That’s the message here. Thoroughly enjoyed Bartholomew’s outside look from within the Philippine Basketball Association. He threw himself into the windy question I’m forever obsessed with: Why do certain sports get popular in certain cultures? Also, much of what happens in the PBA is odd, hilarious, and unbelievable to those who would balk at balut–us philistines to Philippine mores.

We don’t get sportswriting like this about the NBA, we can’t. Too much money, too much attention, too much distrust of we, the satanic media squabblers. So it’s refreshing to visualize 20/20 on what feels like an NBA season played in outer space.The PBA has a height limit, teams get one foreigner per customer, interloping international players are fetishized till despised. It’s surreal non-fiction, about your favorite sport–but not quite. And my nagging regret is a failure to read-review sooner. Such mistakes are harder to stomach than unfertilized eggs and harder to fathom than hoops in sandals.

Twitter: @SherwoodStrauss

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