Jul
08

Book Review: Can I Keep My Jersey?

It’s an all too familiar situation that an Agent will encounter: The Journeyman.

Paul Shirley is not a household name, yet he has played for multiple NBA teams…albeit, if it’s in “junk time” as he calls it. The 6’10” Kansas native gives readers an insight into what it’s like to be the fringe player plying the basketball trade around the world.

In Can I Keep My Jersey?: 11 Teams, 5 Countries, and 4 years in my life as a Basketball Vagabond, Paul takes us into the world of a basketball player we rarely hear about. We’re not talking multi-million dollar contracts, fast cars and beautiful women. We’re talking cheap motels, lobby breakfasts and uncomfortable bus trips.

Can I Keep My Jersey?Paul grew up in a small town in Kansas, and did not get drafted out of college. Reading chronologically, Paul starts his career in Greece, and then moves back to the US to try to break into the NBA. As he slogs his way through minor leagues, NBA tryouts and exhibition teams, Paul doesn’t lose focus on his goal. It’s a credit to him that he has the drive to never give up on his dream.

The best thing about the book is it gives the everyday person a look into what really goes on behind the scenes. The myth that everyone who plays in the NBA is rich is smashed in Paul’s autobiography.

This candid, often funny book is an excellent read. Paul navigates the readers through his 5 years of playing professional ball with plenty of sharp sarcastic humor and fans of basketball will find this hard to put down.

Paul’s agent along the way is Keith Glass, whose book Taking Shots was reviewed on this site not long ago. Paul still plays professionally, and regularly writes a column on ESPN.com.

You can purchase the book and read more reviews for it here.