The Cockroach Basketball League follows the tribulations of hard-driving coach Bob Lassner of the Savannah Stars, a team in the Commercial Basketball League—a fiction drawn from Rosen's own nine years experience coaching in the minor-league Continental Basketball Association. Lassner is an aging hippie and divorcé who hails from a Bronx tenement. His obsession with the game of basketball animates this kinetic, gritty ramble through the sport's minor leagues. Lassner is either red with rage or soft with compassion as he struggles to deal with his wayward players. His top scorer is selfish and arrogant; another player faces a grand jury for a point-shaving scheme; still others are drinking and taking drugs. Lassner also faces a meddlesome team owner, racial tension, and the threat of losing his job if he doesn1t produce victories. With The Cockroach Basketball League, Rosen provides a poignant portrait of men—both players and coaches—who may not ever make it to the NBA. Through this look at life in the minors, Rosen offers a unique perspective on college and pro basketball, media hype, and the psychology of dreams deferred.
About Charley Rosen
Basketball player, coach, and critically acclaimed novelist CHARLEY ROSEN played for Hunter College from 1959–62, where he set school records for scoring and rebounding, and was voted team MVP all three years. He went on to play for the US Maccabiah team in 1961, for Camden and Scranton in the Eastern League (a forerunner of the Continental Basketball Association) in 1962, and was a member of the bronze-medal-winning team in the World Senior Games in 1994. Rosen coached in the minor-league Continental Basketball Association for nine years and was the head coach of the women's team at the State University of New York at New Paltz. He lives in Woodstock, NY.
The Cockroach Basketball League by Charley Rosen; foreword by Phil Jackson