"Basketball"
Written and directed by Greg Daniels

Michael stars off the work day by checking with his employees to see who’s ready for that day’s basketball game against the warehouse staff. He’s planning to impress all of the warehouse guys with his skills. Dwight pulls Michael into his office to tell him that he wants to be on the team. Michael quickly says no, since he hasn’t proven to be a good player in the past, even after Michael vouched for him with Todd. He finally tells Dwight that even though he won’t be allowed to play basketball, he’ll be in charge of making up the holiday and weekend work calendar. As the assistant (to the) regional manager, Dwight is happy to take on that responsibility. Back at his desk, Dwight works on the calendar, trying to assign Jim to work that Saturday. Pam interviews that she hopes she doesn’t have to work on Saturday because Roy has plans for them. She freaks herself out by joking that maybe she should sleep with Dwight to ensure she doesn’t have to work.

Michael shows Ryan the warehouse and introduces him to Darryl, who he calls Mr. Rogers. (“Darryl Philbin, then Regis, then Rege, then Roger, then Mr. Rogers,” Darryl explains.) Back in the office, as Pam makes a call, Jim interviews that her toaster oven broke; she got it for an engagement shower three years ago and she and Roy still haven’t set a wedding date. In the warehouse, Michael and Darryl discuss the basketball game, which Darryl wants to postpone because it’s scheduled for their busy time. Michael imitates a chicken until Darryl gives in. Back in the office, Michael proves Dwight’s nerdishness with Lord of the Rings references. Michael tries to set the starting lineup, assigning Stanley to play forward because he’s black. Phyllis wants to play (she played basketball in school), but Michael ignores her. Oscar offers to play, but Michael wants to save him for baseball or boxing. Kevin also wants to play, but of course, that doesn’t go over well with Michael.

Dwight tries to prove that he can make a basket, and though he can’t, Michael picks him for the team so he doesn’t have to pick Phyllis. The conversation then turns to the subject of team captain and manager (both are Michael). Dwight isn’t allowed to be the assistant team manager, so he threatens to make Michael work that weekend. Michael quickly tells Jim to do the calendar, which doesn’t make Jim happy at all. Later, while working, Oscar and Kevin both make baskets (with an apple core and tissue box, respectively). Stanley doesn’t and doesn’t care. Michael asks Pam if she wants to be a cheerleader at the game, as well as maybe dress younger than usual. Pam says she can’t cheer against Roy, so Jim offers to be a cheerleader instead. Pam suggests Angela, but Phyllis volunteers, which, of course, disturbs Michael. He backtracks by making her an alternate in case someone gets hurt.

Darryl arrives to get a tea bag and Michael taunts him about the game. Darryl tries to make a bet for a dinner out, but Michael ups the ante by saying that the team that loses has to work on Saturday. Darryl declines but Michael again does his chicken impression until he gives in. Dwight attempts to join in but Michael warns him not to screw things up. As Michael starts warming up in the warehouse, Angela looks for the first-aid kit, upset that Dwight has gotten to it first since she’s the safety officer. Michael tries to make some baskets, succeeding only when the rim is lowered. Jim interviews that he played basketball in high school and hopes to impress some people during the game (like Pam, obviously). Pam warns him that Roy is very competitive, and he also wants to go to the lake on Saturday. Jim is planning to spend Saturday at the mall and is sure that Pam will be there, too, since the warehouse guys are going to lose.

Everyone starts to arrive at the warehouse, where Roy and Pam get close and Jim tries to look away. Michael assigns Ryan to cover Darryl while he takes Roy (whom Jim wanted to cover). Dwight is, of course, told to cover the team’s only woman. Pam is chosen to do the jump ball, which goes to the office team. Michael gives the ball to Stanley, who shows that not every African-American is a good basketball player. The warehouse team quickly starts winning until Jim starts to show off for Pam. Dwight makes a basket, but instead of congratulating him, Michael blasts him for not passing to him, since he was open. During a break, Dwight tries to take a drink but his face mask gets in the way and he chokes. Back in the game, Michael accuses Roy of fouling him so he can take a foul shot. He misses, of course. Later, he admires a victory dance done by Darryl and another warehouse worker and tries it himself.

After some more bad playing by the office team, Michael calls a huddle and Jim asks to cover Roy. Michael lets him, but this leads to Roy hitting Jim in the face. Things get competitive between them and they almost end up fighting. Later in the game, after Dwight and Phyllis both get some points, Michael asks Angela what the score is and learns that the office team is ahead. Michael accidentally runs into a guy and accuses him of playing dirty so that he can end the game. He tells the warehouse guys that that means they’re working on Saturday, but they intimidate him into changing his mind. As the disappointed office workers leave, Kevin makes four baskets in a row. Back at the reception desk, Jim and Pam share a nice moment before Roy arrives and inadvertently reminds Jim that he’s not the one dating Pam. Michael caps off the day by telling his employees that they don’t have to work on Saturday - it won’t keep them from being downsized anyway. He interviews that sports are about character, but his team won because they were ahead.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: “This is so sad. This is the smallest amount of power I’ve ever seen go to someone’s head.” - Jim

Michael: “You would follow me to the ends of the earth, grumbling all the way. Like that, uh, dwarf from Lord of the Rings.”
Dwight: “Gimli.”
Michael: “Nerd. That is why you’re not on the team.”


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