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April 28, 2020 63 mins

Dani and Ify are joined by sports nerd Mark Ellis, as they discuss the Bulls of the 1990s, and the GOAT, Michael Jordan.

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:09):
Hello, and welcome to another edition of Nerdificent. I am
one half of your host Danny Fernandez, sitting across the
virtual space for me as always, if you want to
Wayne coming through here. We're still figuring out. I swear
to God. My team every week is like, Danny, how
can we make it sound like you're not calling us

(00:30):
from a pay phone. We did it this week, though
you'd be surprised. I'm recording on an iMac I have.
It's not like I I don't know what's with me
in technology. I have an Apple, I have a MacBook
Air and I Mac. I have the newest generation of
the uh iPhone. But apparently my insta was still like

(00:54):
everyone was like this girl has boost Mobile. It was
like not working well. I don't know. I swear to God.
If I could pay more money for better things, I would.
I have no idea. What I'm doing tech is not.
I'm trusting the Apple to just do the things. But
apparently I don't know. Yeah now, yeah, I'm running off
of the I nine K. You know. I got that

(01:17):
t I graphics card, thirty two gigabytes of RAM like
your boy mess and with a monster. Uh don't come
from me. I don't know I have. Is there something
higher than five G? That's what I have? No, No,
you your your your phone is fine. It's just you you're, you're.
It's just like just latency. And I think just naturally Instagram,

(01:42):
the way that they kind of take the data in
the speeds, it's gonna be hard to do it. You
used to be back before, you know, before these times,
you used to be able to like rig it up
and start doing like lives and stuff from a desktop.
But they've created workarounds and stuff, which I'm like that
would have come in handy now, you know. Yeah, well

(02:03):
someone else, perfect segue, that's been doing a lot of lives,
a lot of streams. Our friend who's a guest on
the pod today, comedian writer host um Dog Lover that
is Mr Mark ellis what and honor is? This is
my third time on the show. I think, so I'm

(02:23):
like getting close to that Tom Hanks five time host
SNL Club. Oh yeah, oh yeah, you're you're, you're you're
up there. I mean, you're you're still trailing I think
behind Hector Navarro. Hector Navarro is he's putting in the
mileage the time, but you're definitely a close second. You're
I guess you'd be more who Who's Who's after Tom Hanks.

(02:46):
I think it might be like then I might be
like a Steve Martin or Alec Baldwin. I mean that's
not bad, it's it's it's good company to be in.
And this one, I was a little hesitant to come
back on the show because I'm like, Okay, well, I've
already exhausted my matching the gathering now which with you
all my comic book movies, my star Wars, and I'm like,
I don't know anything else about nerdy stuff that much.
And then, just like a bolt of lightning, like Travis

(03:09):
Walton and Fire in the Sky, Danny Fernandez hit me
up and she's like, well, how about the last dance?
And I was like, can your podcast be nine hours?
Because I have so much to talk about. Well, it
was so funny. We were talking to our super producer,
Joel Monique and uh I was telling her that you.
She was like, man, this guy can contains multitudes because
you are a what I call a sports nerd. You

(03:33):
can rattle off stats and baseball stats, football and basketball stats,
even golf, which I think you're the nerdiest person for
being into but you can rattle off so many stats.
When I am with you, you're always like, oh, this
reminds me of super Bowl fifty five or no, what
super Bowl yet? Now we're well into the fifties, Danny,
and okay, but you'll be like, this reminds me of

(03:55):
super Bowl thirty five when they were down by blah
blah blah, and then like you just rattle that stuff off,
and I was like, well, this is very nerdy. We
should go into sports nerds. Um, yeah, this is interesting
because I think that, well, at least for golf, golf
is where the intersection of sports nerds and old person meets.
And I've gradually becoming that, But before I totally commit

(04:19):
to just playing week golf and drinking corpse light all day,
there is a little bit of athleticism still in me.
And I mean, I grew up playing sports, but I
also grew up being into nerds stuff. And I think
that when you're at both of those seemingly different worlds,
you actually realize that they are one and the same.
Because it's usually something that hooks you when you're a kid.
It's something that you manifest into reality. In a way

(04:41):
that either you believe Luke Skywalker's real or you think
that Michael Jordan actually cares about your opinion, you know,
or you think for me, it's like I really believe
that the Washington Men's professional football franchise actually thinks that
they that I can hear them and they can hear
me when I'm cheering for them, like I actually feel,
from three thousand miles away, I'm having an effect on

(05:02):
that team. And if you've been paying attention to the
last twenty five years, you know I could be doing better.
But it's just one of those things where we just
it's I think being a nerd is caring about something
and sometimes that's just knowing a lot, is being able
to quantify in numbers or some other way. But the
bottom line is it's something that you really invest a
lot of time and energy and love in and for me,

(05:24):
sports has always been there. Well, I you know, got
fascinated because it felt like everybody was tweeting in film, Twitter,
in um all aspects of Twitter, sports, Twitter, nerd Twitter.
Everyone was tweeting about this documentary The Last Dance, And
it was so cool because it felt like the Super
Bowl or like when a live event happens that everybody

(05:46):
starts tweeting about and it was all over my Twitter,
and for people that don't know it was a documentary,
it's still coming out every weekend, uh too mini series
by ESPN that covers the final season of the iconic
Chicago Bowls what was essentially their last dance that Phil
Jackson turn coined or named and I just thought like

(06:10):
it had a bunch of never before seeing footage and interviews,
and I was like, this is just so even the stats,
like the stats that will get into on Scottie Pippen.
But even if you aren't a sports person, I still
heavily recommend checking this out. It's the same thing I
feel about with rock and roll documentaries that I'm not
super into that, but I find all the behind the
scenes drama incredibly fascinating because I'm also very petty, and

(06:33):
so heavily recommend watching this again, even if you're not
a sports person, should just learn about the lore and
the legacy behind this team. Yeah, go ahead of you.
And I think that's what makes it so fun to
talk about on this episode, because yeah, I just only
i'd say, recently started caring about sports been a nerd

(06:54):
most of my life, and my sports knowledge has been
like is my l a team winning then, and I'm
that I'm in, you know, i'd show up and now
I just kind of wanted to have like a more
in depth look. And when you start to look beyond
just like who's winning and losing, especially in basketball, you'd
noticed the kind of like chess match that front office
can be in sports. And if for for for people

(07:17):
who are like, what what what did you say? So
the UH and and Mark, you can correct me if
I'm wrong, if I'm wrong, because I might be getting
some of these terms wrong. But front office is pretty
much like the organization of these UH sports teams and
the wheeling and dealing and how they how they kind
of help the team both build and you know, make

(07:39):
trades and deals. And that was actually a big portion
of the first part of this doc was that debate
of who wins championships? Is it the players themselves? Is
it the organization? If you went on Twitter, it seems
like everyone agreed it's both parts equally. But the big
kind of tug of war was kind of Michael Jorge

(08:00):
being in his bag and being like, no, y'all not
gonna run this team after I just did all this
work for you. And it's so interesting because people have
been comparing that to Lebron right now with the Lakers,
which was very important to me because at this time
everyone was a Michael Jordan fan. I don't care what
anyone says, at this time in your life, you were

