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The halls are perfumed with a mix of pot, incense, and adolescent sweat generated on the intramural fields; the floors are covered with Budweiser-stained carpeting; a marble lobby has been turned into a public computer center, used mostly for illegal downloads and late-night sojourns to porn sites; the walls are festooned with neon-colored fliers calling attention to A rally of solidarity on behalf of marginalized Ugandan fruit-pickers and a dorm ski trip to Stowe organized by the Young Republicans.

As Harrison entered his two-room suite overlooking a courtyard, it was illuminated with the fuzzy glow from the computer screen.


A tall and plainly handsome Will Smith lookalike—albeit with a silly collegiate soul patch—Jamal was technically a senior majoring in political science. But lately he had devoted the bulk of his time to all things related to the National Basketball Federation. A math whiz with a savantlike gift for statistics, Jamal had created what he called Sabermetrics for Hoops. It started innocently enough.

Foul Lines: A Pro Basketball Novel

Well, maybe the box score needs to be changed. With a lot of trial and error and a lot of regression analysis, Jamal created a battery of statistics that, he believed, anyway, were more meaningful and revealing than traditional metrics, such as points, rebounds, and assists. He could tell which players ranked highest in retrieving loose balls, which lineups were the most effective, which players were worth their contracts.

This year, Jamal had put his statistical model to use in his three fantasy leagues. Though it was early in the season, his teams were in first place by preposterously large margins. Several other owners had already said they were quitting if Jamal kept his teams in competition the following season.

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Jamal was increasingly confident that he had created a groundbreaking analytical tool, though it also served to intensify a relationship with the NBF that was already close to obsessive. He had also stopped IMing the sophomore hottie with whom he had reliably trysted for most of last year. He figured those extra few minutes were better spent running his numbers. See if I can get a campus celebration together. Jamal ignored him. Litanium had a big night. Jamal had always been a decent basketball player. Jamal played on his freshman team in high school before getting cut from the junior varsity as a sophomore.

As much as playing basketball, he loved watching the game: the ballet, the poetry, the improvisation. Between poring over box scores, reading all manner of pro hoops publications, and playing beaucoup NBF games on his Sega Dreamcast, Jamal had a frightening familiarity with every player in the league. Harrison would sometimes flip randomly to a page in the basketball guides stacked against the wall and call out a name.

Foul lines : a pro basketball novel

Montel Mack! Jamal knew the pop psychology explanation. All of his classmates, it seemed, had ironclad game plans for after graduation. They were lining up jobs and fellowships or landing roster spots in med schools. Jamal was a free agent. When he got the inevitable question that torments all seniors— What are your plans for next year? His mother, Betty, was lead vocalist in the nagging chorus.

Mostly to soothe her anxiety, Jamal had followed the path of least resistance and taken the LSAT with vague designs of going to law school. The same way other kids in the neighborhood could naturally dribble a ball as if it were an extension of their arms, Jamal had a sixth sense for standardized tests. With a little studying and less sleep the night before—after all, Portland was playing Dallas in a critically important November game—Jamal had posted the equivalent of a forty-point, twenty-rebound game on the test.

When law schools got wind of an African-American kid from Yale with killer test scores, a solid GPA, and some kind of prize-winning, esoteric statistical system, they all but prostrated themselves before him. Jamal had some sense of what it felt like to be a stud recruit. In the course of a week, unnaturally chipper representatives from law schools at Columbia, Boston College, NYU, and Michigan all called Jamal with a sales pitch, invariably making mention of a diverse student body.

Yet every time he sat down to fill out the applications, he felt a tug at his soul and found a reason to put it off—usually having something to do with a basketball game. A California transplant in his early forties given to wearing Diesel jeans and shoes without socks, McQuade barely looked up from his computer screen.

Hey, you think Phoenix should have made that trade for Johnson and Woods last night? Trick question? Um, yeah, he said. They filled a need at the guard spot. Woods plays better in high-scoring games and Johnson plays better against teams in the West—so both should do well in Phoenix.

Plus they freed up some cap space for the off-season. Anywhere from five to eight million dollars as I see it. Then came an awkward pause. Can I ask why? McQuade finally looked up. Anyway, this friend of mine wanted to know your opinion of the trade. He cares so much because he owns the Lasers—.

Like a character in a bad sitcom, Jamal came close to performing a spit take with his bottled water. Owen Padgett? We were in a band together at Pepperdine. Big career mistake he made not joining me in grad school, huh? Anyway, he asks me from time to time if there any are bright kids he can hire. For the next few days, Jamal could scarcely concentrate during class or even on the intramural fields, visions of a plum NBF job dancing in his head.

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He leaned over and whispered to Litanium, I think I can tap this shit. Three syllables. Apparently the WB run-. Well, you been disrespecting me all night, saying my name as Kwan-zee. You gotta draw that shit out. Takes some getting used to. Are you leaving too, honey? Yeah, we gotta go, Litanium said.

But Litanium was already gone, looking around for Drag Club candidates. Driving at felonious speeds without the inconvenience of stopping was a natural for him, and he continuously babbled about mas and mas car races until Litanium silenced him. But Buenos was otherwise engaged, relaxing with Denise Cherry Pie Holstrum, the choreographer of the Laserettes dance team, who had just finished giving him one of her patented backrubs.

Cherry Pie used her backrub—her promotional literature touted her as a licensed massage therapist —as a way of introducing herself to all the new players, though she had an inviolate policy on fooling around: no sleeping with a Laser until after All-Star Weekend.

