The Cockroach Basketball Association

Charles Rosen, Author, Phil Jackson, Introduction by
Charles Rosen, Author, Phil Jackson, Introduction by Dutton Books $21 (0p) ISBN 978-1-55611-329-1
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Hard-driving coach Bob Lassner of the Savannah Stars believes that life is a metaphor for basketball, and his obsession with the game animates this kinetic, raunchy ramble through the sport's minor leagues. Lassner, a lapsed hippie and divered raised in a Bronx tenement, swings between rage and compassion for his wayward players. His top scorer is selfish and arrogant; another player faces a grandjury investigation for a point-shaving scheme; other Stars take drugs or drink too much. Among Lassner's problems are a meddlesome team owner, racial friction and a rumor that he will be fired if he fails to rack up victories. Minor-league coach Rosen (Have Jumpshot Will 7?avel) uses his fictional Commercial Basketball League to probe the aspirations, pressures and frustrations of players and coaches who may never make the NBA. Illustrated with diagrams of plays and game plans, this action-packed novel is peppered with trenchant observations on college and pro basketball, media hype and life in the minors. Lassner's epiphany in a jail cell after taking a swing at a sleazy rival coach adds a poignant touch. (Nov.)
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