Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Big Shot
|Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Big Shot
|October 26th, 2021
|Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End
|Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Diper Överlöde
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Big Shot is the sixteenth book in the series. It was released on October 26th, 2021. It succeeds Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End and is succeeded by Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Diper Överlöde.
After a disastrous field day competition at school, Greg decides that when it comes to his athletic career, he’s officially retired. But after his mom urges him to give sports one more chance, he reluctantly agrees to sign up for basketball. Tryouts are a mess, and Greg is sure he won’t make the cut. But he unexpectedly lands a spot on the worst team. As Greg and his new teammates start the season, their chances of winning even a single game look slim. But in sports, anything can happen. When everything is on the line and the ball is in Greg’s hands, will he rise to the occasion? Or will he blow his big shot?
Greg starts by saying that he hears that every athlete is born with a special gene and that he was born without one. Susan tells him that every person on a sports team has an important role to play but Greg says that his role is to make everyone else look good. Greg doesn't think he could become a professional athlete, so he says he's retiring.
Greg then writes a flashback about how he used to like sports such as soccer in preschool because you are basically free to do anything, it was chaos, but the adults didn't care. Greg said in soccer, even the refs did not blow the whistles when something goes wrong. The coaches back then would make sure everyone scores at least one point to make kids feel good about themselves. Greg thought he was going to be a professional athlete. However, things started going downhill in kindergarten when the coaches started to become more strict about the rules, the adults were more serious, and the Snack bar is replaced with healthy food. Greg said he'd stand in the corner of the field and not play soccer instead. In summer, Greg and his family would watch the Olympics, however, he thinks if he was in it; he'd have trouble smiling for the camera. He thinks about medals, and if he'd gets a bronze he'll try to sell it.
After summer, there was an announcement for Field Day in school that happens every four years, and this time if you win the competition, you'll have a school day off. Greg is not in the best shape right now, so he tries to change it by going to the gym with his father, Frank. Greg tries to use the equipment, but fails, and gets kicked out of the gym.
Susan Heffley says he needs to eat correctly to get into shape, so they go to the supermarket. Greg states he invites Rowley Jefferson to "tasting parties" because the snacks that Susan buys are awful but the family has to eat them because Susan says they have to clear the cabinets before they get new snacks. Susan explains that some food advertisements are misleading, and says that people such as Chef Marinara is probably just an actor. Greg tries to explain that it's hard to eat things that aren't wrapped up.
Field day is tomorrow, and Mrs. Bosh is pregnant and really wants a day off of school, so she wants the team to do well. Mrs. Bosh tries to spy on other teams to work out their tactics. Mrs. Epstein's class is one Mrs. Bosh is worried about, because they have a lot of athletes, and she also is worried that some adults are going to compete on field day.
After Field Day, Greg explains the main events that happened. Greg only signed up for one event, the three-legged race. Greg had to do almost nothing, because Madison Burke, his partner, dragged him across the race. Greg had to fill in Marcello's role for the fifty-yard dash, and he got the second-to-last place. Greg states that he can run very fast, but just isn't motivated. Greg discovers that Jesse Range fell, making him second-to-last. Mr. Ray's team was cheating, they put their water balloons in the cafeteria freezer and got caught when George Ralston knocked out Mikey Ardalla cold. The final event was tug-of-war and the lunch ladies won with a solid anchoring by Mrs. Frolley. After the competition, Vice Principal Roy says Friday is going to be a no-school day for everyone due to classes, like Mr. Ray's, cheating, and the cafeteria ladies winning. On Friday, Susan took Greg out on things she wanted to do, (like a visit to Dr. Kagan's) however, Greg wants to sleep in. Susan states that he needs to be on a real team, not a class team. She says some of her happiest days were on a team in middle school. Greg wonders how sports got started in the first place and thinks sports are just a way to settle things without needing a war.
