There is no one in sports that I love more than MJ, being a Bulls fan since the 1960s. I still love Michael, but this book was a supreme disappointment. By and large, it is an all too detailed history of the design and sales success of his shoes and newer clothing line, peppered with Michael's passages about being determined and "driven", which all ring true, but have been stated many times before and in better form. If you really want to learn about MJ, I would suggest Playing for Keeps by David Halberstam or The Golden Boys by Cameron Stauth, which profiles the members of the 1992 Olympic Dream Team. The profiles on MJ and the other team members are probably the best I have read on elite professional athletes. If you want some great photos and a book written by MJ, Rare Air is much better than this one.
I am not a sports fan in any sense, but I went to Borders with a friend and ended up reading the entire book in the store (she eventually left me). One of the reviewers mentioned how this book is about "brand Jordan", well of course. In the book he talks about how Brand Jordan is a reflection of who he is and how it is something that he stays true to. It is something that he grew from nothing, when people thought Basketball players endorsing shoes wouldn't be profitable. It actually mentioned how tennis players marketing shoes were the gold mine when he started. I am only twenty-five so that tidbit of information made me laugh, hard. There was a lot of reference to the shoes, but the shoes are what started brand Jordan. He talks about not being driven by opinion polls or marketing fads. There are interesting references to the technology behind making the shoes and the collaboration with Michael Jordan and his push to have a shoe that was stylish and functional. He wouldn't agree to anything that wasn't. Despite what advertisers have said I viewed shoes to be purely fuctional the idea of them being cutting edge technology totally missed me. I don't believe a lot of current sports stars or celebrities devote that kind attention to items they put their names on. In a culture that loves to give accolades to achievement and forget the work that went into making that achievement possible, this book serves as a reminder. Excellence is about pushing yourself, when it hurts, when people tell you that you are chasing the impossible dream, when maybe, just maybe, you think they are right. You need to push forward anyway. If you like stories about rising above the odds and laughing in the face of nay Sayers, this is a book for you.
You will like this book much more if you are a Jordan worshipper, but there is also much to learn if you are not a Jordan fan or even a sports fan. This book is about how Jordan approaches life, basketball, and business. There are wonderful anecdotes from his mom, his agent, friends, and Nike executives. Regardless of what you think of Jordan, you will get something out of this book if you respect his work ethic. You will also realize that being true to who you are is very important in life, no matter how many people disagree with your decisions or criticize you. Maybe I read a little deeper into this book than most, but I thought it was great. Definitely worth the two hours it took to read it.
***I have had the pleasure of being around Michael Jordan at various golf tournaments over the last several years, and while I do not pretend to "know" him, my perception of him coincides with the people who were featured in the book and who have known him for 20 years or more. Therefore, I found the information in the book quite authentic. ***One of the reviewers of this book said it reads more like an advertisement for Brand Jordan. I found the process related to the development of the brand and the coinciding events in Jordan's life to be revealing and a good read. Furthermore, I hope more people are aware of Brand Jordan, because printed on each shoe box and on each cardboard tag on Brand Jordan items is the message, "a portion of the proceeds from the purchase of Jordan products support educational initiatives." The Jordan Fundamental Education Grant program awards $2500 grants to teachers in impoverished schools. Buy Brand Jordan and you are supporting education. ***Despite how much one might think he/she knows about Michael Jordan, there were several new stories and accurate insights about stories we all have heard about. This is a beautifully done book; for those who read "For the Love of the Game," this book is laid out in a similar way but on a smaller scale. Original artwork, great photographs, and two well-placed pictorial fold outs, make this a unique book to look at. However, the insights of the people close to Michael Jordan regarding events in his life, and his perceptions of the same events, make the format of the book an interesting and enjoyable read.
I am a big fan of basketball as well as Michael Jordan and this book is just awesome! It gives a very good description of Michael Jordan's life, and how his life is put into his shoes.
The book tells of Michael Jordan's life with his family, throughout school, and of course throughout his whole basketball career. Many people think of Michael Jordan as a selfish basketball player, but when you get done with this book, you will think differently.
The book also has great pictures of Michael Jordan in his daily life, on the basketball court, and pictures of his shoes.