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Publisher's Summary

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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2014 Roland Lazenby (P)2014 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"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-best-selling author of George and In the Country of Brooklyn)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Eye Opener

I loved it! I feel I know Jordan personally. I learned about things I never knew before about Jordan. it took me back to when I started following basketball.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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You don't know Jordan

Beautifully written story of the man who changed the NBA. His successes as a player is less than half the story, with his many personal struggles off the court revealing he is indeed human like the rest of us.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • TF
  • 11-26-15

All I Hoped For and Much More

If you were a sports fan in the 80's and 90's, or even if you just have an interest in Michael, you will not be thrilled with this book. Packed with details that begin with his family line 2-3 generations before his birth, the story still moves at a pace that never feels slow. Not even close. It was almost like watching one of Michael's legendary playoff performances on TV, every minute of it, with Marv Albert providing game commentary and Ahmad Rashad adding sideline stories. When it ended, I was satisfied, more than satisfied, but I wanted more. Ultimately, despite the author hardly holding back on sharing Michael's missteps and foibles in his illustrious life, I felt a surge of inspiration, appreciation, and desire to keep rooting for an athlete who I realized was so much more than that to me throughout my own life. Not to mention, the closest thing the sports world will ever see to a human superhero. EXCELLENT BOOK.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great book!!!

About competing with yourself end everything around you. Strugle and sweet and how to love what is hard to do.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Solid on the basketball, light on the life

I was hoping to learn more about the adult life of Jordan. Major life events were glossed over. His divorce was barely mentioned, to the point where if you weren't paying attention, you might have missed it.

What kind of father is Jordan? Why did he do so much charity work?

I have lots of questions. Perhaps because of Jordan's famous privacy the author couldn't address these questions.

But the basketball stories...oh, the book is worth it just for that.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great read !!!

I really appreciated all the rich details that broke down the formula and environment that fostered the legend we know as Michael Jordan.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Behind the curtain

Where does Michael Jordan rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This audiobook provides a glimpse behind the curtain at the grand Wizard of basketball.
Lazenby reveals what motivated the man that became an icon, how celebrity and fame affected him; his behavior both on and off the court, in front of the cameras and behind the scenes both good and bad. This book paints a more complete picture of the man called Michael, I highly recommend it.

Who was your favorite character and why?

There were too many characters in the Life of Michael Jordan, but perhaps the most interesting was Michael himself. Lost in the shroud of iconography, we sometimes fail to realize he was a man as well, with warts and flaws, as well as gifts.

Which scene was your favorite?

I enjoyed learning about Michael's relationship with his teammates and coach Phil Jackson. I really enjoyed Steve Kerr's perspective.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

This is a long ass book, but packed with lots of information and I took my time listening and digesting what I heard. It was not a one sitting listen.

Any additional comments?

Get this book, Just Do It!

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Wow!

this is such a wonderful book. I loved the narration and the detail that was given by the author. brilliant look at an exceptional man!

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Discovery

If you want to know everything about Michael Jordan before he was born and early life this book is for you. This book dives into knowing how the legend became to be. With that said it was a good read.

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Beautiful, raw story of basketballs greatest.

If you're a Michael Jordan fan (or even a basketball fan), this book is a must read.

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  • Konstantin
  • 10-01-17

Slightly boring

up to now, sometimes, it's like it's like hearing basketball games on the radio. you do not have the feeling that mj is talking about his life

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-17-17

a bit boring

i was hoping to learn more about his pychology and why he became a success. heard his story told by Tony Robbins so decided to learn more. if the biography would be written by Tony Robbins i would like it more

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  • Obi 1
  • 11-29-16

the worst sports book ever

so much could be discussed instead it loses you in his family history before even getting to the main person we want to hear about

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  • Lance Johnson
  • 11-19-16

The most detailed and easy to follow story on Mike

What did you like most about Michael Jordan?

Mike was a person with talent that harnessed hard work to become Super Talented.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mike - he is fantastic to learn about.

Which character – as performed by Bob Souer – was your favourite?

Mike

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

One of many amazing stories of Mike's ultra-competitiveness in the book is the story of Mike and the Table Tennis - he plays table tennis for the first time against some of the Bulls players and got beaten badly. Mike got so angry, he went that day, played table tennis continuously until he beat every single player on the team, to the point no one wanted to play against him.

Any additional comments?

Mike was a basketball player in the 80s and 90s who had amazing skills - see his highlights on YouTube. This book, as far I am concerned has the most details of his life as far as I have read. And I have read - Hang Time, Rebound, The Jordan Rules, Michael Jordan and the World he made, For the Love of the Game, I can't Accept Not Trying, Driven from Within. I recommend Rebound (how Jordan tried baseball/came back to basketball -see his work ethic close up) and I can't accept not trying - how to achieve ur goals Jordan style.

