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News » Q&A: Pierce, Yao and much more

Q&A: Pierce, Yao and much more

Q&A: Pierce, Yao and much more
How do you feel about Paul Pierce saying that he's the best player in the world? His winning the championship WITH Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen doesn't make him this. I don't think he has any right to say something that stupid. What do you think? — ilovepaulpiece, Boston

If you have a question or comment for Charley Rosen, submit it below and Charley may just respond.


Now to your first query: I've actually had three distinct careers and was a teacher long before I was either a coach or a writer. I taught part-time at Hofstra University while I earned my Masters degree there (in medieval literature). For four years, I then taught English full-time at Kingsborough Community College, obtaining the appointment mainly because the acting president of the school had been a college teammate at Hunter and the Dean of Students had been my frosh coach. While at KCC, I was enrolled in the doctoral program at St. John's (also medieval literature). After finishing my coursework at St. John's and passing my comprehensive exams and my language requirements, I wrote a thesis entitled "A Christian Reading of 'The General Prologue' to The Canterbury Tales."

Just as my thesis was returned for revisions (it was unquestionably derivative and the scholarship was sloppy), I chanced to have my first novel published — Have Jump Shot Will Travel. I immediately dropped out of the Ph.D. program and, while still teaching English at KCC, became a free-lance writer — for magazines (like Rolling Stone, Sport, Inside Sports) and of various fiction and non-fiction books.

Along the way, I had coached hoops at a junior high school in Middletown, N.Y., and had been a non-paid, volunteer assistant at KCC. So when Phil Jackson became the head coach of the Albany Patroons in the CBA and I finagled my way into a position as his assistant, my career path changed once more.

However, after becoming a head coach in 1986, I was hired and fired four times in the next six years (Savannah, Rockford, Oklahoma City and Albany).

Now I had a choice to make: Re-enter the swamps of academe (ugh!), or try my hand at being a full-time writer. Turned out that my experience as a not-serious-enough player and as a too-serious coach gave me a different angle from which to view the game.

So here I am, still fruitlessly trying to find (in descending order) the perfect team, the perfect player, the perfect game, the perfect quarter, but finding sufficient satisfaction in identifying the perfect play.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: August 6, 2008


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