Greg states a flashback that he's only been to one professional sports game in his lifetime when Frank took him to the city to watch a football game. Frank didn't want to spend money to park near the stadium so they parked a mile away in a muddy lot where Frank pulled out his portable grill. After that, Greg really needed to go to the bathroom which took a while; although the washroom was not good quality. When they got there, it was already a quarter in. Eventually, Greg figures out there's a big screen above the stadium called a Jumbotron. When there was a break in the game, there would be fan cams on random people in the stadium. Greg stated there was a "Fan of the Game" that he was interested in, so he started doing stunts that could get you on there. Frank didn't like Greg doing stunts, because it was embarrassing him so Frank asked Greg if he could go find snacks. However, when going there, Greg heard a cannon shoot which happens when a home team scores, Greg thought he was in actual danger. After a while of him hiding, he went out after making sure the coast was clear, but he couldn't find his dad. Greg eventually got escorted to the Child Finder Station and had been shown on the Jumbotron, which made Greg use his chance to get fan of the game, in front of the entire audience. Believe it or not, Greg actually won and got two free tickets to the next match but he doesn't remember going to another game after that so he thinks Frank took Rodrick.
Greg says what stuck with him is how they tried to make it entertaining for the fans and his church should learn a few things from it like:
- When they introduce the priest they should dim the lights and play some loud music.
- They could have a mascot to make the service fun for little kids.
- They could put in a half-time show as there are all sorts of crazy stuff you could do for entertainment.
- The biggest upgrade would be if they added a jumbotron as it would help people at the back feel closer to the action.
- They could have a random draw to let people who came late sit at the front.
- Plus, they could encourage people to be a bit more generous when they walk past the donation basket.
- Greg's suggestions make it to the church, however, they have not got back to Greg yet.
Greg was playing video games and hoping that Susan would forget about him joining sports but despite him telling her that sports will be replaced by e-sports in the future, she pressured him which made him decide which sports he wanted to play. Greg remembers a time when he threw a balled-up napkin that landed Justin White's empty milk glass which the whole cafeteria went crazy over and turned lunch into a nightmare where kids would try to re-create Greg's shot. Greg thought his napkin shot proved he had some talent, so he told Susan maybe he could try out for basketball. That got Susan all excited because she played basketball when she was Greg's age, and her team was really good. But the real reason why Greg wanted to join basketball is that there will be a lot of kids trying out so some people will get cut out Susan says that if he gives sports one more try then she'll stop bothering him about it. During tryouts, his original plan went out the window when he saw Susan. Tryouts started off with the evaluators handing out the jerseys which had never been washed. The participants were divided into four groups and they started off with dribbling. Greg was struggling with his hand-eye coordination so the evaluators wrote down his number. Greg stayed behind one of them but all the kids who were bad at basketball copied him. While all of that was happening, Susan and other parents including one of the evaluators were helping their kids out. Then they had switched to their left hand which caused Greg to laugh causing his number to be written down. Next up was free throws and Greg struggled with that because he was used to shooting with balloons. After that they made the bottom 9 kids duke it out.
After school, his parents celebrated his making it on the team. This made Greg confused as he knew for sure that he did not make it but Susan told him that she got the message from one of the coaches, Patel, but this made Greg even more confused because Patel is the father of Preet Patel who's one the best athletes in his grade but later at school, Jabari Bruce told him that Preet had to go to his uncle's funeral so he couldn't be at the tryouts so he couldn't be on a team so his father made him his own team with Preet and all of the kids who got cut at the tryouts.
Greg then introduces his team:
- Dhruv Patel (Coach)
- Preet Patel
- Jabari Bruce
- Tommy Chu
- Darren Woodley
- Marcus Woodley
- Edward Mealy
- Kevin Pomodoro
- Yusef Meskin
- Ruby Bird
Patel meets with his team for the first time in the elementary school and despite all the team members being bad, (except for Preet) he gave a speech that no matter what the team will begin to play the right way. Tommy Chu asked him why they were meeting in the elementary school cafetorium instead of the gym to whom Patel responds that the other teams booked the gym for the season so they had to make do with the leftovers. The team started with dribbling drills and then passing but because of all the tables, half of the team had to practice on the stage that was set up for a kindergarten play. While they were practicing, they made a ton of mistakes and when they did, Patel made them run sprints to the other side of the cafetorium but everyone was more tired which caused them to make more mistakes so, after a while, everyone except for Preet was running sprints. After practice, Susan wanted to hear what Greg did today and he replies that his team sucks.
