How preconceptions and prejudices in the realm of American basketball helped establish a wrong set of ideas

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Original illustration by Double Scribble

There is this thing that has been stuck in my mind for a few days now. But I don’t want to rush things, so we better start at the beginning, when everything Americans knew was homeland basketball players. I’m not going to be making any sand-grain separating here, but we call all agree that before the moment the three-point line was introduced (1979-80) there had been no real foreigners playing meaningful basketball in the NBA.

On top of that, sure, you can consider someone like Kiki Vandeweghe — born in Germany — and import, but not so much when he…


The League of Styles is flourishing, but numerologists are trying to end it in favor of stardom emptiness

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Original illustration by Pete Rogers

I’m not going to unveil anything by saying the NBA is a league of individual stars. That has been the case forever — since, like, George Mikan emerged as a 7-foot human-beast. It is not about generations, magnificent peer-groups coming out at the same time, or the engendering of übermensch.

It is just about basketball being a sport in which a small squad of five men — at most — combine at the same time in the playing hardwood, thus making it much easier for one of them to rise above the rest, and therefore giving birth to the figure…


Zion was never meant to do more than what he’s capable of, and we should embrace that

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Original illustration by Double Scribble

Facing a San Antonio Spurs team playing below .500, the lowly Pelicans inaugurated Zion for the first time with high hopes of righting their season’s wrongs — New Orleans entered the affair with a putrid 17–28 record (.378) more than halfway through the season. Williamson started his first pro game and went on to play a staggering 18 minutes that were more than enough to make us all drool about his future — possibilities unsolidified, a blank canvas still to be colored by the then-rookie and fresh-out-of-training No. 1 pick.

Zion’s 18 rounds of the clock felt short. Way too…


On the seemingly unmovable forces of NBA franchise icons, and why Kyle Lowry must go

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Original illustration by Double Scribble

We are mere hours past the league-changing James Harden trade. Yes, league-changing trade, I said. Houston netted itself “eight” draft picks — four first-rounders and four pick swaps, the latter not adding to the bounty but still turning things into best-case-scenario assets no matter what— spanning from 2021 to 2027 (!) and depending on how where does end, the league can get into one of the very different potential timelines.

Anyways, I’m not here to discuss anything related to James Harden, nor his beard, nor his belly, nor his clubbing/partying ways — note entirely, at least. I’m here to talk…


The never-ending, nonsensical tale of the New York Knickerbockers

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Original illustration by Double Scribble

If you’re like me, you spend an unreasonable amount of your days consuming NBA content. If you’re like me, you also follow some of the most “influential” Twitter accounts: [dear reader, insert your favorite #NBATwitter handles here]. And, if you pay the slightest attention to the headlines popping from any of these sources like I do, you know what’s buzzing in the Capital of Basketball, the Mecca of Hoops, the Ball-Handling Cradle, Madison Square Garden itself: where the New York Knickerbockers are above .500 in the month of January for the first time since 2013.

Pause for a moment. Back…


From Kobe to Udonis, these players repped one city for the entirety of their careers — something we probably won’t see again

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Original art by Antonio Losada (Twitter)

Let’s go back in time. Place yourself in 2005. At that moment, only four players had retired while having spent twelve or more seasons with the team that initially drafted them — John Stockton, Rik Smits, David Robinson, and Reggie Miller.

Now, fast-forward to December of 2019. What you’d find is a list of single-team players not much longer than the previous decade: Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki, Jeff Foster, Manu Ginobili, Udonis Haslem, and Nick Collison were the ones engrossing one-team careers.

Think about this: In two full decades of basketball, only eleven players went on to play…


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Tamika Catchings (David Ramos/Getty Images)

Don’t sweat it when it comes to comparing women to men in the world of sports, and you’ll live a much better life.

The National Basketball Association launched its restart back on Thursday, July 30. Everybody was super excited about it. So excited, in fact, that folks got to their Twitter accounts in anticipation of the Utah Jazz vs. New Orleans Pelicans first game since the league got suspended to proclaim that “basketball is back!”, Wrong statement, my men.

Basketball was about to be back, sure, but only NBA basketball. Why, you say? Well, because — and I’m keeping this purely to American sports, as leagues around the world had already come back then — the Women’s National Basketball Association had been in…


Part Two: The tale of a Taiwanese-Californian who attended Harvard on his way to the League

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Original art by Antonio Losada (Twitter)

The year was 2010, and this Harvard-graduate was a California-native of Chinese and Taiwanese descent. You can count the number of Harvard alumni to get drafted and play in an NBA game with one hand —it takes two fingers, to be exact. And to be Taiwanese? Even fewer fingers. So it wasn’t surprising to have never heard of this kid; even when checking the list of names called during the 2010 NBA Draft, you wouldn’t find Jeremy Lin’s name on it.

Somehow, the appeal and rareness that turned Yao into a sought-after asset might’ve slightly killed Lin’s chances of making…


Part One: The Prophecy of a Giant Man, Fulfilled and Unraveled

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Original art by Antonio Losada (Twitter)

Once upon a time, giants roamed the Earth. And back then, they were considered fundamental tokens, the absolute truth of winning and dominance. In fact, in the big world of basketball, the biggest men became the ultimate rulers, the be-all and end-all of the great orange equation. The Folktale of Russell. The Myth of Wilt. The Legend of Kareem. There is no shortage of stories painting colossus-men conquering courts in hoop’s lore. Those fancy tales weren’t only a thing of the far past, though. …


The unsolvable conundrum between individual and collective appreciation in the NBA

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Original art by Antonio Losada (Twitter)

When the NBA ran their scheduling algorithms for the 2015–16 season, they ended up with a game on April 13 in which the Golden State Warriors would close the season facing the Memphis Grizzlies. Little did they know what was about to happen.

They couldn’t have anticipated what was already lining up. It wasn’t clear until Kobe Bryant made it official, in late November 2015; the Black Mamba was about to retire for good at the end of the season. The Lake Show would be hosting Utah on that very same night, April 13.

For NBA nerds, the number of…

Antonio Losada

www.chapulana.com | Twitter: @chapulana | IG: @chapulana | Honcho of Head Fake

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