The World Series Dodgers and “5-Tool Player” Edition

Tarlin and Mike show some range on this episode, expanding beyond basketball to run it back through World Series and baseball seasons past as we celebrate the Los Angeles Dodgers’ historic run to the championship in this very strange Major League Baseball season. And while it was oddly fitting that their celebration was marred by the on-field appearance of Justin Turner who had recently tested positive for Covid-19, we dig in further to Mookie Betts and Corey Seager as two modern-day examples of so-called “5-Tool Players.”

What can we learn from the concept of a 5-tool player who can hit for average, hit for power, run the bases, defend their position, and have a great arm? How does this relate to the concept of an “athlete hire?” What’s the sixth tool that Mike claims Mookie Betts possesses and perhaps Mike Trout lacks? Who are the top 4 Mookies of all time? And which franchises and fan bases are most deserving to end their longstanding championship droughts? Our resident Mets fan makes his case for Uncle Steve Cohen helping the World Series return to Flushing, Queens.

All this and more on the latest episode of Running It Back!

Jordan’s “Flu Game”, The Jazz, and Reggie Miller

In the final installment of our miniseries about The Last Dance miniseries, Tarlin and Mike break down the final two episodes of The Last Dance for lessons learned as well as a few healthy doses of 1990s nostalgia.

Here we recap the Michael Jordan-led 1990s Bulls’ final two NBA Championship runs versus Reggie Miller’s Indiana Pacers and the Stockton-Malone Utah Jazz. We get into Jordan’s dubious portrayal of the so-called “Flu Game” and Mike tries to protect the honor of the pizzerias of Salt Lake City. What lessons can we learn from Jordan’s superteam as we think through the keys to leadership, teamwork, and winning in these tumultuous times.

We hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed putting this together. Here’s to us keeping on Running It Back!

Jordan’s Baseball Years, The Glove and the Sonics, and the Bulls’ Return to Dominance

We run it back again to our roots in the Spring of 2020 when Tarlin and Mike were regrouping after the premiere of each episode of The Last Dance to break it down and look for lessons learned from each episode. We also indulged in some serious 90s nostalgia along the way.

In today’s show, we talk through Jordan’s stint at baseball, his return to Scottie’s Bulls, and the beginning of their second Threepeat in a classic NBA Finals matchup against Gary “The Glove” Payton and Shawn “Manchild” Kemp of the Seattle Supersonics.

We hope you enjoy. And stay tuned for our final wrapup show on The Last Dance slated to drop in the next few days!

The Dream Team, Toni Kukoc, and Scottie’s Sitout

Once again, we run it back to Spring of 2020 in the midst of the first wave of COVID-19 when Mike and Tarlin began this crazy ride by analyzing episodes of The Last Dance for 1990s nostalgia along with some lessons learned for today’s day and age.

This episode covers episodes 5 and 6 of the 10 part docuseries called The Last Dance. We talk about Michael’s emergency as the alpha among alphas on The Dream Team, explore the Toni Kukoc narratives, and try to make sense of Scottie Pippen’s memorable choice to sit out the final 1.8 seconds of a pivotal playoff game between the Bulls and the Knicks in 1994.

There’s a lot to dig into and we hope you enjoy a glimpse into how Running It Back came into being. Thanks as always for listening.

The Last Dance Origin Story Edition

Learn how Running It Back got started in this special episode which includes the original recording of our takes on the ESPN Docuseries, The Last Dance that launched in the Spring of 2020. Many of us, including Mike and Tarlin, were transfixed by this series that launched at the height of the first wave of the coronavirus before live sports returned to us.

Tarlin and Mike reminisce about Michael, Scottie, Dennis, and Phil as we try to glean lessons learned from the incredible story of the most dominant NBA Dynasty in recent memory.

If you want to learn how this all began, join us as we run it back to Spring 2020 and then all the way back to the 1990s during this unique and historic episode you won’t want to miss!

LeBron versus Michael NBA GOAT Pod

Now that we’ve had a little time to let the 2020 NBA Season settle in, we thought it would be a great time to talk about who is the G.O.A.T Basketball player. There’s been a lot of hubbub around Michael versus LeBron so we weigh in with our takes there. We also bring Bill Russell and Kareem into the conversation about the greatest of all time.

And along the way, Tarlin makes his pitch to modernize the NBA logo, Mike brings in some random 1990s basketball references, and we commit to showing some range next time by broadening to more than the NBA. But for this show, it’s all about the GOAT of Basketball. We hope you enjoy!

Blackballed – Donald Sterling and the 2014 Clippers

For this episode, based on the Quibi docuseries, Blackballed, we run it back to 2014 when Donald Sterling, then the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, was caught on tape engaging in offensive, racially charged speech. Once the tapes got out, there was outrage across the NBA and more broadly in the nation that ultimately led the newly appointed commissioner, Adam Silver, to impose a lifetime ban on Sterling that resulted in his sale of the team.

Tarlin and Mike share their quick takes on Quibi, which had just launched at the time, before digging into the relevance of the themes in the series. Since we recorded in late May, we connect this to the uproar triggered by the murder of George Floyd in Minnesota. We look for lessons in leadership from the examples of Doc Rivers, Chris Paul, Adam Silver, and even Matt Barnes as we dive into a complex and relevant conversation about sports and its role in elevating consciousness about racial issues. We recorded this prior to the NBA’s season in the Bubble in Orlando, but much remains relevant as we continue to struggle with issues of race, justice, and equity in sports and in our broader society.

LeBron, Jimmy Buckets, and the Kings of the Bubble

Join us as we run it back through a few crazy months of NBA Bubble 2020.

Tarlin and Mike reflect back on the amazing run the NBA had through the Bubble in Orlando. In addition to highlighting the stories we’ll remember along the way, we conclude by assessing the bona fides of the Laker and Heat squads. While we might not come to an agreement on Jimmy Buckets, we can’t deny that the NBA Bubble season will live on in our memories and that LeBron truly solidified his legacy with this run to glory. Most likely this win for Laker nation will come without an asterisk, but you never know…

2020 NBA Finals Tipoff Edition

Tarlin and Mike got together just before the tipoff of the 2020 NBA Finals to talk through the David versus Goliath matchup between Jimmy Buckets and a crew of role players versus LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and an interesting supporting cast.

How many championships are represented on each squad? Who deserves credit for assembling the crews that have made it the Finals? And will this Championship come with an asterisk? We cover all this along with JeVale McGee’s influence on Dwight Howard, the Resurgence of Playoff Rondo, and Andre Iguodala’s 6th consecutive Finals appearance in a quick hit lightning round episode heading into what we hope to be a tremendous conclusion to the NBA’s year in the Bubble in Orlando.

Thanks as always for listening.

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2020 NBA Finals Scenario Edition

Tarlin and Mike run through the four possible matchups for the NBA Finals. In all likelihood, it will be Lakers-Heat which has all sorts of angles to run it back to, but we do some scenario-based thinking about Lakers-Celtics, Nuggz-Heat, and Nuggz-Celtics before wrapping up this quick-hitter before we actually break down the NBA Finals once we know for sure what’s going to happen.

Listen in and enjoy.