Greg then tells Susan that he is worried about being the one missing the final shot in a basketball game. Greg then writes about a guy named Anthony Grow who, twenty years ago, missed the final shot in a soccer game and lost to the town's biggest rival, Slacksville. He can't go anywhere without people harassing him about it. Susan tried to make him feel better by telling him that she was a backup point guard on her middle-school basketball team and in the championship the score was tied when the regular point guard got hurt but she got double-teamed and with the clock ticking down, she made her shot which came just short. She said that she was glad that it happened as it made her a better person which made Greg even more nervous.
The next entry starts off with Greg on why he should have chosen a different sport than basketball. The reasons why are:
- There are practices three times a week plus one on Sunday and on top of that he has to keep up with his school work.
- Greg can't get any sleep because his mom went out and brought a basketball hoop but since his school took down the outdoor hoops, teens come in and play basketball all night and when his dad called the cops, the cops played with the teens.
- Practice also starts at 9:30 pm.
The first night of practice took place at the gym but Patel forgot to bring his bag of basketballs. While he was gone, the team discovered a bunch of equipment in the Phys Ed closet so they started having fun and created their own game. However, it came to an end when Patel came back with the basketballs. They started practicing free throws but everyone, except for Preet, was struggling even when Patel tried to teach them the right way to shoot it. Greg got frustrated so he decided to shoot it backward which went in and his teammates tried to replicate it. Patel then told them that they weren't gonna improve if they carried on horsing around. After a few nights of just shooting and dribbling, Patel said that they are gonna scrimmage.
Greg and his teammates were excited that they were gonna play a game for once but then that's when the Men's League showed up. Patel and one of the guys on the team started to argue about the time they booked the gym but then Patel came up with a solution: Play a game against them and whoever won would have the court.
The Men's League warmed up for a very long time and then the game started.
The game started up with Preet getting the tip-off but then the Men's League came back and started destroying them. One of the reasons was because they didn't stop saying corny stuff such as "You reach I teach" and "I'm calling bank" which started getting into Greg and his teammates' heads and made them struggle. At that point, the Men's League figured out that Preet was the only good player on Greg's team so whenever he would get the ball the Men's League would be all over him. Preet was frustrated so when he got the ball, he ran to the other side of the court and he decided to dunk it. But he wasn't tall enough to do it so he broke his ankle and the Men's League won.
In the next practice, Patel gave a speech about how injuries were part of sports and that they were gonna have to step it up. He tried to teach them techniques to help them score, they started with five on three but nobody could get the ball in so it was now five on two then five on one but they still weren't able to score so it was now five on zero. They eventually made a shot by luck when Darren passed the ball to Marcus who didn't catch it and it bounced onto Yusef's head and went in. Towards the end of practice, Patel handed out the team's uniforms which were recycled from tryouts, and had a sponsor that was closed for code violations.
The next practice was their first game of the season at the elementary school. Patel wrote some new plays on paper but none of the people on the team understood what they meant. Then the game started against Franklin.
Franklin won the tip-off and made a layup. Whenever Kevin got the ball, he had to take out his retainer so people would understand him and eventually Franklin caught on so they kept stealing the ball while Greg's team was trying to follow Patel's new plays.
Patel started subbing kids out of the game and Greg was worried that he was gonna put him in and Susan wasn't helping either. The gym was old which caused problems. At one point Tommy Chu tried to get a rebound but he hit his head on the wall. Someone threw a bad pass and the ball landed in the urinal in the bathroom, near the gym and by halftime, the score was 38-6 in Franklin's favor. During halftime, Patel gave a speech about a group of Scottish warriors who were outnumbered by their enemies but they won because they stuck together and after that speech, the team was ready. Before the second half started, the team helped themselves to Woodley's cooler which they used from a summer vacation that was not clean. The second half started and even though the team was fired up from Patel's speech, they still performed terribly. Patel put Greg and the rest of the team in but things were still the same.
After the game ended Susan said that Patel should've run different plays and that Greg should've gotten more playing time. Frank tried to make Greg feel better by saying that his team would've won if it was golf.
