The Office
Basketball

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Basketball

Credits.

So this morning, Michael blows into the office and begins asking, context-free, whether various people are "ready." (Rule: When Michael asks if you're ready, ask before proceeding.) Jim holds up a gym bag. Ryan holds up a plastic bag -- suitable for temps. Dwight holds up his gym bag, too, but Michael looks indifferent to that development and just heads into his office. There, he THs that at lunch, they're playing basketball against the warehouse staff, an activity inspired by Michael's having spotted a basketball hoop the last time he was down there. He claims that he plays basketball on weekends, and that he was "messing around" making the ball go "swish, swish, swish" (of course), and everybody down there was totally shocked. "Their jaws just dropped to the floor -- African-Americans!" Oh, my. Can we call Mr. Brown for an emergency intervention? Michael assures us, though, that it's just "a good, friendly game." With African-Americans!

Michael greets Pam and collects messages from her, but he's interrupted by Dwight, who wants to talk. In his office, Michael learns that Dwight has found something new to beg for -- he's desperate to be on the team, but Michael won't let him, based on an earlier incident in which Dwight misbehaved at Michael's pickup game after Michael vouched for Dwight "in front of Todd Packer." Of all the humiliations! They don't tell us what Dwight's sin was, but my guess would be that it involved a failure to laugh at a joke involving oral sex. Michael denies Dwight a spot on the team, but offers him the consolation prize of taking charge of the weekend and holiday work schedule. Dwight, of course, loves any task that involves screwing over his fellow employees, so this is right up his alley. Michael openly tells Dwight that corporate wants someone working Saturdays, and he knows everyone will be miserable over it, so he doesn't want the responsibility. Hey, at least he's telling the truth. Believe it or not, Michael and Dwight go once more around the maypole of "To The [Regional Manager]," with Dwight muttering that the titles are the same and Michael insisting that they aren't. Both do so quietly, of course, so that they might get the last word by speaking so as to escape detection. The imperious way in which Michael says, "It's lower, so..." makes you realize just how much he needs Dwight in order to exist. Can you imagine how the office would shift without Dwight there? Michael versus everyone? He'd never survive.

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