The Crossover

The Crossover Metaphors and Similes

Metaphor: "See, when I play ball, / I'm on fire. / When I shoot, / I inspire. / The hoop's for sale, / and I'm the buyer" (5)

Alexander uses numerous metaphors when describing the experience of watching or playing basketball; this is merely one of the first. Josh says first that he is "on fire," revealing that he knows he is fierce and is doing very well. Then he says that the hoop is "for sale" and he is "the buyer," a cute way of showing that he "owns" the hoop because he "bought it" with his prowess.

Metaphor: "In this game of life / your family is the court / and the ball is your heart. / No matter how good you are, / no matter how down you get, / always leave / your heart / on the court" (20)

This is one of Dad's basketball rules, and it resonates throughout the entire text. Dad uses basketball terms to say that the game is life and the court is your family: no matter how hard things are, you need to remember to always "stay" in your family because that is where you belong. By the end of the text, Alexander has ably borne out this metaphor that family is everything.

Metaphor: "If you miss / enough of life's / free throws / you will pay / in the end" (71)

This is one of the most important Basketball Rules in the novel. The metaphor suggests that in life, there will be moments—"free throws" randomly awarded to the player—that you must take advantage of—otherwise, in the end, you will have wasted them and will suffer as a result. In the novel, this could refer to Dad ignoring the warning signs about his health and then passing away.

Simile: Dad's take on talking to JB

When Josh complains to Dad about JB and his new girlfriend and how Dad ought to talk to him and tell him he's neglecting the family, Dad laughs and says, "Filthy, talking to your brother / right now / would be like pushing water uphill / with a rake, son" (91). This Sisyphean task of trying to push water up a hill with a rake is an effective way of suggesting how useless it is to try to get through to JB. As the water would slip through the rungs of the rake, so Dad's words would fall on JB's deaf ears.