El Chapo – Back From Retirement

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El Chapo enjoying a day out on the court

Tensions are running high this week between Mexico and the United States as they battle to acquire star prison basketball player Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán. Guzmán, a “Michael Jordan” of sorts to basketball teams in maximum security prisons, was a domineering presence both on and off the courts, earned through his brutal foul plays. It was for this notoriety that Guzmán became an essential asset for any roster in the prison basketball scene, a sport where the playoffs usually end in riots and shankings are just another reason to bench a player.

Guzmán broke into the prisonball world in 1993 when he was discovered among minor leaguers in Guatemala. From there, recruiters brought him in as fresh blood for the struggling Altiplano team in Almoloya de Juarez, Mexico. During his six year contract, El Chapo went on to win four “Máxima Seguridad, Máxima Baloncesto” titles for his Altiplano team, the last of which they famously won when the entire opposing team mysteriously broke their legs before the playoffs. It was a feat that no cartel leaders in Mexico’s maximum security prison system had ever matched. But like a candle burning twice as bright, the drug lord’s illustrious career was cut short; in 2001 Guzmán announced his retirement from prisonball by escaping prison.

Now, fans everywhere can to witness Guzmán’s rebirth in the chain-linked courtyards. At 6:40 a.m. on February 22nd, 2014, Guzmán appeared suddenly out of retirement to hold an impromptu press conference at his hotel in Mazaltán, Sinaloa. There, he informed Mexican authorities that he would be coming back to the big stage – this time as a free agent for any and all maximum security prison teams.

Almost instantly after his announcement, offers started clamouring in from all sides – most of all from United States’ prisons, whose jail cells still sharply feel the sting of Guzmán’s work. Maximum security prisons in Florida, San Diego, New York, Texas, and Chicago have all made offers for long term contracts with the prisonball star. While nothing has been made concrete, the general consensus among American prison teams is clear: El Chapo should not be wasting his talents on a local level, where a more lax prisonball scene might coax the famed veteran back into retirement. Of course, there are interested parties on all sides. Guzmán’s friends in the Sinaloa cartel have expressed concern for the prisonball star’s health, suggesting that Guzmán would be better off retiring for good and enjoying his various hobbies instead.

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