NBA Twitter’s Zodiac GM Uses Astrology to Explain the Playoffs & Predict the Offseason

The beloved Twitter account, which has introduced thousands of basketball fans to astrology, talked to Jezebel about why he was so sure of the Boston Celtics and why he’s scared for the Phoenix Suns.

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NBA Twitter’s Zodiac GM Uses Astrology to Explain the Playoffs & Predict the Offseason

The intimate marriage between astrology and sports used to be something of a running gag between my relatively sparse, mostly female college friends and me. James Harden’s Virgo Sun made him perfect for me, a Taurus, I reasoned, and it also explained the implosion of his short-lived collaboration with Kevin Durant (Libra Sun) and Kyrie Irving (Aries Sun) on the Brooklyn Nets in 2021. So, in February, when I first discovered The Zodiac GM—then a growing fixture in NBA Twitter, whose detailed astrological analyses of teams’ synergies were proving stunningly accurate—I had to talk to him. And talk we did!

I spoke to the Zodiac GM again on Tuesday following the conclusion of the 2024 NBA Finals, which saw the Boston Celtics crowned this year’s champions. And a lot has changed for him since February: His Twitter following has ballooned from around 3,000 when we spoke to well over 17,000, and he’s been profiled and interviewed by places like GQ and the Houston Chronicle. But he’s also been interviewed by different college basketball teams, an NBA team, and even an NFL team, all seeking his input on astrology-based team-building. “They were just curious about how their team is, and my version of analysis, to understand their strengths and their weaknesses from a different perspective,” he said. “It’s been a really exciting season to be doing this.” (Unfortunately, the Zodiac GM was not at liberty to name these teams.)

In February, the Zodiac GM—who, again, prefers to stay a mystery to his still-growing cult of followers—told me he came to love astrology as a way of bonding with his brother who has autism. This particular shared interest helped them make sense of their communication styles and their relationship, inspiring him to “study the science” of astrology for over 30 years. That passion for both astrology and basketball has allowed him to merge two stereotypically gendered, seemingly disparate interests—while simultaneously amusing and informing NBA Twitter about the inner dynamics of our favorite teams, and sometimes predicting the future.

Given that we’re currently in the off-season, it’s all about the future right now, and the game-changing trades and team-building moves that franchises will make over the next few months to try to compete next season. But before we got to any of that, I thought a 2023-2024 season exit interview was in order. In short, the Zodiac GM wasn’t exactly surprised by the Celtics’ triumph, the Dallas Mavericks’ late-season heroics and ultimate downfall, or the Clippers’ anti-climactic, post-season demise. At the end of the day, it was all written in the stars.

The “throughline of the season,” the Zodiac GM said, has been “the dominance of water signs.” In some ways this makes sense—basketball is all about fluidity, he notes. Some water sign stars, just to name a few, include reigning and now three-time MVP Nikola Jokic (Pisces), Steph Curry (Pisces), Joel Embiid (Pisces), Anthony Davis (Pisces), Tyrese Haliburton (Pisces), Jaylen Brown (Scorpio), and Tyrese Maxey (Scorpio). 

And, of course, there’s Luka Dončić and Jayson Tatum—the superstars at the heart of the Finals—who are coincidentally both Pisces Suns themselves. Despite ESPN’s analysts perplexingly and decisively favoring Dončić’s Dallas Mavericks over Boston, Boston triumphed in just five games, and the Zodiac GM wasn’t surprised. “First, there’s a major talent gap,” he said. Of course, talent alone doesn’t win championships: “There was also a major [astrological] synergy gap favoring the Celtics.”

Here is where we get into the nitty-gritty—that is, players’ respective signs, modalities, and how all of these jive. The Zodiac GM says he deliberately “[tries] to simplify” his analysis, focusing on Sun and Moon signs and their modalities, rather than digging deeper into players’ birth charts, to ensure his work is as accessible as possible. As we discussed in February, with each team, he first looks at the signs of their head coach and general manager, their starting five, and their bench. He then organizes the signs by their elements and modalities—there are cardinal signs (the “bold initiators,” per WikiHow), fixed signs (“enduring followers”), and mutable signs (“dynamic changemakers”). Each team needs the right balance of all of those. 

This chart, courtesy of Pinterest, breaks down each individual sign’s modality, which provides insights into their respective energies and groupings. There are four elements, each with three signs, and each of these signs has one of three modalities: cardinal, fixed, and mutable.

Boston’s astrological synergy is all but perfect: Not only are Tatum and Brown water signs, but their next star, Derrick White, is also a water sign (Cancer Sun). As a Capricorn, head coach Joe Mazzulla is “a natural leader,” whose earth energy blends seamlessly with his star players’ water signs. The Zodiac GM studied the Celtics’ entire coaching staff and found it “very compatible with Mazzulla,” featuring a blend of earth and water signs like assistant coach Sam Cassell (Scorpio Sun). White’s Cancer Sun (cardinal modality) makes him the “emotional leader” of the team, while Brown’s Scorpio Sun (fixed modality) renders him the team’s “constant, their rock,” and Tatum’s Pisces Sun (mutable modality) means he’s “adaptable, like a wave.” Indeed, Tatum’s ability to adapt to whatever his team needed of him—between balancing his own scoring with making the right passes and plays to set his teammates up for success—was crucial to the Celtics’ championship. “Theirs is one of the most optimal teams you could form, synergy and talent-wise,” the Zodiac GM said.

