Paul Shirley's basketball memoir is subtitled "11 Teams, 5 Countries, and 4 Years in My Life as a Basketball Vagabond." I was particularly interested in reading his account of his basketball career because he was a benchwarmer for the Phoenix Suns a couple years ago, writing a blog for the Arizona Republic. I read the blog while he was here, and followed his accounts of his time with the Suns.
Shirley is an intellectual 6'10" player who often found himself on the outside looking in, even when he was part of a team. And, which teams? He went to the Lakers training camp after graduating from Iowa State, but that was as far as he went with them. Over four years, he played for teams in Greece, Spain, and Russia. He was a player on minor league teams that traveled the United States, playing under abysmal conditions. For a short time, he played with the Chicago Bulls, until he had a bizarre injury. His longest stint with any team was his time spent with the Phoenix Suns, seven months. He does have positive comments about the Suns' style of play, but he has few other positive comments about his years in basketball.
Paul Shirley admits he is "cynical, judgmental and sarcastic," and all of those attitudes come across in his basketball memoir. For anyone wondering what life is like in the world of professional sports, Shirley's account is not a glamorous story. It's probably a very realistic view of the life of any player who doesn't attain star status, but remains a journeyman. For an outsider, it appears to be a lonely, sad life.
I have been a library manager/administrator for over 30 years, in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, and, now, Indiana. Winner of the 2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Library Service Award. I am a contributing Book Reviewer for Library Journal, Mystery Readers Journal, ReadertoReader.com and VibrantNation.com. Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Spinetingler Awards for Best Reviewer. First Fan Guest of Honor for Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Write Now! Conference.
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Moments in History By Michael A. Black
When I was in grammar school I viewed history as something you read about in books. By the time I got into high school and then college I came to the realiza...
My Oct. 19, 2009 blog provides full disclosure that I only receive review copies of books, with no other compensation. All review copies are marked as such. If there any any questions, please feel free to contact me.