Another enthusiastic Drag Club member was James Taylor, a lightning-quick swingman who was, improbably, a Caucasian and thus inevitably known to the public as Sweet Baby James. Taylor longed desperately to be an African-American, though, and wanted everyone to call him Melvin. He was not successful in this and his teammates mostly called him Em, short for Eminem. His ride was a coal-black Dodge Viper.

Litanium noticed that Sweet Baby James was chatting up two African-American models, the only phylum of female he considered dating, and nothing would deter him from those appointed rounds. But one day he pulled out of practice in his celestial-blue Lotus Esprit, the one with a vanity bumper sticker that readB.

Next thing B. I think the Lord is testing me. To date, B. But B. Actually, Wesley had been distracted most of the evening by the enthusiastic chiropractic work of Cherry Pie Holstrum. He knew not even to ask Abraham Oka Kobubee, a handsome, smooth-skinned backup center from Djibouti. Kobubee, known universally as A-Okay, dared not even urinate unless first granted permission from his wife, a plain-looking American woman named Betty Jo who had met him during an anthropology trip to his godforsaken country just north of Ethiopia.

Betty Jo was the only Laser wife who regularly attended team functions, and on this night they sat together in a far corner. Earlier in the evening Betty Jo thought she had detected her husband stealing a glance at one of the Laser cheerleaders and immediately exiled him behind a post. Nor were Willie Wainwright and Clarence Wolff candidates. Wainwright, a heavily muscled backup guard who grew up in Pittsburgh, had gotten into a bad automobile accident as a senior—his best friend was killed—and he was one of the few athletes on the planet who drove at a sensible speed.

He got by with a. This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue? Upload Sign In Join. Save For Later. Create a List. Oct 12, Jay rated it liked it.

Dre Baldwin: 1-On-1 Game Clip #76 - 2 Dribbles Drill - Foul Line, Dre on Defense - NBA Post Moves

When the Los Angeles Lasers recruit Yale whiz kid Jamal Kelly to replace their suddenly deceased director of public relations, Jamal finds himself struggling to keep a level head while managing the team brand and the hot shots behind it: players, execs, coaches and one very eccentric team owner. Shocked and seduced by a world of pro sports glitz strip club lunches, exclusive parties in the Hollywood hills, etc. Times sports reporter Jilly Forrester and slump When the Los Angeles Lasers recruit Yale whiz kid Jamal Kelly to replace their suddenly deceased director of public relations, Jamal finds himself struggling to keep a level head while managing the team brand and the hot shots behind it: players, execs, coaches and one very eccentric team owner.

Times sports reporter Jilly Forrester and slumping team captain Lorenzen "Lo" Mayne, as well as his own down-and-out brother, Zeke.

Foul lines : a pro basketball novel (Book, ) []

McCallum and Wertheim take very funny jabs at corporate sponsorship, racialized posturing and professional entitlement. They also manage to cram in the stories of an impressively large cast as they try to deal with the conflicting spheres of team, families and lovers. When a secret that three players have been harboring suddenly surfaces, Jamal must choose between star power and what he knows is right. May 05, Lexi rated it liked it Shelves: sports , fiction. Oddly, this book reminded me of a Tom Wolfe novel. Despite a cast of very unlikeable characters, midway through you find yourself inured to their horrible flaws and actually rooting for them As many reviews nearly all of the ones printed on the back of the book have noted, this book is absolutely begging to be made into a movie.

Towards the end, turning each page felt like being in a theater where the audience is shouting, "No! Don't open that door! Jan 24, Jake rated it it was ok Shelves: sports-books. Really disappointed in this one. But it doesn't. And believe me, as a sports fan, the fairy tale of athletes being good family men who do charity work and retire to their nice homes when the game is over died for me a LONG time ago. I realize McCallum has spent far more time around sports than I but the stories that happen around the team are too implausible and the majority of the char Really disappointed in this one.

I realize McCallum has spent far more time around sports than I but the stories that happen around the team are too implausible and the majority of the characters are stereotyped and lacking nuance.

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  7. Even if you are a huge basketball fan, I'd skip this one. Sep 18, Benjamin rated it it was amazing. Das Buch ist witzig, sarkastisch und zieht einen in den Bann. Es ist sicherlich kein Meisterwerk der Literatur, aber gute Unterhaltung mit lustigen Momenten und Wendungen in einem Englisch, das nicht allzu komplex ist.

    Nov 22, Todd rated it it was ok. I read this novel for the sole reason that I love basketball, follow the professional game, and thought I'd give sports fiction a shot. This is a lot better than I thought it would be. It doesn't expend a single word on game action. It's about the lifestyle, the elitism, the egos, the infidelity, the extravagant spending, the tattoo culture, etc.

    I enjoyed it. View 1 comment. Jul 06, Patricia Elizabeth rated it it was ok. When I feel embarrassed about reading a book, I know it's not good. And yet, honestly, mindless fluff is just what I need right now. I doubt very much this book will get more than 2 stars from me. I wish we could do half stars. Feb 24, Megan burling rated it liked it. Mike rated it liked it Jun 17, Kristina rated it it was ok Nov 05, Ed rated it it was ok Apr 18, Ian Macaulay rated it it was ok Jul 23, Dakota B.

    Sukrit Gill rated it it was amazing Mar 25, Dcovenjackson rated it liked it Sep 04, Jared rated it liked it Jul 12, Matt Paz rated it it was ok Jan 27, Bob rated it it was amazing Nov 18, Jayden V rated it really liked it Oct 17, Omari rated it it was amazing Sep 12, Abdul Jackson rated it it was ok Apr 27, Jimmy Dwyer rated it liked it Aug 03, Krissy rated it liked it Apr 13, Aziz Crim rated it it was amazing May 12, Vincent rated it it was amazing Nov 30, Mark Osler rated it liked it Mar 04,