THE COCKROACH BASKETBALL LEAGUE by Charles Rosen

THE COCKROACH BASKETBALL LEAGUE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Rare among sports novelists in that he uses basketball rather than the traditional baseball or football as his milieu, Rosen here provides a failed but nonetheless amusing look at life in the Commercial Basketball Association (clearly a pseudonym for the real CBA, or Continental Basketball Association, in which the author has been a coach and trainer). Rosen brings back the hero of his first book, Have Jump Shot, Will Travel (1975), Bo Lassner, who has progressed from token white second stringer to coach of the Savannah Stars, a motley collection of would-bes, might-have-beens and never-wases who find themselves in the CBA playoffs without a clue how to win. The author's personal experiences make him well qualified to reveal the raunchy and sometimes hilarious underside of the big-dollar NBA game. That same expertise allows him to enhance the story with various play diagrams, scouting reports, and other real-life minutia. But whether interfering owner Herm Pudleigh, selfish gunner Sam ""Points"" Cooper, or a wily and unprincipled opposing coach is Bo's burden of the moment, the reader is hard-pressed to get involved, since none of these confrontations seems, in the long run, to matter very much. The heart of the matter is essentially a series of basketball games that never really come to life on the page, and anyone who doesn't see the inevitable path leading to the final shot of the ultimate contest just isn't trying hard enough. An introduction by Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson is yet another clue that this one is for hoop-junkies only.

Pub Date: Nov. 23rd, 1992
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Donald Fine