The Basketball Diaries follows the personal diary of a young Jim Carroll, and how his life took a turn growing up on the New York streets. Jim and his friends were basketball stars, winning almost every game, but as they grew into their teenage years they got sucked in by the street, skipping school and experimenting with drugs. This book is much more than a story about some kid’s basketball career, it is the reality of someone like Jim living in New York, giving in to temptation and getting so bad that he even resorted to robbing people on the street to have enough money for one hit. In Jim’s crazy stories there is never a dull moment, whether it’s winning the big game or being chased by the police after a drug deal goes bad.
As the story progresses Jim begins to lose control of his habits, showing up high to basketball games or even school, and eventually loses his spot on the team and gets kicked out of the house. Jim becomes addicted to heroin, a cheap drug easily accessible on almost every street corner, and began living day to day not even knowing how he was going to eat that night. After some encounters with the police and months in a drug use facility he tries to turn his life around, but the dangerous streets come back for him showing how anyone can become a victim to this life. After receiving help Jim finally got his life going, using his writing to become a well known poet to this day and sharing his stories about growing up in New York.