This book will take u through Jordan's life from his childhood up until after he left the Wizards. It has amazing inspirational stories, interviews with many of his friends - and lots of details mentioning some of the books above. The author has presented it well, and it was an easy listen.

This book is for all people - learn about a man - who was always second guessed, where people would try to feed doubt in his mind, and learn how this drove him harder to perform and achieve.

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  • N. Drennan
  • 05-21-16

A great insight into a great man

A great read even if you don't know much about basketball . It gives real insight into Mr Michael Jordan the legend . Recommended.

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  • Aston Jones
  • 04-13-16

Brother Mike..

A deep felt look into any through the life of Michael Jordan. There were times of give up and walk away. I have gained a new respect for Brother Mike.

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  • J. Kofi
  • 11-08-15

Too much focus on games, stats with less of JORDAN

I was hesitant to read this book when others mentioned it's too long winded but I give it a chance anyway and boy am I disappointed - there's so much basketball lingo and focus on eating every basketball game it over padded this book completely this could have been 3/4 the length and more interesting if it focused on Jordan as a man and his food processors and him himself this was a serious chore and ridiculously long - some parts were admitted me interesting but they were far and few between this is way too long way too long and not recommended 4 Non Diehard basketball fans not Jordan fans basketball fans in general cause this book covers too much other stuff when it should be focused on Jordan

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  • Paul
  • 09-16-15

Disappointing, got so bored i stopped listening.

What could Roland Lazenby have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

I got around half way through but just couldn’t get in to it. There was too much about his ancestors, and too much unnecessary info on stats and scores on a tonne of games Michael had played in. All of this dragged out the book for too long, even though there were some interesting parts mixed in that did hold my attention about his life outside of basketball. If you are not a massive basketball fan like myself I think you will be disappointed.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Agree with what another reviewer put, like a robot. Did my head in!

Any additional comments?

I can’t comment on the second half but if its anything like the first, this one is 100% worth saving your money or credits on.

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  • pete
  • 05-05-15

brilliant. very enjoyable and insightful

Really got into the detailed biography. very long winded beginning about his ancestors though. Could have done without that part

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  • A.S.Groombridge
  • 12-01-14

Fascinating...from a casual basketball fan

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I found it hard to listen to this in separate sections and was disappointed that it had to finish. It was a truly fascinating insight into a sporting legend and I was gripped. As a casual basketball fan in my youth, I feared that I might not connect with it but transpired to be a detailed and intriguing account.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Vivek dsilva
  • 10-18-15

Unbelievable!!

Would you listen to Michael Jordan again? Why?

I have been a MJ fan for a long long time and even I did not know the level of competitiveness that this man needs to survive..I have to hear it again because there were parts I could not believe he was human.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Michael Jordan?

Preety much every championship he won.

What does Bob Souer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Great voice.Somehow it fits in with the 90's timeline.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It left me in awe.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Timothy
  • 01-28-18

It’s ok. Story about the greatest basketballs ever.

I liked this. It was really interesting but it did go on and on about scores of games and the running commentary of the games. I am oils of liked to know more about the drive of this man. Why, he acted the way he did with gambling? For a 20 hour audiobook, it left questions unanswered.

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  • Osman Bahemia
  • 01-21-18

boring narrator. expected more

I was hoping to hear insights into Jordan's career. unfortunately it was a drab and boring account of his career. The narrator was terrible, very monotonous and no inflection.

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  • John
  • 10-04-17

AWESOME

Great insight into the way he thought and saw things and where his drive to be the greatest came from.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-15-17

informative

great very informative lots of information i dd not know about Michael Jordan worth reading

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  • Lloyd
  • 02-11-17

Good story

Good story however a bit slow in a lot of parts.
I did skip some chapters.

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  • 0433980934
  • 02-02-17

Good but not great

I really enjoyed this well researched book but it could have been better. It does lack a personal feel and the criticism of Jordan's hall of fame speech is ludicrous. At times the narrative wanders away from the Michael Jordan story. It doesn't captivate.

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  • D. Emerson
  • 02-01-17

Top story, poorly read

Amazing insightful story which highlights the ups and downs of a great man. It brought back a lot of memories of my childhood and one of my heroes. The only downside is the narrator who sounds quite robotic

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  • Zahin
  • 12-12-16

Loved it!!

Well written and narrated. Captivating - had me looking forward to my commute to work and back.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-07-16

An inspiring story from start to finish.

Fantastically detailed. Awe inspiring. What a crazy, competitive, committed man and family. So many ups and down and out of this world achievements.