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How to Be Like Mike: Life Lessons about Basketball's Best Paperback – August 14, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-This motivational book uses Michael Jordan as a prime example of how to achieve one's dream career goals whether they are in the sports arena or in other fields. Each chapter focuses on one ingredient in the recipe for success. The elements are identified as effective concentration, a joyful love for one's work, unrelenting practice of one's skills, persistent determination to achieve, acceptance of personal responsibility for one's own actions, treating others with warmth and respect, etc. There are copious anecdotes about how the basketball star has smoothly blended them all into his life, but there are also quotes from a variety of people, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Síren Kierkegaard, James Baldwin, Miles Davis, and Anthony Quinn. Jordan is portrayed as the most hardworking man in his field, and his persistence rather than his natural athletic talent is credited for his legendary achievements. MJ's fans will naturally enjoy reading about him, but even those who aren't basketball fanatics will be inspired by the principles promoted here.

Joyce Fay Fletcher, Rippon Middle School, Prince William County, VA

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

By interviewing more than 1,400 friends, coaches, teammates, rivals, and just about anyone else whose life was touched by Michael Jordan, Williams, a motivational speaker and the owner of the Orlando Magic, has amassed enough anecdotes to . . . well, write a book. The text covers what makes M. J. great--as a person, a role model, a leader, and, yes, a basketball player. What's refreshing here is that Jordan is portrayed as human like the rest of us, which means that if we were to apply our skills to our lives as Jordan has to his, we, too, could "be like Mike." Motivational quotes from such diverse figures as Rose Kennedy and Bertolt Brecht are scattered among the inspiring, often funny Jordan quips. Each chapter elaborates on aspects of Michael's success ("Focus, Passion & Energy") and includes introductory comments by Michael himself. What will allow this book to stand out among the myriad motivational titles out there? It's simple, entertaining, and commonsensical. And it's about Michael Jordan. Mary Frances Wilkens
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Series: How to Be Like
  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: HCI (August 14, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558749551
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558749559
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Pat Williams is a basketball Hall-of-Famer, currently serving as co-founder and senior vice president of the NBA's Orlando Magic. As one of America's top motivational speakers, he has addressed thousands of executives in organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies and national associations to universities and nonprofits. Clients include AllState, American Express, Cisco, Coca-Cola, Disney, Honeywell, IBM, ING, Lockheed Martin, Nike, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Tyson Foods to name a few. Pat is also the author of over 80 books, his most recent title being COACH WOODEN'S GREATEST SECRET: The power of a lot of little things done well.

Since 1968, he has been in the NBA as general manager for teams in Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia--including the 1983 World Champion 76ers--and now the Orlando Magic, which he co-founded in 1987 and helped lead to the NBA finals in 1995 and 2009. Twenty-three of his teams have gone to the NBA playoffs and five have made the NBA finals. In 1996, Pat was named as one of the 50 most influential people in NBA history by a national publication. Pat is also a recipient of the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Pat has been an integral part of NBA history, including bringing the NBA to Orlando. He has traded Pete Maravich as well as traded for Julius Erving, Moses Malone, and Penny Hardaway, and he has won four NBA draft lotteries, including back-to-back winners in 1992 and 1993. He also drafted Charles Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal, Maurice Cheeks, Andrew Toney and Darryl Dawkins. He signed Billy Cunningham, Chuck Daly, and Matt Guokas to their first professional coaching contracts. Nineteen of his former players have become NBA head coaches, nine have become college head coaches while seven have become assistant NBA coaches.

Additonally, Pat served for seven years in the United States Army, spent seven years in the Philadelphia Phillies organization--two as a minor league catcher and five in the front office--and has also spent three years in the Minnesota Twins organization.

Pat and his wife, Ruth, are the parents of 19 children, including 14 adopted from four nations, ranging in age from 23 to 36. For one year, 16 of his children were all teenagers at the same time. Pat and his family have been featured in Sports Illustrated, Readers Digest, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, The Wall Street Journal, Focus on the Family, New Man Magazine, plus all of the major television networks, The Maury Povich Show and Dr. Robert Schuller's Hour of Power.

Pat was diagnosed in February of 2011 with Multiple Myeloma. After several rounds of chemo treatments, Pat received a bone marrow transplant where the doctors injected him with almost 5 million of his own stem cells. Pat's recovery from the stem cell transplant has been remarkable and the doctors are extremely pleased. While Multiple Myeloma is incurable the goal is to get the cancer into remission (Pat's personal slogan has been "The Mission is Remission"); Pat's doctors have told him that they are unable to detect any myeloma in his body. Pat has accepted positions on several boards for different cancer groups, including an appointment on the Board of Directors for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Pat spends many hours each week responding to emails and phone calls of others affected by cancer, offering hope and words of encouragement.