(08:20):
a Michael Jordan fan. And all these people being like
people not knowing about Scottie Pippen, I'm like, shut up.
I had a Scottie Pippen poster in my room of
him Duncan. Yes, it was because I couldn't get a
Michael Jordan's one, but I still had the Scottie Pippen poster,
and Piven was just as important, just as intact role
to me. So that's what was interesting about this doc
and what really, uh, I think warranted this episode one

(08:43):
just so it could be a breather. We don't have
to talk about just superheroes all the time, and this
is kind of like the biggest pop culture thing happening
right now besides Final Fantasy seven when you make an
animal crossing, but we can do that later. Thank god,
I don't have to talk about Final Fantasy. I remember
I remember my buddy getting Final Fantasy for Super Nintendo
when I was a kid, and and and it was

(09:03):
like three days later and I called him and I
was like, hey, How's Final Fantasy is a good And
He's like, I haven't finished reading the instruction book like yet,
so I haven't started the game. I'm wait, what are
you talking about. I'm just probably went outside and playing
basketball instead. Stop talking to that guy. But like when
when when you talk about the Last Dance and what
kind of a phenomenon has been, it's partially due to
the fact that we're all kind of, you know, staying
inside and staying distant, and we need outlets, we need

(09:25):
new things to talk about online, and it certainly feels
that void. But I think that the effect that the
Last Dance is having on so many different demographics, if
you will, is the same effect that the nineties Chicago
Bulls had, Because with the Last Dance, you have people who,
like Danny said, our film nerds are people who are
looking at from the documentary the making of Standpoint. You

(09:45):
have sports nerds like me, you have stats nerds. You
have people who just want to get into this thing
for the first time or walk down memory lane. Like
I was talking with super producer Joel about it before
we went to live, and I was thinking about her
old man watching this because she's from Chicago. Her dad
was such a Bulls fan, and so he's watching this
and it's just like a kid in a candy store,
I imagine. And for me, it's like the nineties Chicago

(10:06):
Bulls were like that too, because you did not have
to be a big sports fan to know who the
Bulls were, to especially know who Michael Jordan's and for
the most part, who Scottie Pippen was and if he to.
To bring it back to the front office, when we
talk about a front office in terms of sports, you're
generally referring to two people, the general manager and the
owner of the team. The owner of the team obviously

(10:27):
is the person who owns and has the final say
on everything, but usually they see a lot of the
team responsibilities and the team finals. Say to the general manager,
who is the person responsible for putting together a collection
of talent on the field or in this case, on
the court that's gonna win you a championship. And you
can look at teams throughout history, I would say that

(10:47):
you take a team like my favorite basketball team is
the San Antonio Spurs, And you can look at that
and you can say, okay, well, Tim Duncan is an
all time player, Tony Parker and Montage Nobody were really good.
But how much did the front office take a responsibility
and have a hand and then winning five championships? I
think a great deal. And when you come to the
Chicago Bulls, I think that Jerry Krauss, who was the

(11:10):
GM of the Chicago Bulls during their run, wanted more
credit than he was getting. But I tend to agree
with Michael Jordan's where this is not a normal team
that you put together. Sure they had to add pieces
like Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant b j Armstrong, but
you had Michael Jeffrey Jordan's on the court, you always
had a chance to win a championship. And that's never

(11:31):
been lost on fans. And I think that that's why
a lot of this narrative that is in the first
two episodes of The Last Dance, which is what we've
seen so far, is anti Jerry Krauss, just because he
just could not get out of his own egos way
well something, oh something, I was gonna say to Mark,
is uh, we were talking about this that essentially, to me,

(11:52):
it's so fascinating to have a GM that wants so
much credit to meet. I was saying that it reminds
me of a producer for a film. Now. Normally, when
if we look at something like Endgame, you know the
big time actors that got people to the movie, and
you know the directors, the Russo brothers, but you don't
really pay attention to the producers. Now, they make millions

(12:16):
of dollars, but they know what they're getting into when
they choose to be behind the scenes. You are not
the all Star. You're not the Phil Jackson, the Michael Jordan's,
the Scottie Pippen. So no, people aren't like rushing up
to you, and you're not getting all of the credit,
but you kind of know that. And on the back end,
you're still making millions of dollars and that's what you
get into it for. That's and and and look, everybody

(12:38):
grows up. If you're a sports fanily you grow up
and you have dreams of playing the sport that you
love professionally. I have not given up on those dreams
just yet, but I think that gms and owners, they
probably grew up loving this stuff. When you realize that
you just were not blessed with a body that's going
to be able to handle the rigors of playing a
professional sport, you tend to look for the ways that

(13:00):
you can get involved in it. And for a good
Nerd comparison, the front office of a basketball team is
a lot like what the role Kevin Figi serves in
the Marvel Cinematic universe, or who Kathleen Kennedy is now
in the world of Star Wars taking over for George Lucas,
where they have the final say. But you're not necessarily
paying the money for a ticket to go see Kevin fight.

(13:22):
You're Kathleen Kennedy. You're going to see the product that
they put before you, which has been great in both
those cases and was certainly possibly the best ever with
the nineties Bulls. I know, it does feel like it's
one of those things to use the same analogy that
it's like if you're in the know, you're in the know,
and then if you're phenomenal, then people will know you know,

(13:43):
Like it's it's not common knowledge for someone to be
thrown around a name Lake Figy as much as people
do with the m c U. But it's because at
at certain point you know it's one thing too. And
I think to use that same analogy bringing butts in
the sea eats. But when you can sit back and
look at the way I fight, you was able to

(14:06):
build this like multi movie arc and you're like, Okay,
that's that's when. That's beyond the writer, that's beyond the director.
That's the person behind the scenes being able to communicate
with all these moving moving parts and make it happen.
And it's one of those things where I think it
just comes to have the ego argument where it's like,

(14:26):
if you just keep doing good work, people will notice
you don't have to argue what your star player. You
don't have to get in their face and and try
and like you know, almost destroy your own team just
because you need notoriety that bad And oftentimes the ones
who are looking for it the most are the ones
who Loki don't deserve it. I think that Jordan's is

(14:47):
such a rare case too, because he had the talent
on court, but then also off the court. He was
such a transcendent figure that he could lead and he's
the owner of the Charlotte franchise now, and so you
know that he had those aspirations, but he I would
impair him to Darth Vader because Darth Vader was such
a badass in the galaxy far far away. He could
pull out a lightsaber and defeat anyone in his prime.