The next day, Greg talks about how sports separate people. He says that the reason why Plainview hates the surrounding towns is that they always destroy them in sport and the town that they hate the most is Slacksville. A hundred years ago, Plainview was supposed to get their own jewelry factory but bigwigs from Slacksville came in and stole the factory which begin the rivalry. A few months ago, the Mayor of Slacksville called the Mayor of Plainview about making a peace offer by donating wood to the bonfire in the park but turns the wood was chemically treated after they put down the wood in the middle of the park which Slacksville's mayor found to be funny. The wood remained in the park and decayed over time, with raccoons beginning to live in it. The reason why Greg brought up Slacksville was that his next game was at Slacksville High.
His team began to warm up while the Slacksville crowd was constantly booing.
The game starts off with Slacksville hitting a three-pointer, they then stole the ball and made another one and now they were twenty points ahead. After that they started running a full-court press and they were blocking Greg's team from passing the ball and every time there was a rebound, the Slacksville center would steal the ball. During halftime, Patel gave another speech about how they were representing their town and that they needed to fight hard. However, Ruby and Yusef took it literally and started beating up the Slacksville team (although the Woodley brothers started fighting against each other instead). Patel put Greg and Tommy Chu in after Yusef and Ruby got ejected for fighting. Patel told the team to run one of his new plays and it worked. The score was now 52-2 which annoyed Slacksville. However, the Slacksville coach put his starters back in the game and they had already scored 23 points.
Slacksville kept running up the score and soon they hit 101 points since the board could only display 2 digits, it looked like Greg's team was ahead. So they started going crazy on the bench, and that ticked off Slacksville. The clock was ticking down and the team was playing hard but despite their best efforts Slacksville made one more shot and they lapped Greg's team, finishing the game with a final score of 103-2.
After Slacksville, Greg's team played a few more games but they never won a single one and things got worse so Mr. Marconi removed the sponsorship from Greg's team. Eventually, the other teams' coaches felt sorry for them so they tried a lot of things to help them win but that still didn't change the results the rec league dropped Greg's team level but they still couldn't win. At the last game, the team did the victory bath on Patel, ate at Marconi's Sub Shop and he handed out awards to every player since no one was good this season, he got creative. Patel then gave a speech about him being proud of the team for trying even though none of them were good. Patel then said that he was done but Susan couldn't let it go and showed him a flyer of Second Chance Tournament where all the teams that had never won a single game competed against each other Patel said that he wasn't willing to put the team through any more misery.
A week later, Susan invited Greg's team to their house and told everyone that she was gonna be their new coach and that they were gonna be in the Second Chance Tournament. She then handed out new uniforms from her own pocket money. Susan's coaching style was a lot different from Patel's. Instead of helping the team get better at basketball, she tried to help them with their team skill. One of the exercises was: You sit in a circle and one person passes the ball to the person right next to them and that person has to tell something about themselves. When Edward Mealy got the ball he started getting emotional, talking about how his stepmom is strict and doesn't like the turtle he got for his birthday. He took so long that Susan had to grab the ball and pass it to the next person. After that Susan tried to teach them some drills that her team used but none of them got the hang of it.
The next day, the Second Chance Tournament took place. Susan rented a big van and told everyone that there was a chance that they may be playing for more than one day but everyone overpacked such as Yusef packing two loaves of bread and a bunch of supplies for sandwiches and a backpack filled with chocolate-covered raisins. Jabari also brought his video game system and a computer monitor so the team can play games in the van but Susan had to pull into a repair shop at one point because the circuit board got overloaded. Finally, they arrived at the place where the tournament would be taking place, which was an old prison that is scheduled to be torn down next year. Susan went to the desk to register but she had to change the team's name since there was another team called Huskies. She renamed the team Winter Dogs.
