Jake Appleman grew up simulating baseball games in his backyard by himself, pitching to imaginary pros and envisioning the rest. He tried to game the Little League establishment by booting ground balls on purpose at a tryout so he could sink his draft stock and join a stacked team. It almost worked. He struck out to end the World Series that year in front of a lot of people and shifted his focus to basketball.
A native New Yorker, Jake grew up rooting for the Knicks, who were supposed to override Michael Jordan and corporate America at least once. Even though he thought Madison Square Garden was the greatest place in the world and that he would never wash his hand after shaking Patrick Ewing’s, he attended his first Nets game around the same time and Shaq ripped the basket down.
The Nets were always around and in Jake’s senior year of high school he pretended to be a Nets beat reporter for a thesis project. The project launched the beginning of his career covering LeBron’s first three seasons in Cleveland for SLAM magazine while a student at Kenyon College.
Jake continued to write for SLAM following graduation while also writing for NBC, Vibe, and covering the Nets for NBA.com. During the NBA lockout in 2011, Jake went to Europe and covered soccer and basketball for the New York Times.
Jake returned to New York and secured a book deal with Scribner to cover the Nets’ inaugural season in Brooklyn, while contributing a chapter to the anthology We'll Always Have Linsanity and writing for the Times, ESPN and GQ.
Brooklyn Bounce was published in hardcover in 2014 and paperback in 2015.
Jake Appleman writes and lives in New York City.