(15:10):
But he was also part of the front office of
the Empire. He was making decisions, he was calling some shots,
and so that's what a leader on your team is.
And there's different ways to do it. I mean, you
can be Michael Jordan's kind of oversee everything and and
tell the front office, hey, I'm not playing for a
coach other than Phil Jackson. Or you can do more
of the Tim Duncan model, which is speaks softly to

(15:31):
carry a big stick. Both great leaders of men on
the court, but Jordans really transcended what he was doing
on the court to off it. And I think that
when you have a player of his caliber that comes
up and starts ruffling feathers are looking into GM in
the eye, so to speak. I think that some gms
would get very squirreling, and that's certainly what happened with

(15:51):
Jerry Krauss. But look I'll also defend Jerry Krauss on
a couple of different fronts here, because Jerry Krauss did
have a huge hand and putting this championship team team together,
and he also made some decisions that may not have
been popular at the time or even now, but I
think we're necessary. Case in point is when Michael Jordan
broke his foot early in the second season. He was
held out, even though he felt ready to come back

(16:14):
and play. He was held out because there was the
small risk that if he breaks this thing again, he's
his career is over. And that's what you see in
sports now is how cautious teams are with allowing players
to come back from injury. The team has the final
say so. In baseball, if you're a pitcher and you
just have Tommy John surge and you're coming back, it
doesn't matter if you're throwing a no hitter into the

(16:35):
seventh inning. If you have hit your pitch count, you're
going out of the game. You see the same thing,
and the risk reward was evident as early as a
couple of seasons ago when Kevin Durant got hurt, came
back to early and then got hurt again. In the
playoffs and then had to sit out this entire season.
So I think that they were a little ahead of
the curve and telling the athlete, we know you want

(16:56):
to play, but you have to sit down and you
have to let us tell you when and the doctors
tell you when it's safe for you to come back
and play. Mark, I was going to say, before we
dive in further, can you explain to people as best
you can of as far as how this team came together. Yeah,

(17:16):
And I was just gonna say, you can really tell
how much I love this stuff because I haven't like
tried to crack a joker, be funny at all. It's
so serious and anybody who knows me knows that I
can crack jokes about sports, but like, I get into
this stuff. So if you came here for comedy, I'm sorry.
I'm failing everyone, but sorry, Danny. Continue now give everyone
a shorthand essentially of how we got to uh when

(17:38):
with Jordan's joining in eight four, kind of what that
looked like, and then when they finally got the team
to be the iconic nineties Bowls. The NBA was not
always the huge international cash count. Social media lightning rod
that it is now. It's popularity really took a big
shot in the arm when Larry Burden, Magic Johnson entered

(17:59):
the league going into the decade of the eighties, and
so now you had stars to root for. And what
that really proved and shot at light on is that
there's teams with young players that are hungry to win championships,
and then there's also teams with players who are letting
the little amount of fame that they have derailed them
and get them into bad situations. There the drugs and

(18:20):
alcohol that were being abused by players in the NBA
in the late seventies early eighties was so it would
like it's it's hard to quantify how much of an
effect that actually had on the game play, on the
flow back in that day. And then Larry Burton Mackew
Johnson come along, and these are clean guys who just
want to form a team and win championships, and so
that's what they were doing for most of the eighties. Meanwhile,

(18:42):
Michael Jordan's who's had a chip on his shoulder since
tenth grade when he got cut from the varsity high
school basketball team. He gets to u n C. He
hits a game winning shot to win the national Championship
as a freshman, and then he becomes one of the
best college players in the country. Once he goes into
the NBA draft in the mid eighties, it's a little
bit of a different league, but there's still a lot

(19:02):
of leftover from the drug and alcohol abuse that I've mentioned,
and a lot of that was happening with the Chicago
Bulls team that he got drafted too. And so, as
he mentioned in the documentary, he was never really a
part of that scene. He just wanted to play basketball,
sleep and wake up and play more basketball. And so
kind of cleansing that palette in Chicago and in the

(19:24):
NBA is something that Magic, Larry and then Michael coming
along really had a saying, because if you wanted to
compete with these guys and you wanted to break the
Celtics Lakers run of winning championships, you had to step
up and run a clean program. And then the Bad
Boys Pistons came along, the Detroit Pistons in the late
eighties finally unseeded both the Celtics in the Eastern Conference

(19:45):
and then the Lakers in the Western Conference to win
two championships, and they were the bullies on the block
that the Bulls could just never get passed. It was
Isaiah Thomas and Dennis Rodman who used to play for
the Pistons, Joe Dumars, Bill Lamb Bireau, such great cast
of great players and thugs. It was a good mix
of two. Bill Lamb Beer was the biggest thug you'd

(20:06):
ever want to come across, and the Bulls just could
not get past them. And the NBA is littered with
a history of a young, upstart team keeping trying to
keep pace with the champion, and eventually the David the
Chicago Bulls in this case, becomes the goliath. Once you
unsee the current champion, then you can have your run.
And that's what the Bulls did to a level that

(20:28):
we had not seen since the Boston Celtics of the sixties.
We have to take a break right now. I'm sorry,
my Rampa. Now, that was the perfect thing, I will say.
When I was listening to that, because I was like,
you know, you know, I'm I'm you know, I'm a
nerd purist. I was like, oh no, no, how these
how how these nerds are going to take to the

(20:50):
Bulls episode. But hearing you geek out about the Bulls
in a way that only a nerd cam is is
like where I'm like, if you have complaint, So you
just need to listen to that rant because that's enough
because I don't. I don't even like old basketball sets.
I'm like whatever, but hearing that I got way too hyped,
especially here in my team Lakers, back in back, getting that,

(21:12):
getting that that shine and the origin of this Lakers v.
Boston rivalry. But we do have to take a break,
and when we get back, we're gonna dive deeper into
the Bulls, talk more about it, and don't worry for
all our even though I want to also apologize every time.
I'm like our nerves because truly, uh nerds and sports

(21:32):
nerds are one and the same. Like there, I think
that's a myth. There's so many people even in the
discord who always want to talk sports and stuff, so
it's there. It's no such thing. They're just people who
are who are usually into the thing. If you're nerdy
about one thing, it's usually I I think I've set
this either on this pot or another pod before. But
nerd is a personality trait, and I think that if

(21:54):
you're nerdy about like a video games or magic, you're there,
you have the capacity to be just as nerdy about
sports because it's more of a personality trait than like
a one one like a thing that you do. And
if you don't believe if he, then just come join
us at any fantasy football draft and you're just gonna
see nerds. I just know. Look, you put fantasy in

(22:17):
the title. I'm in it, and I'm not that into sports,
but I will play the hell out of a fantasy
sport because now you're in my lane. We're talking numbers
and and and and building team. We're in. But we'll
be right back after these messages, and we are back

(22:40):
still talking to Mark Ellis about the nineties Chicago Bowls
team and the Last Dance documentary that is still dropping
every weekend on ESPN. So Mark, what we're so we
have we have Michael who's being added. Now they had
to switch out some players in order to build him
the ultimate team. Can you talk us through that? Yeah,

(23:00):
it was such a running dialogue, I know in Michael
Jordan's own mind. And then it became something of national
fanfare that Michael Jordan was this great individual talent, but
could he ever lead a team to a championship. Because
you have to remember back when Michael Jordan was drafted,
the rage in the NBA was the inside game was
who has the tallest, most dominant player, which is why
you had guys like Moses Malone, who was a great rebound,

(23:22):
who was the first person to go right from high
school into the league when that was never done. And
then you had guys who were hakimla Juan was drafted
before Michael Jordan was because he's a great center and
that was the centerpiece of your team. And then Michael
Jordan's is this guy who was just so competitive, has
such a fire that realizes that he has everything within

(23:43):
himself to win. He has the ability, as we saw
when he dropped sixty three points on the Celtics, which
is still an NBA playoff record for a single game,
but he didn't have the surrounding pieces necessary to get
him to the next level. And so then, partially in
thanks to the front office Jerry Ryan Storf and Jerry Krause,
they got Scottie Pippen Uh They drafted him out of

