Steve Carell Reveals Awesome Behind-the-Scenes Story of the Famous Basketball Episode of 'The Office'


Fans of the hit NBC show “The Office” will remember the hilarious “Basketball” episode from Season 1, where boss Michael Scott, played by Steve Carell, and the office staff challenge the warehouse guys to a game of basketball.

Carell recently appeared on the “Sports Illustrated Media Podcast” with Jimmy Traina to talk about that beloved episode and others from the show.

He revealed an interesting tidbit about a scene with one of the characters who did not play in the game, the lumbering Kevin Malone, portrayed by Brian Baumgartner.

Kevin was relegated to the sidelines, not chosen to play in the game because, well, he’s Kevin.

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In real life, however, Baumgartner has game, Carell said.

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“Between takes, Brian Baumgartner was just shooting baskets on the side and he wasn’t even in the game — and he’s an excellent, excellent athlete in real life, so he was just sinking these 3-pointers, like one right after another,” he said.

“And I went over to one of our cameramen and said, ‘You’ve got to just film this, just turn the camera on and don’t let him know that your shooting it,” Carell said.

Baumgartner just kept nailing shots.

“They filmed him sinking one after another after another and they actually put it in the show because it was just so ironic,” Carell said.

NBC included the footage at the end of the episode.

“Really, the best player on both teams wasn’t even on the court and someone that you wouldn’t necessarily think was going to be a dominant force in the game,” Carell said. “Brian is a great, great athlete. It was just a fun Easter egg, a fun find as we were shooting it.”

Michael Scott was a terrible player, as was Stanley Hudson, who was on his team.

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Carell perhaps took his inspiration from the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman in the 2004 film “Along Came Polly.” Hoffman, playing Sandy Lyle, perfectly captured that guy we’ve all played pick-up basketball with.

“Let it rain!”

That’s the funniest basketball scene in movie history.

But Jim Halpert could definitely play. The actor who portrayed him, John Krasinski, played on his high school basketball team in Newton, Massachusetts.

The “Basketball” episode ran in the first season of the show in 2005, but it was taken from a deleted scene from the pilot episode, according to the show commentary.

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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