Michelle & Joe Recreate 'Love & Basketball' For Everyone On 'The Bachelorette'

- The Bachelor -
Michelle & Joe Recreate 'Love & Basketball' For Everyone On 'The Bachelorette'

When Joe Coleman showed up on the premiere of Michelle Young’s season of The Bachelorette, there was a pretty quick red flag. Michelle immediately recognized Joe when he stepped out of the limo, because he had previously ghosted her on a dating app. But, Joe had a solid excuse that had to do with the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd since they both live in Minnesota, so Michelle decided to keep him around. And what do ya know? The second episode showed them basically falling in love in cinematic style while everyone else was forced to watch on.

Joe was a participant in a basketball-themed group date. And, as soon became apparent, while he and Michelle’s story does not quite compete with the years-long will-they-or-won’t-they in the beloved 2000 film Love & Basketball, it definitely shares some similar elements. Namely: basketball, growing up in the same general area, a friendly rivalry, and — potentially — love. The group date even reads, “All is fair in love and basketball,” which is a direct quote from the movie.

Image: ABC

Joe finds out that one of his former coaches died not long before he had to attend the basketball group date, which adds some gravity to the fact that he will soon have to play in front of a woman he’s dating while also being filmed for national television. He says his coach is the type of person who would “want me to go out there and hoop,” so that’s exactly what he does.

Once the date begins, Michelle reveals in a confessional that Joe was actually really good at basketball. He was named Minnesota Mr. Basketball in 2011, the year they both graduated from high school. As for Michelle, that same year she was named Minnesota Ms. Basketball… runner-up. Okay, so it’s not totally perfect, but it’s close. They both went on to play Division 1 basketball in college.

Before the game begins, there’s some practicing and some one-on-one playing, and Michelle and Joe end up playing against each other. It’s so cute, so meaningful, and everyone else just has to stand at the sidelines and watch.

Image: ABC

When the game between the suitors actually kicks off, Michelle is very supportive of Joe, rooting for him and calling him “Mr. Basketball”.

Joe’s team loses the game, but he is given an MVP award by the pro basketball player guests, because there was no way the producers were going to let him go home halfway through this perfectly themed date.

During the evening portion, Michelle and Joe’s Love & Basketball romance continues. He tells her about his coach passing away and how he’s trying not to get too emotional. “Us athletes, right?” Michelle responds. “Game face all the time. You don’t have to have a game face all the time.” Swoon. As the conversation continues Michelle says, “I feel like we have this understanding now. I don’t know if it’s basketball. I don’t know if it’s Minnesota. I don’t know if it’s both… “ She trails off. Joe adds, “I feel it too.”

Image: ABC

Next thing you know, they’re playing another one-on-one game, this time in their fancy date outfits. Michelle wins and they kiss. They don’t immediately run off together and leave the show behind, but they probably should. Obviously, he gets the group date rose.

Things take a turn for the dramatic in a different way from this point on. The men learn that Michelle and Joe DM'd each other a few years ago before he ghosted her. She also faces a rumor that she was already dating a "light-skinned baller" before she joined the show. Michelle quickly shoots this one down, so it looks like her and Joe's love and basketball story could continue for weeks to come.

Image: ABC

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