Bread City Basketball


Swishing on chain nets
the very last cigarette
the first bowl of cereal
subway timing miracles
crisp American dollars.

photo by Eugene Tan



The all-native basketball team in the photo below was balling back in 1909, which explains the swastika unis. Scholars agree that the symbol comes from India, but it is also a part of American Indian culture. For the Navajo Nation, the swastika represents the legend of the Whirling Logs. The story is about a journey down a river in a hollowed out tree. It involves multiple Gods, and a pet turkey with a lot of personality.

The important thing is that the Whirling Logs legend is a part of the Night Chant, a nine day long ceremonial performance considered the most sacred of all Navajo ceremonies. It is a healing ritual that is performed to both cure the sick, and to restore order and balance to the universe.

Sans swastikas, basketball is still fanatically popular amongst American Indians, but the group has long been severely underrepresented in college ball. Why? Because Division I and II scouts are only allowed to attend high school tournaments that are NCAA certified. Until recently, NCAA certification rules stated that all teams must reside in the same state as a given tournament. This made it impossible for American Indian high schools to participate in any certified tournament, because tribal citizens are technically not state residents.

The NCAA made an exception to this rule in 2007, and this year’s NCAA certified Native American Basketball Invitational, a showcase for high school age teams, will take place in Phoenix, July 7-11.

Why We Play Basketball, Pt. 4

It is just a game
we are told by those
who cannot play it
unless it is play.
For us, it is war,

often desperate
and without reason.
We throw our body
against another
body. We learn to

hate each other, hate
the ball, hate the hoop,
hate the fallen snow,
hate our clumsy hands,
hate our thirsty mouths

when we drink from
the fountain. We hate
our fathers. We hate
our mothers. We hate
the face in our mirror.

We play basketball
because we want to
separate love from
hate, and because we
know how to keep score.

– Excerpted from Sherman Alexie’s five-part poem, Why We Play Basketball


Back in February, sports writer Dan Shanoff made the connection between Gilbert Arenas and Barack Obama: “Both are grassroots, internet sensations… Both deliver an aura of accessibility… Both have critics who point to the fact that they are untested on a big time national stage… And then there’s the “Black President” Factor: Obama would like to become the first black president. Arenas actually calls himself ‘The Black President.'”

I guess I must’ve had this article in the back of my mind during Summer League this season because as I watched the Knicks go undefeated, it hit me: Nate Robinson is Dennis Kucinich.

dennis kucinich nate robinson




A common feature of Zapatista gatherings—along with food, dance, music, and fireworks—is basketball. Both male and female ski-masked participants populate the basketball court while more senior level Zapatista commanders (including both women and men) meet in nearby tents.

-Charles Fruehling Springwood, Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 30 (2006): 364.

The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (ELZN) is a revolutionary group active in Mexico since 1994, when they tried to overthrow the Mexican government. When the coup failed, they established a base in Chiapas and focused their attention on creating a microcosm of a new Mexican society. In the Zapatista model, individual communities are responsible for their own sustainability and defending themselves, and the government has minimal influence over the country’s resources. The Zapatistas, who are mostly indigenous Mexicans, are not a political party; they want to reconceptualize the entire Mexican political system. Though armed, they have abstained from using their weapons since the 1994 uprising, and they give liberal arts students and Rage Against The Machine fans huge boners.

revolutionary basketball
Photo by Bastian


1.Brandon Knight
2.K.C Ross-Miller
3.Trae Golden
4.Jackson Jeffcoat
5.Randy Collins

This is a list of the top-five ranked fifteen-year-olds in the country right now. Let that marinate for a quick second.

It is a list made by and for fat white guys in major high school and college basketball programs, who are always looking for a new edge in making the most money possible [millions of dollars] off of poor black kids. Of course, it goes without saying that none of the players will be allowed to see a dime from it unless they somehow make it to the NBA. And if they do, they better not shoot the ball too much. Otherwise, different fat white guys like Bill Simmons will write long articles about what a shame it is that the “new generation” of NBA players aren’t purely in it for the love of the game. He wrote an article about this last week. Simmons’ article concludes by stating, “It’s not a black thing or a white thing…It’s a basketball thing.”

Shoo, Boston Red Sox hats really are like KKK hoods, aren’t they?

young buck