Michael Jordan: The Life

Book Review by Leo Trevino

The Bulls!

Whew, living as a kid in the era of his Airness, Air Jordan, and the championship Chicago Bulls run and dominance in the NBA was quite a time to experience.

Michael Jordan had the ability to take the basketball experience to another level, bringing in fans from around the world and forever changing the game as we know it.

But his basketball career started way before Chicago, and his drive for being the best was something that haunted him since his early days.

In Roland Laneby’s biography Michael Jordan: The Life, you get a glimpse of what it took for the man, to become the legend.

Here are my key takeaways…

  • Jordan had a very close relationship with his parents. It was his drive to make his father proud that drove him to seek victory in his early years, and then beyond.
  • With his involvement in many sports, he grew a natural tendency towards basketball at an early age when his father installed a basketball court at their home. Laying the seed for what was to become.
  • Jordan didn’t take failure lightly. Something that would become such a dominating mental motivation for him. In high school, as a freshman trying out for varsity, he didn’t make the cut. In college as a freshman, they didn’t let him be involved in a sports illustrated cover photo. He ultimately used these as fuel to the fire to be better.
  • In the early years of his professional run, he didn’t yet develop much of a team work effort. It wasn’t until he got much older and experienced that he fully developed this skill, coinciding perfectly with playoff and championship runs.
  • Many teammates and those who knew Jordan personally would talk about his absolute obsession with winning coupled with his absolute detest of losing. And because of it, he would completely out work everyone. If you weren’t working as hard as he was, he wasn’t shy about letting you know.
  • He made himself notorious in the league in the beginning and throughout his career with his many endorsements, and especially with his deal with Nike. Just recently, the owner of Nike wrote an autobiography that is on my “To Read List,” called Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike. I couldn’t imagine some insights into the deal with Jordan in this book. Jordan’s impact on Nike was exponentially huge.
  • Jordan was that rare individual that not only worked harder and had the deepest drive for winning than nearly anyone who played the game at that time, but it was coupled with his amazing physical talent that wasn’t matched for years in the NBA.

Great book for anyone who wants to dive into what it took to be a champion for Jordan. The highs, the lows, the joys of having made it, the pains of the content taste and insanity of his immense popularity, and the hope that he can continue to leave his legacy.

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