Pat teaches an adult Sunday school class at First Baptist Church of Orlando and hosts three weekly radio shows. In the last 13 years, he has completed 53 marathons--including the Boston Marathon 12 times--and also climbed Mt. Rainier. He is a weightlifter, Civil War buff and serious baseball fan. Every winter he plays in Major League Fantasy Camps and has caught Hall of Famers Bob Feller, Bob Gibson, Fergie Jenkins, Rollie Fingers, Gaylord Perry, Phil Niekro, Tom Seaver and Goose Gossage.

Pat was raised in Wilmington, Delaware, earned his bachelors degree at Wake Forest University, and his master's degree at Indiana University. He is a member of the Wake Forest Sports Hall of Fame after catching for the Deacon baseball team, including the 1962 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship team. He is also a member of the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Blaine Greenfield on March 17, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You don't have to be a basketball fan to love HOW TO BE LIKE
Williams with Michael Weinreb . . . it is an inspiring book, relevant
to just about anybody . . . parents as well as their children will
enjoy it; so will employers and their employees.
Williams, one of the country's top motivational speakers and senior
vice president of the Orlando Magic, conducted over 1,500 interviews
with those who know Michael Jordan best . . . he then boiled down
what they said into the habits that are needed to succeed . . . these
include such things as focus, passion, perseverance, teamwork,
and leadership.
I particularly liked the many examples taken from the lives of
Jordan, the author and many other unique people . . . in addition,
there were thought-provoking quotes sprinkled throughout the
There were so many memorable passages that it is difficult
to choose just a few to highlight here . . . but among them
were the following:
[on how Williams is perceived]
I am known to those around me as a rather enthusiastic
person--a notion that most probably consider a vast understatement.
Throughout the course of my career in the front office in both
minor-league baseball and the NBA, my energy has led me to some
rather odd precipes. Wrestling bears, for instance. Or overseeing
the most disappointing trained pig act in the history of Philadelphia's
sports. Or donning a sweaty mascot's suit. All for the sake of
Some might call me crazy. I call it a surplus of joy. And I just
happen to believe you should have enough of a surplus to fill a
Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
How to be like Mike is a book about a young kid with big dreams. He has many hardships throughout his childhood life and as he gets older too. That kid is Michael Jordan. As a kid, he never wanted to stop playing basketball. He was so much better than all of the other kids. He grew up with his Mom and Dad. His Dad is the one who taught him everything he knows to this day. When he got into highschool, things got rough for him. It wasn't shcool, because he got generally good grades. But it was the highschool varsity basketball team. Something happens to him that really breaks his heart. As he gets older things started to come together for him. people started to notice him and he is liking his new fame. he was on top of the world.
This book was ideal for me because I love to play basketball. It taught me not to give up and always go for the gold. Just life lessons in general, good advice and what to expect. Quotes from other famous people throughout the book. I recommend this book if you are looking for good advice and life lessons.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Pat Williams really blends everything from Jordan's life, his life and quotes from alomst every sports legend and even quotes from people who are not a sportsmen. This book really projects the success of Jordan's life as a whole, from the values instilled in him and his own character. It also stresses the most, Jordan's mental strength and capacity [which I admire the most], his ability to withstand immense amounts of mental pressure, soaking up the challenge and relishing every form of competition on and off the court. The quotes inside are really good and applicable and they also explain what made Jordan and other atheletes who are considered legends in their own field of work. It combines the whole of Jordan's life, mostly off court, with snippets of Jordan's life on court, how he felt during the time he had to take a game-winning shot or before a crucial match. Pat Williams really stretched himself in getting all the information compiled into this book. All the values in the book really will push you to work harder and as long as you will be willing to live by these values. For those hard-core basketball fans out there, it is the greatest book written as far as I have read, (I have read alot of books, probably more than a 40 year old person has) in terms of values and things you could do to help yourself improve on and off the court. In terms of statistics of Jordan, how many points he had a game, rebounds, stuff like that, you won't get it here but it has great, applicable values which are more than useful. As I close, I would like to end off with what Jordan said, " The tougher you are on yourself, the easier life will be on you."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jasmine Logue on July 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
Pat Williams' book "How to be Like Mike" is a tight, focused book about what it takes to succeed. The lessons are modeled on the philosophies of Michael Jordan and there is much to be learned from MJ.

My only complaint is that the book tends to falter when author Pat Williams inserts his own family stories. Williams comes across as an authoritarian father who demands that his children do things his way. He seems to bristle at the idea that not every person thrives on competition or wants to model his or her life around an athletic paradigm.

Still, if you can move beyond Williams' interjections, the remainder of the book is a gem.
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