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Publisher's Summary

Seventeen-time all-star; scorer of 81 points in a game; MVP; and a shooting guard second only to Jordan in league history: Kobe Bryant is one of basketball's absolute greatest players, a fascinating and complicated character who knew when he was a mere boy that he would be better than Jordan on the court.

The debate about whether he achieved that is a furious one - but Kobe has surpassed Jordan on the all-time scoring list and has only one less championship than Jordan (five to Jordan's six).

The Lakers are the flashiest team in all of sports, and the context in which Bryant played is salacious and exciting. Provocative stories mixed with good old fashioned basketball reporting make for a riveting and essential listen for any hoops fan.

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

©2016 Roland Lazenby (P)2016 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"With surgical precision, Roland Lazenby expertly dissects the life of this generation's most fascinating basketball player. What made Kobe Bryant tick so loud for so long? Lazenby shows you with a tour de force in reporting and an intimate inspection at Bryant's trials, accomplishments and tribulations." (Jonathan Abrams, author of Boys Among Men)
"A lot has been written about arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan, but Roland Lazenby's Michael Jordan: The Life is easily the definitive version. The journalist has covered Jordan's career for nearly thirty years and his knowledge of the game and of this miraculous player shows in what is one of the best sports biographies in years." (Parade)
"Engaging.... Lazenby, author of Michael Jordan: The Life, turns his eye to another basketball legend: the recently retired Kobe Bryant." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Only for a die hard NBA/Lakers fan

I had been hoping for more insight into Kobe as an athlete, but what I found instead was a book about his father's life followed by a lot of specific scores and games during his career as a Laker and a background on Adidas. The narrator was great, but just not what I had hoped for.

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The Definition of Confidence.

This book was a great prospective into the world Kobe's work ethic, determination, and unwavering confidence. The author did a fantastic job gathering information from the people that lived it and experienced these events in real time. The narrator did an excellent job over the course of the hours giving an enthusiastic performance.

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Thanks Kobe Bean Bryant! Focus and Determination!

Loved it! If not the Greatest Laker, definitely on the Lakers Mount Rushmore!! Thanks Kobe for the memories!! In my opinion better than Jordan.

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Well done, if a little heavy on the Jellybean...

Great narration
HEAVY on the Jellybean Bryant backstory.
But once it gets rolling on the actual Kobe stuff, well worth it

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A Book only a Kobe hater would love!!!

This is a book only an editor could love or authors of college text books. There is no flights of fancy, few lines that are not workmen like, as if the book was rushed to cash in on the Kobe retired moment.

There was no myth building, no indulgence for nostalgia, no allowance for awe or wonder. A brutal telling of the facts, as if someone for some reason wanted to tie a narrative arc around a Wikipedia entry.

Never mentioning the easy juxtaposition of The Utah Jazz being both the team against whom he had his early growing pains (three air balls)and also being the team that he dropped 60 on, on his last game.

Nor any talk that a player so much derided for not passing, not a word about his last act on a NBA court being a pass.

Often over relying on media members or their work and former (AKA bitter) Lakers staff members at the expenses of players, coaches, actual family member and Kobe himself.

The author points a spotlight on lesser figures far less central to the story, might be due most likely to the lack of access.

If your a Laker fan and/or a Kobe fan, please skip this one.


  • Overall

Mamba Mentality

paints the picture of Kobe's drive to be the best. a look at the rise and average peak of his father's career