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Masai Ujiri’s Predawn Fitness Rituals, With Tyler Ricky Tynes

Toronto Raptors GM Masai Ujiri talking to TNT's Ernie Johnson after the Raptors won the Eastern Conference Finals in 2019.
Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Doing the podcast is both easier and more fun than actually working. I say this because it is acceptably pithy by my own low standards, and also something I consider to be true. But I was sick with the damn coronavirus during our last two recordings, and displaced in ways literal and figurative. What was supposed to be a nice little break around the holidays evaporated into something less nice and notably smaller. What I wanted, during that time in isolation limbo, was to feel like myself, and to feel like I was back at home in something recognizably more like my life. Doing a normal episode of the podcast—in good health, on my comfortable setup, from within my ridiculous life—was a big part of that. And this week, it happened.

Well, sort of. We recorded at the usual time, and returning champion guest Tyler Ricky Tynes was as bracing and delightful as ever. But the fun of this thing is that it is seldom normal from one week to the next. We do the same things most weeks—talking about sports things at the start, in this case Tyler's recent Masai Ujiri profile in GQ, and then describing our familiar spiral into skronking dada nonsense in the back half of the show. In that portion, we spent roughly as much time talking about Backup Quarterbacks Who Were Never Good as we did about the squicky and useless January 6 Discourse, which is as good a summary of what our show is about as I can imagine. A good time was had by all, although I can assure you that Tyler's horror at the things that came spilling out of the Funbag was not entirely feigned.

But as familiar as that was, there was also something new about it, an unpredictability in the moment that was only partially the result of Tyler's unique gift for wrong-footing Drew and me both in conversation. I can't speak to how similar or different these episodes sound to listeners, but as one of the people who is both listening and talking during all of them, I'd forgotten how much fun it is to be both entirely in the flow of these conversations and to be so utterly bounced around by that current as it goes wherever it feels like going. It's familiar, and I missed that familiarity, but it's maybe at its most fun when it's not easy, or entirely comfortable. "Beats working" is an understatement. It's nice to be all the way back.

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