(24:03):
Central Arkansas. He actually got came to the Bulls on
a draft night trade with the SuperSonics. They also picked
up very valuable, underrated point guard in my opinion, b
j Armstrong, Horace Grant, Bill Wennington. These are this not
necessarily the centerpieces of the team, but their cogs that
are vital in the machine in order to win a championship.
And then you go through some other Jordan highlights is

(24:24):
that there's this famous shot at Michael Jordan hitting a
game winning shot over the Cleveland Cavaliers Craig Elo in
the playoffs, and Jordan hits the shot and he pumps
his fist three times and almost looks like in the
shot from the angle that he kicks Craig Giggle in
the face. He did not kick Craig Giggle in the face.
It's just Craig Giggle was very close and it looked
like that. However, people get that confused because that team

(24:44):
did not win a championship. That team ultimately lost to
the Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference finals. And then
they finally knew that they could beat the Pistons when
they had all the pieces in place, once Phil Jackson
became the coach and they learned, oh you know what
they're gonna try to outmuscle us. We need to all
get bigger, and Jordan had a huge change in his body,

(25:05):
as it's Scottie Pippen. From the time they got into
the league until which is when they won their first championship,
they got bigger, they got stronger, they got tougher physically
and mentally, and that's what you need to win a championship.
In What better way to win your first championship than
to knock out the Pistons in the Eastern Conference playoffs
and then when you get to the finals, you run

(25:25):
into Magic Johnson and the Showtime Lakers trying to get
one more championship out of their Grade eighties run with
head coach pat Riley, and they just could not get
past the Chicago Bulls. There's an iconic Jordan's layup where
he switched his hands, maybe unnecessarily so, but it's a
great highlight, and that is from that first championship game

(25:46):
that they were able to pull off the Bulls. Ever
since then have been this iconic franchise that we talk
about when we talk about the greatest teams in sports history. Well, Mark,
I was gonna say it was crazy scene Magic in
that documentary being like Michael Jordan's this is back, you know,
back then, being Michael Jordan's is the best player in
this league, Like you're talking about yourself, You're talking about

(26:08):
all the other players and your teammates. And I just
think that takes that's such a level of respect to
have other players be like, this is the best player.
It's cool because Magic and Larry knew that Jordan did
not have the pieces around him to win a championship.
So maybe it's a little bit easier to be that
effusive with your praise when you know that this guy
is not gonna be able to beat you in the

(26:28):
playoffs when it's team versus team. But I think that
they had to look at the writing on the wall
because Larry was playing for the Celtics and Jordan dropped
forty nine and sixty three on them in his second season,
and Magic Johnson is watching this young kid do things
that have never been done before. And Magic had a
unique insight into the competitiveness of Michael Jordan's because Magic

(26:49):
Johnson's teammate on those Showtime Lakers was James Worthy. James
Worthy was the Scottie Pippen to Magic Johnson's Michael Jordan's
on the Lakers. James Worthy played with Michael Jordan's at
the University of North Carolina. He was the big star
on the team that you're Jordan was a freshman, and
they went on to win the championship. So James Worthy,
as he's quoted the documentary, he knew from the first

(27:10):
month that Jordan was on campus that this is gonna
be the best basketball player on this team. And I
think that a lot of that transcended into the NBA
and NBA guys started to take note and like, look,
our team might be able to beat his team, but
one on one, nobody's touching this guy. Um. I was
gonna say another thing that Michael Jordan's said in the documentary.
He said, whenever they speak Michael Jordan, they should speak
Scottie Pippen. Why do you think that Scotty doesn't get

(27:34):
the same amount of praise. I think that Michael Jordan's
was such a huge overshadowing figure, not just in terms
of what he could do on the court, but also
all the marketing and endorsements. City had his shoe brand
to this day, and he's been retired for almost twenty years,
the Air Jordan brand of shoe still out sells every

(27:54):
other basketball player's shoe line combined, and it's not even close.
He had the endorsement with Gatorade, with McDonald's, with all
these different brands, with Haynes, and he was the star
of the team for that reason. And I think it
also helps Jordan's cause that he just got the Chicago
a couple of years before Scottie Pippen did. And you
always need that complimentary player though, You always need that

(28:16):
person riding in the sidecar while you're driving the motorcycle.
And Scottie Pippen is so well cut out for that
role because he is a little soft spoken. He he
is somebody who doesn't necessarily have to be an alpha
male in order to be a dominant presence on the court.
Scottie Pippen is one of the best two way players
in basketball history. As as talented as he was offensively,

(28:37):
he was a lockdown defender. And so I think that
it's fair for people to say that when you mentioned
Michael Jordan, you should also bring up Scottie Pippen. But
I don't think it's necessary because I think that Jordan
would have found a way to win at least a
couple of championships without Scottie, but those six championships that
they won, there's no way that that happens without Scottie Pippen. Yeah,
And I feel like that's just the way things are.

(29:00):
Just remember, you know, you're you know, everyone's everyone. You know,
everyone's gonna forget about Ringo every now and then. And
not to compare Scottie to Ringo, but like you know,
there is a beat there, there's the Beatles as a whole,
but then everyone remembers John Lennon the most. And that's
just how um to just fandom works. And I think
that's why, and that's luckily for most people that that

(29:23):
can make or break you. I mean, just to go
back to what we were talking about earlier with the
front office like that, I think that is what got
to them is how people were saying, like Jordan's he's
he's making you know, they like they almost made Jordan's
his his praise go beyond just him on the court,
but him off the court. And I think that's when
it started rubbing them the wrong way. And people want it,

(29:45):
They're like just do and be like, well if we're
talking about front office, don't forget me. And and I
think that happens where if you're just confident in yourself
and the numbers on the board, then you know, the
people who know will know and you can keep getting
those rings, you know, because I think we're seeing we
see we saw a little bit of that. If we
talked about recent teams in the Warriors, how you know,

(30:07):
people were starting to get in their feelings because it
was Curry that Curry that the Clay never worried about it,
and of course they got talked about together with the
Splash brothers, but mostly it was Curry m clay was
confident in himself. But you have people like k d
getting started starting to getting his feelings using burner accounts
to talk smack uh you know, and and that's all ego. Yeah,

(30:30):
I was gonna say for people that don't know what
if he is talking about Kevin Durant was caught having
a burner account as many honestly many of them have
where he was like responding to someone and forgot to
close out of his Kevin Durant official account. Um wild Mark.
I wanted to say before we move off of uh,
Scottie and getting paid. I know the second episode in

(30:52):
the documentary really talked about how he was almost embarrassingly
underpaid for how great of a player he is. However,
um our friend Jack Moore, who's a showrunner of Dear
White People, a great guy. He tweeted this. Scotty was
definitely underpaid for most of his Bull's years, but he
did make over one million for his career. Now, Mark,

(31:13):
you and I were talking before this, and that was
also had to do with a change in the NBA
regarding TV appearance money. Can you talk a little bit
about that. Yeah, TV rights are really what fuels a
economic boom in any sort of league, whether it's the
NFL or the NBA. Is that once you have a
collective bargaining agreement, which is where the owners and the
players come to an agreement each union says, okay, this

