Synopses & Reviews
The definitive biography of the most legendary basketball player of all time.
When most people think of Michael Jordan, they think of the beautiful shots, his body totally in sync with the ball, hitting nothing but net. He is responsible for incredible moments so ingrained in basketball history that they have their own names: The Shrug, The Shot, The Flu Game. But for all his greatness, there's also a dark side to Jordan: a ruthless competitor, a gambler. There's never been a biography that balanced these personas — until now.
Drawing on personal relationships with Jordan's coaches; countless interviews with friends, teammates, family members, and Jordan himself; and a career in the trenches covering Jordan in college and the pros, Roland Lazenby provides the first truly definitive study of Jordan: the player, the icon, and the man.
"Michael Jordan's role as handsome pitchman/basketball champion belies a complicated life in this hefty, revelatory biography by veteran basketball author Lazenby (Jerry West: The Life and Legend of a Basketball Icon). Nearly branded a lost cause by his parents, Jordan turned his passion for hoops into a furious work ethic that included not stopping one-on-one games until he won and catching an early morning ride with his high school coach to the gym before school. As Jordan's fame grew hitting the game-winning shot for the University of North Carolina in the 1982 NCCA Championship, reviving the Chicago Bulls with his aerial artistry, winning six NBA titles his world grew into a turbulent fishbowl. Fame became so overwhelming that he limited his circle of friends to a select few; his family, torn apart by accusations and bad business decisions, became irritants. The search for competition was almost toxic: he created feuds with players to elevate his game. And his corrosive relationship with Bulls general manager Jerry Krause, a blunt personality, helped hasten the break-up of a dynasty. Lazenby's work isn't definitive Jordan, after all, is still alive but it yields a fascinating examination into the lonely, prideful man behind the glimmering icon." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"When a world-class biographer writes about a world-class athlete, you have a biography for the ages. This is the ultimate study of Michael Jordan, and I know you will be as captivated as I was." Pat Williams, Orlando Magic senior vice president, author of Coach Wooden's Greatest Secret
"Studded with insights." Kirkus Reviews
"MJ's life is a movie worth watching again, and Lazenby adds enough deleted scenes to add some oomph to the familiar story." Booklist
"It's not every day that I'm blown away by a book about a sports figure. But Michael Jordan: The Life, by Roland Lazenby, ranks up there with the very best: The Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn, Friday Night Lights by Buzz Bissinger, and Joe DiMaggio by Richard Ben Cramer. The depth of reporting, his frequent ascent into poetry, and his intelligent analysis of the life of this complicated, fascinating American icon deserve Pulitzer Prize consideration. For the first time I understand what makes Michael Jordan tick. I was captivated, fascinated and beguiled from beginning to end." Peter Golenbock, New York Times-bestselling author of George and In the Country of Brooklyn
About the Author
Roland Lazenby has taught journalism at Virginia Tech and Radford University for two decades and is the author of Mindgames: The Long, Strange Journey of Phil Jackson, Jerry West, and Blood on the Horns, among other books. He is a frequent contributor to sports documentaries, including ESPN's Sports Century, and a regular guest on television and radio programs. Lazenby's work has been cited in numerous publications and websites, including Sports Illustrated, the Washington Post, and NBA.com. He lives in Salem, Virginia.