Michael Jordan: The Life
The definitive biography of the most legendary basketball player of all time.
Drawing on personal relationships with Jordan's coaches; countless interviews with friends, teammates, family members, and Jordan himself; and decades 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.
When most people think of Michael Jordan, they think of the 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.
that about?” Jordan resumed his pace after the All-Star Weekend. In late February, he scored 58 against the Nets, breaking Chet Walker’s old Bulls regular-season, single-game scoring record of 57. A few days later, despite a painful corn on his left foot, he blasted the Pistons for 61 in an overtime win before 30,281 screaming fans at the Pontiac Silverdome. Down the stretch, Jordan and Isiah Thomas and Adrian Dantley of the Pistons furiously swapped baskets. “Isiah’s play at that time pumped
were the red team and they were getting away with fouling. Michael was just being incredibly physical. And Phil had left to go up to his office. He had to go tend to a phone call or something, and so Phil’s absence definitely led to a situation where it was a little out of control. Michael was talking all kinds of shit. It really is kind of a blur as to what he was saying, but I got really fed up, you know, because I felt like they were fouling every time and Michael was fouling. The assistant
also cleared plenty of free time for his golfing and other interests. Contractually, he wanted an obligation of attending no more than about a half dozen games each season. He also wanted no heavy role in publicizing or marketing Wizards games. That proved difficult for the long-suffering team staff to swallow, especially given Jordan’s magnetism. “It was a worldwide story,” David Aldridge explained. “I’m just talking about the impact of Jordan coming to Washington, in any capacity. As an
furthered the process of whites understanding and coming to terms with the rise of black athletes. This process had begun during the first years of integration, well before Jordan appeared on the scene. But in those first decades of racial collaboration in basketball, many white coaches had a limited understanding of the athletic style of play that had developed in black communities. The only way coaches could learn it was to witness it in action. In high school and, later, at the University of
shots he was getting against Virginia’s zone. “Early in the game, I kept looking for something better,” he explained to reporters afterward. “We wanted to get the ball inside more and maybe get Ralph Sampson to pick up some fouls.” Despite a sore shoulder, he followed Worthy’s advice in the second half and scored 12 points to give him 16 for the game. “I didn’t want him to force anything,” Worthy later told reporters. “But I noticed he passed up shots in the first half that he can make. We