(31:36):
is a fair share of our pie going forward, a
lot of that is fueled by what the TV rights are.
How much money is being poured into this league from
TV who wants to broadcast your games? And so that
TV boom for the NBA didn't really happen when Scottie
Pippen was signing that contract. He just didn't have the
foresight and even blame Scott I think his agent didn't
have the foresight to say, look, you're locking into a

(31:58):
deal that is eighteen million dollars with a lot of money. Okay,
but he locked into a seven year contract that he
signed and so the owner Jerry Ryan Store from the
GM Krause were not inclined to change that because they
had Scottie Pippen committed for seven years. Now towards the
end of that, once the TV money had come in,

(32:18):
I think it would have been very fair of the
front office to say, hey, Scotty, we know how valuable
you are. You've won three championships with us, especially because
George had left, and so it's like, well, now Scotty's
the guy, so we want to reward you. But it's
just not the way business was done back then. We
we are inundated with player mobility and players being able
to choose their destiny in and that just was not

(32:40):
the case that you weren't able to be a free
agent like what Lebron did in two thousand nine with
a decision, or what Kevin Durant died when he went
to the Warriors, or when he left the Warriors. Players
now will go to a new team that they choose
and they'll sign a one or max two year contract.
And the reason why they do that it's twofold one
because after that period, if they don't like where they are,
they can go somewhere else. Also, after that time period,

(33:01):
the TV right money is going to come in again,
and they're probably gonna be making a lot more money
because the max contract you can sign for has been elevated.
So I love that players have the freedom and the
ability to take their own career into their own hands.
That was not the case back in the nineties when
Scotty and Michael were coming about. I do blame Scotty's agent.

(33:22):
I blamed the front office for not being more forward
with just wanting to renegotiate his contract and keeping a
star player happy. But at the end of the day,
the business was different in the nineties and Scotty's team
just did not have the foresight to see where the
NBA was going. If you, I don't know if this
bothers you, but I see a lot of you should

(33:43):
have read the contract. Twitter is what I'll call them,
and I feel they have such little empathy for where
these artists and athletes are in their lives. Scotty was
talking about how his brother was in a wheelchair, his
dad had a stroke and was also in a wheelchair.
I forgot how many brothers and sisters he had, and
he just wanted to make sure that if he got injured,

(34:04):
which he could, which he did actually get injured and
set out for a little bit. But if he got injured,
he would be able to cover his family for life
and so but I don't know, I know you see
a lot of that if he too. When it comes
to a lot of artists and hip hop artists, that
people have no empathy for them for signing the contract,
Yeah yeah, I I um. I call them just a

(34:26):
subset of rules Twitter, which are just a bunch of
people on Twitter who who who people who aren't them
should follow the rules is generally how they tend to act,
and it really comes the lack of empathy comes from
just pure jealousy. That's what it is. Is they see
this person at an opportunity for a lot of money,
and even though they got screwed out of way more money,

(34:47):
the fact that they've reached that much money has caused
them to not have any empathy and be like, oh,
well you should have did this, you should have did this,
and have this feeling of of how how much better
they would have did Now. We don't even want to
get into the fact that these are the same group
of people that if they're late to McDonald's breakfast, they're
going to complain about how it should be longer than

(35:09):
ten thirty they're gonna complain about I mean, and I
think that's just, uh, we're seeing that a lot not
I know, some people are like, oh, this is an escape,
but this is an actual ample comparison and something to
think about it. It's just watch is watching the people
who are complaining and protesting about wanting to open up
the states. But all this time has been talking about

(35:30):
how people who who are arrested for way too long
for selling wheat that is now legal, should have just
followed the rules. Why are they doing it? How um,
how black people were killed by the cops when honestly
they didn't do anything. They should have just followed the rules.
And it kind of has opened my eyes of these
like rule people, they don't actually care about the rules.

(35:51):
That's just that's just an excuse that allows them because
at the end of the day, I feel like everyone
is human and to get to a point to have
that complete lack of empathy, you need some kind of
ground and you need a way to justify it. And
rule in these fake rules that don't really that they
never believe applied to them is how they get there. Uh.

(36:12):
And rules and and and rules. Uh. Rules Like whenever
you anybody who is that beholden to rules, just lets
me know. They have no memory of history. They don't
know how the world works. They just want people making
decisions for them. Because all of our history and all
freedom we've achieved has been by breaking the rules. The

(36:33):
rules used to say that black and white people couldn't
get married, the rules used to say that people can
hold own slaves. The rules you know have been have
been in place. So now next time you want to
uphold rules, just think about who places them rules and
who those rules actually benefit and protect and from. For
most of the sports history, the rules have been in

(36:56):
favor of ownership of the front office and because players
were basically treated as commodities. Now you might have a
nice personal relationship with a couple of your players and
go fishing or something, But when it came down to
business that you were on a team and that was
the team you played for until you're retired for the
most part, until they didn't think you were good anymore,
and then they either cut you, you retire, or they

(37:17):
trade you to something. Somebody was probably somebody younger if
they're if they're smart. And then in the nineties that
started to change, largely because of the popularity of the NBA,
largely thanks to somebody like Michael Jordan's and so now
you have players who all should be thanking people like
Michael Jordan's and like Scottie Pippen who were in the
NBA at that crucial time when the they had the

(37:39):
NBA and NBC music, and you had Bob Costas doing
the games, and it just became this bigger and bigger thing.
And then ESPN had Sports Center all the time, they
started putting NBA games on it. It just became this
national thing. Do you know that in the early eighties,
even when the Boston Celtics were beginning their championship run,
the NBA finals were on tape delay on the West coast,

(38:00):
so it would air live on the East coast and
it would be a three hour delay on the West coast,
so you did not know when the East coast knew
who was the champion of the NBA. Can you imagine
that going on today? I mean people with Twitter, Oh
my gosh, people will be cussing people with sport. You
think it's bad if you if you found out that

(38:21):
that Han Solo doesn't make it out of the Force
awakens before he saw the movie, imagining hearing that magic,
Johnson started as center and then hit a hook shot
to win a game in the final. I mean, it's nuts.
Oh my gosh, I was gonna say, because we were
talking about Scottie's awful agent, but Jordan's agent, David Fulk,
he actually had. I find this really fascinating the entirety

(38:44):
of his career from start to finish, Like, I mean,
how often does that happen? That's crazy that he really
his agent really looked out for him and rode that
wave all the way until he became who he was
when he retired. Yeah, I mean, you're you're talking to
a guy who has had like what six seven agents
already in my career doing stand up, so it is

(39:06):
very rare to have that kind of relationship. But look,
when when your client is Michael Jordan's, you you take
the phone call at three am, doesn't matter. You take
the phone call and you build that relationship because you
know how valuable that client is. Both it's your bank account.
Then you also know, if you're David Fowk, that what
you can do for Mike. And so you saw Mike's
face on on all these billboards all over the place,

(39:27):
on TV and commercials, late night appearances. He was just
he was such a transcendent personality. I mean, the ad
campaigns that came along with him just they just stuck
in your head. Is still to this day, people know
be like Mike. You know that it's just something that
that hit culture at the right point that it was

