running it back on the regular.

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Advice for Ja Morant

Ja Morant

Tarlin Ray and Mike Palmer are back from youth volleyball tournaments in Vegas and SXSW EDU in Austin to dig into the ongoing Ja Morant story as we outline a series of incidents that have resulted in his suspension from the Grizzlies. What advice do we have for a “Likes-to-Fight” guy like Ja? What lessons can we draw from the story of Gilbert “Agent Zero” Arenas and Javaris Crittenton bringing guns to the Washington Wizards’ locker room? What other stories of incidents from the past can provide perspective on how Ja can sort things out for himself as the transcendent 23-year-old talent grapples with his season on the brink? Listen in to find out.

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NBA 2023 Trade Deadline Shuffle Up and Deal Edition

NBA Trade - Kyrie & KD

Mike and Tarlin are back to talk about Lessons Learned from the NBA with the recent team shakeups across the league as we prepare for the stretch run after the All-Star Game. Kyrie and KD are no longer Nets and that has set off ripple effects that have transformed the NBA. We get Mike’s reactions to the new look Knicks and Nets and hear from Tarlin about his revamped Lakers before digging into the new Big 4 with the Suns and how they shape up against Jokic’s Nuggets and the new pecking order in the Western Conference. The leadership in the East is clearly Boston, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia. Mike issues an “Intangibles Alert” with the crafty Jae Crowder heading to the Bucks. What have the experiments with Big 3s and so-called “Super Teams” taught us so far and how does this set us up for the rest of this season? We try to answer this while also reflecting on the sale of the Suns from Robert Sarver to bench player for the 2000 NCAA Champion Michigan State Spartans, Matt Ishbia, and what it means for the league.

Then we conclude by reflecting on LeBron breaking Kareem’s All-Time NBA Scoring record in a wide-ranging romp through the exciting and vastly transformed NBA in 2023. Don’t miss it.

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The Redeem Team

The Redeem Team

Tarlin and Mike are back to break down the recent Netflix documentary, The Redeem Team. What lessons can be learned about leadership, storytelling, and redemption? How does this connect back to the history of US Mens Basketball, the Dream Team, and even the origins of Running It Back? We explore all of this while showcasing one of the most compelling offensive fouls in basketball history.

Are there lessons to be learned from Kobe’s leadership? Or from Coach K’s coaching tactics? And how do even the greatest players in the world have to relearn the game and how they can contribute to the team in new ways to win?

Listen in to find out! Subscribe to Running It Back wherever you get your podcasts. Visit us at for more amazing lessons learned from sports.

Sports Protests in the Wake of Uvalde and Buffalo

Steve Kerr

Tarlin and Mike react to the powerful moments from sports leaders in response to the tragic shootings in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York. We listen to what Steve Kerr said and talk about what Gabe Kapler did as coaches and leaders of their teams respond publicly to the unthinkable events.

Then we run it back to the history of sports protests and activism ranging from Kaepernick, to Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, to the leading role of the WNBA, the Brittney Griner situation, and Muhammad Ali’s historic protest of the Vietnam War, among others, as we try to make sense of the senseless. And there’s plenty of reference to famous soundbites from Marshawn Lynch, Rasheed Wallace, and Allen Iverson along the way to keep things lighter.

What lessons, if any, can we learn from all of this? How can we use sports narratives as tools to work through our response to the unthinkable? And what does this tell us about leadership and acts of conscience in these challenging times? We cover all of this and more on our latest episode. Listen in and enjoy.

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