The Mavs are a different story. With Dončić and Irving, the team doesn’t lack for talent (though, obviously, not as deep as Boston’s), but their synergy is lacking. Dončić and Irving have “opposite energies” as water and fire signs. Before the trade deadline in February, the duo’s win-loss record was sub-0.5. At the deadline, the team traded for P.J. Washington, whose Virgo Sun (an earth sign) is compatible with Dončić, and Daniel Gafford, whose Libra Sun (an air sign) is compatible with Irving; their record improved drastically to 21-7 to end the season. “We really saw Washington and Dončić’s compatibility against the [Minnesota] Timberwolves, in particular,” the Zodiac GM said, “but ultimately, the Celtics are just a different animal.”

Leading up to the Finals, the playoffs were a gutting saga of injuries and upsets that rendered adaptability key. While the Celtics have been heavily ridiculed for their supposedly easy (or, as my associates on NBA Twitter might put it, “Mickey Mouse”) path to the Finals, the Zodiac GM contends that in some ways, the same could be said of the Mavs. Take, for example, their series against the Los Angeles Clippers. “The Clippers’ strong synergy was thrown completely out of whack by injuries, without Kawhi [Leonard’s] Cancer Sun, cardinal modality,” he explained. Leonard was replaced by backup players with “opposite energies to [Paul George] and Harden.” And thanks to head coach Ty Lue’s stubborn Taurus sign, which holds a fixed modality, he’ll tend to take more time to adapt and make important adjustments or shifts in rotations.

“He wants to stick to a plan, so adjustments can take time,” the Zodiac GM said of Lue. “So, playoff injuries are especially hard for a coach like him.” We saw that in the regular season, too, when Harden first joined the Clippers and the team went on an early, prolonged losing streak, only to adjust and, for a good stretch there, dominate the Western Conference. By contrast, you might have a coach like the Denver Nuggets’ Mike Malone, who led the team to a championship last year and the Western Conference semi-finals this year: As a Virgo, modality-wise, he’s mutable, and consequently, “someone like him can adapt much quicker.” 

Of course, it’s not just coaches—players have to be adaptable, too, especially with major change potentially on the horizon this off-season. Consider the Philadelphia 76ers: General Manager Daryl Morey (Virgo sun, Sagittarius moon, explaining his “nitpickiness and perfectionism,” the Zodiac GM told me) made it clear last month that other than franchise stars Embiid and Maxey (whose water signs render them ultra-compatible), almost no one is untouchable and big roster changes are expected. The Sixers “don’t have the best synergy right now,” the Zodiac GM said. Other than Tobias Harris, a Cancer Sun whose cardinal modality should make him the team’s leader, the team lacks “more dominant energies.” Harris enters free agency this summer, and the Zodiac GM thinks the Sixers should find a strong cardinal sign—probably with more talent!—to replace him. Additionally, George, who is currently considering his future with the Clippers, could be a good add as a Taurus compatible with Embiid and Maxey, though the Zodiac GM muses that staying on the Clippers, with the team’s strong synergy and (when healthy!) talent, might be George’s better option.

I was also curious about what moves the famously embattled Phoenix Suns should make. ICYMI: They threw away their once-solid team that made the 2021 NBA Finals in order to form a disjointed “big 3” (Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, Bradley Beal), then got swept in the first round by Anthony Edwards’ Timberwolves in April. “I’m keeping an eye on them, and I’m scared for them,” the Zodiac GM said. One problem is their owner, Matt Ishbia, whose Capricorn Sun and Leo Moon make him impulsive, authoritative, and determined to get quick results, sometimes at great cost—specifically, trading draft picks and everyone who once made the team strong, and setting fire to their cap space, in order to secure Durant and Beal. “They had a great team in 2021, 2022,” the Zodiac GM said, “but they’re in decline because they don’t have great synergy right now, and talent from [Booker and Durant] can only get you so far.”

Meanwhile, the Clippers are a prime example of a team that could succeed by more or less running it back due to their strong earth-water, cardinal-fixed-mutable signs. “Just because they didn’t win doesn’t mean you should necessarily break them up, especially when that would break up such strong [astrological] synergy,” the Zodiac GM explained. But Leonard’s consistent injuries are, obviously, a problem, and the team should look into back-ups for him that match Harden’s and, if he returns, George’s earth signs, or hold a cardinal modality that can offer the team grounding leadership.

There are a lot more moving pieces this off-season, like the Draft next week, for example. And then, after that, an inevitably drama-filled summer of calculated trade rumors and backdoor scheming, which citizens of NBA Twitter will surely enjoy given their (ahem, our) universal love of mess. As front offices plot and fans closely watch what moves their teams make this summer, if there’s one lesson the Zodiac GM’s analysis can impress upon us all, let it be this: Maybe talent can win you an MVP Award—but astrological synergy wins championships.

As for the Zodiac GM’s off-season plans? “I actually prefer to do most of my analysis in the off-season—it’s a much less volatile time,” he told me. Well, we’ll see about that!

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