(39:48):
a super talented guy who we initially fell in love
with because of how athletic he was. You know, he
he was winning dunk contests and jumping from the free
throw line and having all these insane things. But then
when he started winning ampionships and changing his game, it
also changed his image a little bit and he became
everybody's best friend, even if that wasn't who he was
behind closed doors. Necessarily, he had such a great charisma

(40:11):
when he wanted to turn it on. And that's what
the world fell in love with, I wanted to say.
Besides Michael Jordan, David Falk has represented more than one
hundred other NBA players, and it's generally considered to be
the most influential influential player agent the NBA has ever seen.
Wild He's he's the you know, um, he'd be the

(40:32):
Jerry McGuire, I guess of of the NBA. And then
you have agents who represent NFL players. You have people
like like Lee Steinberg and and and those kind of
guys that that also pushed forward. They pushed the envelope
when it comes to player freedom, player contracts, and what
players are are allowed to do as far as endorsements goes.
So it all goes hand in hand with with the

(40:54):
audience being there, and we all showed up for it,
and we're still showing up for it. As the numbers,
I'm sure the ratings for the last dance are insane,
and it's just when you get waiting in a bottle
like that, you want to take advantage of it. We
have to take another really quick break and then we're
going to hop back into more of the nineties bulls
right after this and we're back. I hope you enjoyed

(41:23):
those messages, but it's time it's more nerd difficent here
with Danny Fernandez Mark Ellis. We're talking about the Last
Dance and those you know, Chicago Bulls. It's just such
a to think about. And I smile when when I
think about the term the last Dance, which is what
Phil Jackson coined their final championship run in. But leading

(41:47):
up to that, I mean, they had won five championships,
and they had a different core for three championships and
then for the next three championships because when they started winning,
when they beat the Lakers, like I said, and then
they the next year they beat the Portland Trail Boys,
was in finals, and that's where you see that Michael
Jordan hitting five threes in the first half of I
think it was Game two, and he just does that
shrug to Clifford Robinson world, I don't know why I'm

(42:09):
this good, but I am this good. And then you
go to them beating uh in the third championship, they'd
beat Charles Barkley and the Phoenix Suns, and um, you know,
there's so many great moments in that but John Paxson,
who was a role player sharp shooter for the Bulls.
He hit the game ceiling shot to defeat the Sons.

(42:32):
And then when you go to the next three championships,
you have still Michael and you still have Scottie, but
Horace Grant was no longer there. B J. Armstrong was
no longer there. They add in Ron Harper who came
over from the Clippers, who had a lot of talent.
You add Steve Kerr, who is now the head coach
of the Warriors, but he was kind of the John
Paxson role playing the sharpshooter. And then you had this

(42:53):
rebounder who had already had two championships and he went
by the name of the Worm, Dennis um. So with
Robin though, I feel like I was going to say,
I know, and the thing it was like kind of
like taking the risks that they were willing to take.
How did he fare in the team? How long was
he there for? He was there for all three championships

(43:15):
that they won. When Michael Jordans came back from playing baseball,
which we can getting into that in a little second
to but Dennis Rodman when he was playing for the
for the Pistons. He was not known as this like
larger than life personality, weird kind of maybe headcase, locker
room cancer. He was just known as a hard working,
blue collar great rebounder. And then he got a couple

(43:36):
of championships, and I think that he struggled, as he
has openly admitted to with some mental health issues. And
so once the Pistons disbanded and they broke up, I
think it broke his heart. I think that he wanted
to play on the Bad Boys Pistons forever for his
entire career. And then you figure out that the NBA
is a business, and Isaiah and Lamb Beer and these
guys are going to retire before you do. And so

(43:57):
then Rodman started to act a little more outland. Edition
started to be more about himself and than his personality,
and he would have all these crazy outfits and dye
his hair and all this stuff that was very controversial.
In the mid nineties, he went to the San Antonio
Spurs and it wasn't a great fit because David Robinson
was their leader. And David Robinson literally went to the

(44:18):
Naval Academy. His nickname is the Admiral and He's an
all star m v P caliber of talent, and so
him and Dennis Rodman would clash often in the locker room,
and at that point it was like, Okay, well who
can Dennis play for. That's gonna be able to maximize
his talents while limiting the off the court antics. And
then you say, oh, of course the Chicago Bulls can

(44:38):
take this chance because they have Michael Jordan. That's another
reason why if you're Jerry Cross, you have to realize
that Michael is not a normal star. He is the
rare kind of player that can put any other player
on his team in their place, even somebody as dominant
of an alpha as Dennis Robin was. He knew that
when Michael Jordan's speaks, you have to listen, and so

(45:00):
Jordan being able to harness Robin's personality and channel it
into just hard working. There were still the answers, there
were still the distractions, but on the court, it was
all business for Rodman. It didn't matter if he was
out in Vegas all night the night before partying and
he got to practice five minutes before they started and
he was hungover, he still would give an a effort
on the court. And that showed. I mean, he was

(45:21):
the leading rebounder for the team all three seasons and
he's in the Hall of Fame because of his rebounding ability.
Can you tell the people about speaking of how Michael
likes to put people in their place, the story that
happened between him and Corey Robinson. This is one of
my favorite, uh mythological tall tales and actually there's a
couple of YouTube videos documenting it. So, uh, Corey was

(45:44):
his kid out of Oregon State who the Bulls drafted,
and he was a pretty good scorer in college. And
he was playing in the season following Michael Jordan retiring,
and he was talking to Randy Brown, who was still
on the Bulls. He was a teammate in one Champion
Ships with Michael and he was talking with Randy Brown.
He said that he could beat anybody one on one.
He said he could even beat Michael Jordan one on one.

(46:06):
And Randy Brown was hanging out with Jordan one time,
telling him about this cocky kid who said he could
take Jordan one on one. So Michael Jordan's this is
a full year and a half after he retired. During
the next Bulls training camp, just shows up at the
Chicago Bulls facility, shows up in his sweats that adorn
his name, and he figures out which one is Corey,

(46:27):
and he says, come here, I want I want to
teach you something. And he says we're playing one on
one right now, and Corey doesn't really know what's happening.
All the other players kind of gather around and Jordans
takes him to school. He does every movie. He tells
him what he's gonna do before he does it, and
he still does it. And he basically embarrasses this kid
nine different ways and puts him in his place. And
that's the competitive drive of Michael Jordan is that you

(46:50):
do not cross Mike. And there's so many different moments
like that that you can YouTube. Some of them you
can just hear the tall tales and other ones. There's
another one where he was just kind of going through
the team was going through the motions. Mike never went
through the motions. But Mike was struggling a little bit
in a game against the Grizzlies, and it didn't matter
at all. Who cares about the at that time, Vancouver Grizzlies.

(47:11):
Someone on the Vancouver Grizzlies bench made the mistake late
in the third quarter of saying something and letting Mike
hear it. Mike went off in the fourth quarter, brought
the team back from like ten down. They ended up
winning by ten, and he just once he got that, look,
you better get out of his way. And I love
the competitive drive that that guy brought each and every

(47:32):
night because he had that that philosophy that yeah, he's
he's an insane competitor, he's got a psychopathic desire to win.
But he also knew that there's probably some kid that
it worked hard or his parents worked hard to get
him a ticket to the game. And this kid, it's
his first and maybe last time getting to see Michael
Jordan's in person, and you cannot let that kid down.

