World’s Best Boss (NBC/The Office)
Well the holiday season is finally here. It officially began late Thanksgiving evening when, according to police, a man threw out the ceremonial first “can of gravy” of the season at another man “striking him in the head”. This incident at a West Valley nursing home parking lot brought new meaning to ringing-in-the-holidays and really what better way to say Happy Holidays than a well flung 18-oz can of heavy turkey gravy that splits your skull.
This time of year, the Jazz usually hit the road and this year is no exception. Next up for the Jazz is the team that gives train wrecks a bad name. Utah is scheduled to be in New York’s Madison Square Garden tonight to face the Knicks. This once-proud, storied franchise of Walt Frazier and company really isn’t as much of a basketball team anymore as they are part Ringling Brothers and part dog and pony show. You can argue over who is the dog and who is the pony, but either way you have got the head clown, Isaiah Thomas as the ring master.
After reading recent accounts of Isaiah and what he is doing to the Knicks, it occurred to me that he has many similar traits as another famous boss, only this one is fictional and can only be taken in half-hour increments. That would be Michael Scott (played perfectly by Steve Carell), the manager of Dunder-Mifflin on NBC’s The Office. So, I put together a quiz to see which boss is worse and who really should own the ironic “Worlds Best Boss” coffee mug: Isaiah Thomas or Michael Scott.
Question 1 -Which manager has the worst financial skills? Isaiah assembled a team with the highest payroll and in return the Knicks continue to have one of the worst records in the league. As GM and coach, Thomas signed Jared Jeffries to a $30 million dollar contract and gets 2.5 points per game. A few years back, he bought the CBA and within 18 months the entire league, which had been running fine for 54 years, folded and declared bankruptcy. Michael sold his condo on E-Bay for 80% of what he paid and gladly exclaimed that it “sold in record time.” He also lost money twice to pyramid schemes and in a Nigerian e-mail scam. “When the son of the deposed king of Nigeria emails you directly — asking you for help – you help. His father ran the freaking country ok?” said Scott. Answer-Michael just lost his own money, so this one goes to Isaiah hands down.
Question 2 - Who organized the worst basketball team? In one episode, Michael puts together a team to play the guys in the warehouse. His team was based solely on racial stereotypes (ie..Stanley, the lone African American employee was to be his secret weapon and Oscar, an Hispanic, was told he would be better at baseball or boxing) Isaiah’s team of high-priced free agents and short-sighted trades had a league-record $141,666,359 payroll last season and 33 wins to show for it. He recently benched his starting point-guard, Stephon Marbury, who then reportedly said the following “Isaiah has to start me. I’ve got so much (stuff) on Isaiah and he knows it. He thinks he can (get) me. But I’ll (get) him first. You have no idea what I know.” Answer- Dollar for dollar, I would take Dunder-Mifflin over the Knickerbockers.
Question 3 – Which manager has the worst people skills? Isaiah reportedly yelled and cursed at employee Anucha Brown-Sanders “We’re not going to do any more of these @#$! community events,” and. “I’m here to win !@#$ basketball games.” He reportedly verbally abused and sexually harassed the former vice president of marketing for the Knicks and then had her fired. Isaiah and Madison Square Garden lost the lawsuit and $11.5 million in damages.
After he wouldn’t give them a discount on pizza, Michael Scott told a pizza delivery guy “You don’t even know what stupid is! It’s about to get all stupid up in here!” He then held him hostage. He also mistakenly continued to call an overweight employee ‘Pudge’ when her name was really ‘Madge’. He was angry when employees cared more about an employee’s skin cancer test than his own birthday. When pressed by his HR director about his relationship with his boss, Scott replied “I bet you would love all the details, wouldn’t you? Scurvy little perv!” Answer-Michael has some pretty bad people skills, just not Isaiah-bad. Isaiah wins this one too and goes for the trifecta.
As Michael Scott once said, “I swore to myself if I ever got to walk around the room as manager, people would laugh as they saw me coming and they’d applaud as I walked away”. Well Isaiah, that might be sound advise because even though the Knick fans are booing you now, maybe there is one last chance to hear the applause. You just need to pack up your coffee mug and walk away.