The first game starts off against the Mathlete All-Stars which was a team with a bunch of nerds. But they made up for their lack of basketball skill with their brains. The final score was 37-30 for the Mathlete All-Stars. After that, Susan told Greg and his teammates that they will be playing until they win which made Greg shocked. The next game was against The Brawlers who got thrown out for fighting. It did not take long for a fight to break out after Ruby jumped on one of the kids' backs. Because of that none of the team scored much and the final score was 6-5 for The Brawlers. The referees didn't even blow their whistles even once, as they didn't want to get beaten up. The next game was against Stage Whisperers and they won because they confused Greg's team by acting. If they moved anywhere close to them they would flop and act as if they got injured, and that resulted in Greg's team having 15 personal fouls in the first quarter, even though they never even touched them. They scored almost all of their points from the free throw line, and the final score was 33-17 for the Stage Whisperers.
The next round wasn't until the next day so Susan rented the last two rooms in the hotel. Susan rented one for her and Ruby and one for the rest of the boys. It wasn't a very pleasant experience for Greg as his team was having a Pillow fight and it made Greg want to call security. But he didn't and Greg's team started an ice cube fight and hit a sprinkler on the ceiling which triggered the fire alarm and everyone in the hotel had to stay outside for two hours in the freezing cold while the fire department reset the alarms. Susan was annoyed but she was focused on trying to win a game. Because of the incident, all the other teams wanted revenge on them and they played hard. The next team was the only all-girl team in the tournament called the Banshees and they were going all out. In the third quarter, Susan had to take Ruby out of the game and decided to put Greg in, which he did not like at all because of the girls being too aggressive, saying that it was like throwing raw meat at a bunch of wolfs and that he didn't remember the final score. What he did know was that the Banshees won and they got to go home. After that, a game happened between the Original Huskies and the Funky Dunkers and Greg mentions that they both looked terrible but the Funky Dunkers only had 5 players so they ran out of steam in the end.
Before the final match against the Funky Dunkers, Greg realizes that at the end of this round, one team will go home as the worst basketball team and he sees that his mom is under a lot of pressure because of it. Before the game started, Preet and Mr. Patel walked through the doors. Preet was wearing a boot so he could walk. Susan asked him if he would be willing to play and he said yes. Susan came up with a new strategy that everyone understood which was "get the ball to Preet." The game started off with Greg's team winning the tip-off. Yusef passed to Preet who was better on one leg than everyone on Greg's team but Preet couldn't run so the Funky Dunkers would get an easy basket every time he would make a shot. Just before halftime, Preet got the ball and a lot of the kids on the Funky Dunkers were trying to stop him from shooting he accidentally stepped on their point guard's foot with his boot so he couldn't play for the rest of the game. The head ref said that since the Funky Dunkers didn't have a full team they were gonna have to forfeit. The other coach didn't have a problem with it but Susan did and said she wanted to win fair and square so she sent Greg over to the other team. As he walked to the other team, Susan whispered "You're my secret weapon!" to him. Greg was confused but he was willing to help the team win and that included putting on someone else's uniform. Greg's new teammates didn't trust Greg with the ball so they didn't pass it to him. After a few minutes, Greg just stood in the corner. Preet would hit some crazy shot and someone on the Funky Dunkers would score at the other end and that went on for a while. Then Preet missed a three-pointer and the ball came to Greg and all of Greg's former teammates were all over him. The clock was ticking down, with the Winter Dogs being 2 points ahead, Greg looked at Susan and she didn't look like she was rooting for him. That's when Greg realized why Susan sent him to the other team and that's because he stunk and she knew that he'll blow it for the other team. But by that point, Greg didn't care so he threw the ball and made a backward half-court shot.
That was enough to put the Funky Dunkers ahead by three points. The game ended and Greg's new team won. Greg stated that he finally knew what it felt like to be the hero and why people were always making a big deal about sports. Greg and his new teammates went out to get ice cream and talked about doing this again next year. Greg says that it might be fun but sometimes you just need to quit while you're ahead.
The title and cover of Big Shot were revealed through Amazon on May 26th, 2021.
- For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Big Shot.
Names in other languages
- In a tweet, Jeff Kinney reveals that the book was almost named "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Long Shot".
- It took ten full days for Jeff to figure out the first line of the book.
- Book 16 has localization on page eleven on international versions of the book, the flag Manny is holding will represent the country from the book's language.
- This is the first book to have three colors on the cover and spine.