(47:54):
And I love that about Mike wanted everything the kid thing. Wait,
what Michael John don't care about no kid? Well, it
was fascinating because I think they might have talked about that,
or maybe we talked about that mark that like I
think it wasn't necessarily kids, but like kind of what
you said, that it might be that person's first time

(48:16):
ever seen him, and he wanted to always show out
and show up. Yeah, it's he's He was definitely cognizant
of his own legacy, and I think that that legacy
took a little bit of a bruise in some people's
eyes when he retired the first time he retired, and
he retired shortly after his father was murdered. His father

(48:37):
was found dead and it was shooting, and people to
this day don't really know what happened. They don't know
if there was a random drive by, if there was
a target. And Michael Jordan's always was would cite his
dad is such a huge influence and inspiration in his life.
And I think that when he decided to retire from
the NBA and try to go play Major League baseball,

(48:58):
a lot of us because baseball was just adds first
of lof and Michael Jordan used to play baseball, And
I think that that's a little bit of that is
is winning your father's approval, even posthumously. And there's the
conspiracy theory that the commission in the NBA, David stern Uh,
forced Michael Jordan to retire because there was some sort
of unpaid gambling debts that Jordan's racked up and the
only way to clean this thing up is to have

(49:19):
Jordan leave the league. And I just don't buy any
of that because if there's, if there's any sort of
gambling debt that Michael Jordan had racked up, the best
way to pay that off is to have Michael Jordan's
keep playing basketball because that is where the money is.
So I can people imagine that Mark people have tagged
me in that um like I'll do stuff on Instagram

(49:39):
like tell me a secret, and people will tell me
that secret. But they don't say that he racked up debt.
It was more that it was just illegal gambling and
they had to reprimand him in some way and made
him sit out, and that's why he went to play.
It's wild, but there's like a whole set of people
that believe that theory. It is, yeah, And and I
would give more credence to the theory that you know

(50:00):
that as you know, as tough as it is to
speculate on something that's a tragedy in your family, that
it was James Jordan's murder is is somehow related to
Michael and his gambling debts. And I, again, I don't
put a lot of stock in that, but it is
I am a conspiracy theorist when it comes to certain things.
If you want to do a nerd Ever sent on

(50:21):
who killed JFK, I'm happy to give you four hours
of my time. But with this one, it's just it's
so murky to try to differentiate. And and Jordans really
did have a desire to prove to the world that
he could play Major League baseball. And so if if
somebody tells you to, hey, you need to sit a
year out, I don't think that you put the level
of commitment that Jordan did into playing baseball, because he

(50:43):
really really wanted it. I think something else. I mean,
this man has dealt with tremendous loss because you were
telling me that even before his dad passed away, before
he won the championship in college, his girlfriend passed away. Yes,
girlfriend round, Um it was either the summer before I
think it might have been the summer um after he
won the championship, when he was a freshman at Carolina.

(51:06):
There's a raging waters that were kind of out of
control in him and his girlfriend. Um, she fell in
and and even you know the athlete that Michael Jordan is,
you just if somebody's getting swept away by by raging
waters in a river. There's just there's nothing you can do.
And so he has been through tragedy. He has been
through things like that, and and and Michael Jordan has
always been a guy that will use anything and everything

(51:28):
to fuel his competitiveness and his drive to win. Whether
that is something as real and as visceral as losing
someone close to you, or it's just somebody said something
that piste you off, or it's even something that's not
real that you can manufacture in your head to think
that somebody's doubting you. I mean, he Michael Jordan is
the ultimate bulletin board material competitor because if you say

(51:50):
anything negative about Jordan's, He's going to know, and he's
going to use it personally too. As Mike Tyson would say,
eat your children. I mean, that's how bad he wanted
to win. Michael Jordan's is a brew had it here. Um.
I know that we could talk about this franchise forever,

(52:11):
and there's so much. I mean, luckily, that's why they
have hours worth of a documentary. But um, I guess
to kind of wrap up things, can you talk about
Phil Jackson because he's kind of like one of the
most iconic characters in all of this. Yeah, he's you know,
known as the zen Master. He had a different kind
of approach as far back as when he was a
player and winning championships with the Knicks in the early seventies.

(52:32):
There's the the iconic Willis read moment when Willis Reid
was hurt. He had a badly damaged leg and he
still managed to limp out and play in Game seven
of the finals that year, Willis Reid made two shots.
But Phil Jackson was also on that team and won
the championship with the New York Knicks, and Phil went
on to be a head coach, and when he got
to the Bulls, he was just this curious kind of

(52:54):
aloof presence that had a different way about going about
handling players and and trying to enlighten players and giving
them books about yoga and meditation and these new age
things that were not really prevalent in the NBA. And
he also brought this offensive scheme called the triangle, which
was designed to get Michael Jordan's the ball, but also

(53:18):
confused defenses as to win and how he was going
to get the ball. And so the triangle offense is
something that he employed with the Chicago Bulls to great effect,
but also would later use with the Los Angeles Lakers.
After he left the Bulls, he became the coach of
the l A Lakers, right as Shock and Kobe were
together and coming into their prime. And so he won
three more championships with the l A Lakers. And so

(53:39):
the real thing that we missed out with with this
this Bulls dynasty breaking up perhaps too early, with upper
management trying to you know, flex their muscle and get
rid of Jordan and kick fill out, is that if
they had kept everything together and the Bulls met the
Lakers in the finals either ninety nine or in two

(54:00):
thousand and, you would have had this old guard team
looking for their seventh or eighth championships, starring Michael Jordan's
versus a young but hungry and talented player named Kobe
Bryant and the most dominant force the league had seen
since Mike Shaquille O'Neil. What a finals that would have been.
But if that was the case, Phil Jackson would still

(54:23):
be coaching the Chicago Bulls. And I think that that's
probably the X factor, because I don't know who the
Lakers going to trot out. I don't know they're gonna
try it out Del Harris or who they're gonna in
their coaching history, but it ain't gonna be Phil Jackson.
So I think the Bulls still win. That I had
an unless you have other Do you have any other questions?
If no, I think that's a good good one to
end on. You talk about this, and I just have

(54:45):
to I just had two questions. Well, one, I wanted
to bring up a tweet that someone said after the
after this quarantine started. I don't know who tweeted it,
but it was now Michael's flu game just seems irresponsible.
Michael had it. Do you remember what game that was
mark off the top of your head that Michael had
his famous flu he played even though he had the flu. Yeah,

(55:07):
it was Game five of the Finals, and um, he
didn't actually have the flu. They called the flu game
because he was experiencing flu like symptoms, but what the
actual problem was that he wasn't feeling well, So I
think he had a cold and he was getting a
lot of intervened his fluids. But at halftime he drank
what he thought was gatorade, but it actually ended up
being Gator Load, which was this like carb heavy kind

(55:30):
of drink that you're supposed to drink if you if
you're if you're weightlifting, your training for something like that,
but it was not meant for physical competition the way
that you engage in during a basketball contest. And Mike
got such bad stomach cramps from drinking the wrong beverage
that he could barely stand, he could barely walk, and
it looked like he had a bad case of the

