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About Paul Shirley
Paul is the author of two humor memoirs, a novel, and a how-to book. The first memoir (Can I Keep My Jersey?) chronicles three years in his stop-and-start professional basketball career. The second (Stories I Tell On Dates) chronicles an entire lifetime in his stop-and-start dating career.
His first novel, Ball Boy, follows the adventures of Gray Taylor, a 14-year-old who discovers basketball when his mother moves them from Los Angeles to small-town Kansas.
Paul lives in Denver, where he runs a co-working space and virtual platform called The Process, whose theory is outlined in his fourth book, The Process is the Product. Paul has also written for ESPN.com, Slate, Esquire, the Wall Street Journal, and FlipCollective.com, a website for writers he founded.
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Books By Paul Shirley
In The Process Is The Product, Paul shares the stories of failure and rebirth that have taught him this lesson with one goal in mind: helping you fall in love with your process so you can find meaning, finish projects, and accomplish the goals you set for yourself.
Featuring plenty of humor, humility, and outside sources, this is a book designed to equip readers with the tools to break big projects into smaller tasks while learning to love the work along the way.
There’s no denying that Paul Shirley is the closest thing pro basketball’s got to Odysseus. In Homeric fashion, he has logged time practically everywhere in the roundball universe, from six NBA cities to pro leagues in Spain and Greece to North America’s pro ball Siberia, the minor leagues. Hell, he’s even played in the real Siberia. And in Can I Keep My Jersey?, Shirley finally puts down roots long enough to deliver one of the great locker-room chronicles of the modern age.
With sharp elbows and an even sharper wit, Shirley–whose writings have been described as “wildly entertaining” by The Wall Street Journal–drops hilarious commentary, revealing which teams have the best cheerleaders (he’s spent many a time-out watching them ply their trade), why Christ is rapidly becoming every team’s “sixth man,” and even the best ways to get bloodstains out of your game uniform, using only an ordinary bar of soap and a hotel bathroom sink.
From sharing the court with Kobe and Shaq to perusing the food court at some mall in a bush-league burg; from taking pregame layups to getting laid out by a stray knee from an NBA power forward; from hopping a limo to the team’s charter jet to dashing to catch the van home from a B-league game in Tijuana, Shirley dishes on what it’s like to try to make it as a professional athlete. Can I Keep My Jersey? is a rollicking, thoughtful, even thought-provoking insider’s look at a pro baller’s life on the fringe. Like Jim Bouton’s Ball Four or John Feinstein’s A Season on the Brink, Shirley’s odyssey deserves to find a home on every sports fan’s bookshelf.
Paul Shirley's stories are about an adulthood spent all over the world: living in Spain, playing in the NBA, and having his heart (and spleen) broken. But they're also stories about growing up in small-town Kansas: triumphant spelling bees, catastrophic middle school dances, and a Sex Ed. class taught by his mother. They're funny stories. They're vulnerable stories. Most of all, they're universal stories, just as the stories we tell on dates should be.