(55:50):
flu towards the end of the game, but in classic
toward fashion, he still managed to hit a game ceiling three,
and then you have that all time image of Scottie
Pippen help thing Michael off the court. And so the
Flu game lives on in in our lower and ESPN
Classic runs it every year on the anniversary, and it's
just it's one of those things where it's either that

(56:11):
or it's Pete Sampras puking in between sets at the
ninety three U S Open, or Walter Payton setting a
new NFL rushing record while he had the flu and
seventy eight. It's just these things that you idiots like
me will use when we're going to the gym and
we don't feel like we're up to it. And it's
what probably a lot of people who were dealing with
COVID we're thinking like, oh, this isn't gonna affect me.
Even if it does, I'll shake it off. And it's like, now,

(56:33):
sometimes you do have to use your brains more than
your braun. And so nobody right now should be having
a sick game. Just just sit it out. One thing
I did want to mention, and I almost messed up,
is we were talking about the sneaker stuff, and of
course I had to cut in and because you know,
a lot of people might accredit, you know, the success

(56:54):
of Jordan's standing up until this time being like a trend,
a fashion trend, and because it's it's popular, and I say,
that's not true because as a sneaker head, everyone knows
that the highest, the ones that are the you have
to cop because they're gonna sell out, are sneakers that
follow the criteria of shoes he's worn before. Uh, if

(57:19):
he's worn it on set, they're gonna sell If he's
worn it in a game, it's gonna sell out. And
distance between the last time it's been released, which means
rarity plus Michael actually wearing it, but all these color
ways that come out that has never been worn by
him will not sell the same way as the ones
worn actually buy it, So it actually is Michael Jordan
himself being the reason that these sneakers selling kids. That's

(57:41):
a man speaking right there who has nineties seven thousand
pairs of Jordan's in his closet. I've seen the Instagram picks.
It's it's it's to no end my my jealousy. Maybe
I'm jealous of how much he can bench, but more
so than that, it's a ship collection. It's pretty damn impressive.
It's very hard to decize thirty because ironically basketball shoes

(58:02):
they don't make as many size thirteens as they do
a size ten twelve eight, you know, And it makes
me mad because I'm like, that's like the starting size
of basketball players. That's right, it's all these it's all
these kids look like me and Steph Curry that that
are size and nine that are buying up all the Jordan's.
But that that's another fun angle, is the collectible memorability

(58:23):
thing that also is a nerdy trait that we we
you know, we buy Star Wars figures and and comic
books and all that stuff. But then also, Danny, getting
back to to your previous question, it's like when we
have these kind of fantasy matchups in our head, like
who would have won and if it was two thousand
and you have that Bulls team versus the l A Lakers,
or how would the nineties Bulls have fared against Gregg
Popovitch's Spurs or Steve Kerr's Warriors. It's one of those

(58:46):
unanswered questions that we're never going to get the answer too,
but it is endlessly debated, the biggest of which is
Michael Jordan the greatest player of all time? Or is
there more credence to the Lebron argument? Well, it's so
funny because there are like the stands are so separated,
and they were. That's what made it so fun going
into Last Dance, because all the different camps were already

(59:08):
talking smack because you have Kobe greatest player, Michael Jordan's
greatest player, and Lebron greatest player, the three main camps
on basketball Twitter, who will fight till the end of
time using the most obscure stats in the stat lineup
where it's like like I saw one that was like
clutch game percentage? What what? Status? That? What? That is

(59:31):
not a real stat? You made up a stat for
this list. Well, I have something for Nerdificent fans since
we're wrapping up tweet at Nertificent and Iffie and I
and Mark, because I want to know who you think
the greatest team ever is. So Scottie Pippen said they
thought that they were the greatest team ever. I know
a lot of people think that about this particular era
of the Bulls. Who in your mind is the greatest

(59:54):
NBA team ever? Fascinated to read what you all think.
I love this question so much because the style of basketball,
even since the nineties in the heyday the Bulls, has
changed so much to favor outside shooting, and so many
more threes are taken per game, and the three pointers
just become such a weapon, as has advanced metrics and

(01:00:15):
the way that you kind of calculate how to put
a basketball team together that you can't truly compare eras
and it's a little unfair to do so, but God,
what a matchup that would be if if you could
have the rules that would favor the Chicago Bulls. Whereas
a more physical brand of basketball back then. But I
I still say it's tough for anybody to get past

(01:00:36):
the Warriors or the Spurs and of the last twenty
years that we've seen. But if there's a team that
could do it, might be the nineties Bulls, might be
the eighties Lakers, might be the eighties Celtics. Just they
were the way that they played. They all had their hallmarks,
they all had their traits what made them unique. But
if I am watching in a basketball game and the

(01:00:59):
team's rake the huddles and start walking to the center
court for a jump ball, and I see Michael Jordan
on a team, very tough for me to pick the
other team. Mark, thank you so much for coming on
and geeking out about the Chicago Bowls with us. Where
can everyone catch you? Oh man? This was so much fun.

(01:01:19):
I just I and and Danny. You know, particularly how
many times off air I will try to engage you
in conversations like this, So thank you, thank you, thank
you for for not just humoring me, for actually like
even when when you and I were talking about doing
the Last Dance podcast last night, you were saying all
these like great insightful things, and I was like, this
is i've i've, she's done it. She did it. This

(01:01:41):
is the this is the person. And you know, it
was so much fun for me to geek out about
this with with you all and to have this kind
of conversation. So thank you guys so much. You can
find me at mark Ellis Live on all social media
and as soon as I can get back on a
stage in front of a crowd again, I'm taking every
possible opportunity I can be is you never know when

(01:02:01):
something like this is gonna hit. There's some kit that's
twenty one and over that has had two drinks that
is seeing me to stand up for the first time,
and I want to make their their night memorable. So
I'm trying to apply the skills that Michael Jordan taught
me as best I can. I am at miss Dandy
Fernandez and all the things. Thank you so much to
our super producer Joel Moune, our engineers Zach McKeever who

(01:02:23):
make sure that we sound good and nice and has
to deal with my but not being able to know
how to record anything. Um, if you do you have
anything you want to plug this week? Uh yeah, just
keep checking out that stream Twitch dot tv Forward slash
if d's were doing lots of fun stuff. I was
talking to Mark off the Air about some new concepts

(01:02:44):
I'm gonna be working with. I have a new show
over at Rooster Teeth called uh Effing Around with if
You and Fiona, Me and Fiona Nova just uh just
doing whatever we want. Honestly, it's real fun. So, yeah,
did follow me on Twitter, if you waddiway Instagram to
to stay up on all those fun teams. But yeah,
I always got something cook up. And of course the

(01:03:05):
Discord Discord dot g g Ford slash Salt Squad in there.
Hell active. We just had a fight night last night
where we just we're all playing dragon Ball fighter Z.
Jeff Trammel came through, Cody Zig came through, and we
just all had a good time thrown down so and
everyone enjoyed it. So it's going to be a pretty

(01:03:25):
regular thing. So and like we always say, stay nerdy,

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Dani Fernandez

Ify Nwadiwe

Ify Nwadiwe

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