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Mad Game : The NBA Education of Kobe Bryant Paperback – January 30, 2002

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"...the writing is sharp, and it's clear Lazenby knows his stuff. "Mad Game" creates an image of a young player whose determination leaves him aloof, whose lack of a college experience deprives him of some necessary team skills and whose playground style frustrates his teammates." -- Washington Times

"Subtitled The NBA Education of Kobe Bryant, the 313-page biography is proof that there is no such thing as a charmed life...Lazenby's book makes startlingly clear Bryant, 21, also is like you and me, tiptoeing around hostile co-workers and getting blamed for every little thing that goes wrong on the job and knowing at least one of the smiling faces he sees every day is trashing him behind his back." -- LA Daily News --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

The behind-the-scenes story of Kobe Bryant's meteoric rise

In Mad Game, Roland Lazenby explores the world of Kobe Bryant, who, at 23, is already a seasoned NBA veteran and the owner of two championship rings with the Los Angeles Lakers. Yet the road to glory has not been an easy one for Bryant. It has taken his iron will and enormous self-assurance to battle elements both within the NBA and on his own team that could force him to reshape his dreams of being number one, of being "The Man."

When the 17-year-old phenom left high school in 1996 to join the glitzy Los Angeles Lakers, Bryant faced a wave of media hype declaring him the next Michael Jordan. Mad Game is the story of how these circumstances propelled his rapid rise through the NBA, only to result in conflict with--and, at times, alienation from--his veteran teammates.

A cautionary tale emerges from the hard lessons Bryant learned along the road to NBA stardom. Yet this is also a story of triumph, of a uniquely gifted young athlete with an uncanny, instinctive feel for the game who matures as a player while trying to remain true to himself. In this updated paperback edition, Lazenby adds new material on the continued rise of Bryant through the 2000-2001 season, including his on- and off-court clashes with Shaquille O'Neal and how their conflicts nearly cost their team the NBA championship.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (January 30, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809296055
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809296057
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,357,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Jordan saved my life once. It was during the 1995 playoffs, Chicago vs. Charlotte, after a practice at the arena in Charlotte. He was walking out of the building with a group of reporters following. Walking backwards, I was leading the pack, with my tape recorder in his face, interviewing as we walked. I was a foot from walking off the loading dock at the back of the arena, about a 10 foot fall onto concrete, when he reached out and grabbed my arm to stop me from going over the edge.
So when I say that I have an interest in Jordan, I mean it.
I've written a new biography, Michael Jordan, The Life, set to be released by Little, Brown on May 6, 2014. His is a very big life, and the book was an immense challenge to write but oh so fascinating, as was the Jerry West bio I wrote in 2010 for ESPN Books/Random House.
I like to write about competitive personalities, especially those in the NBA. I like to write about their families. Among the zillion questions I had about MJ, I wanted to know where he came from, who the Jordans were. They were moonshiners, making and selling illegal liquor on North Carolina's Coastal Plain. So that's where his hard edge came from, I thought upon discovering who they were. Just about all the farmers and sharecroppers were moonshiners back in the day. That was their cash crop, the one that kept the family fed. They were tough-minded people, just like Jordan himself.
I've written a book that builds his life from that background. Starting at the beginning, with the birth of his great grandfather Dawson Jordan, allows me to take the reader through the process of his family, his background, and the nurturing of his vast competitive nature. What's more, it's immensely fun to track his rise. I enjoyed writing about the sharecroppers on North Carolina's Coastal Plain, just as I enjoyed writing about the coal miners and frontier settlers in Jerry West's background in West Virginia.
I see it as connecting all of the important cultural dots in the backgrounds of iconic figures.

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Top Customer Reviews

By Adam on May 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
welcom to the world of kobe bryant this book is nomber 1 out of2,865 books i have read (still counting) this book doesnt just tellyou about kobe it tells you about the whol lakers history and abot how other players reflect on kobe bryant like m.j. & magic Johnson I've read this book 3 times and i never get tierd of it i could tell you at least 5 things kobe has remarked of the top of my head I'm 11 years old & for me to type this much I'd have to love this book! & allso the author r. lazenby is supurb!
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Format: Hardcover
I read the book a little while back, and I thought it was a great read on the most electrifying basketball player today. At that time, Kobe was going through a lot of growing pains, a lot of failures, crticisms, bad chemistry with teammates. And now, this season, I've seen Kobe's maturation and improvement in the league, playing more under control, playing in Phil Jackson's triangle offense, having better rapport with Shaq and his teammates. His incredible performance in Game 4 of the NBA Finals in overtime was unforgettable and it is only the beginning. Now he is finally an NBA champion with the Lakers, and hopefully, this will be the beginning of another great Laker dynasty, the first of the 21st century!
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Format: Hardcover
Kobe Bryant is all Ready a Important Player but wait until a few years down the line His Best shall come.the Guy is a Good Balance of Talent&Flaw.He is gonna be Scary in years to Come.this Book brings all those Elements&More out.He has had to deal with alot of things On&Off the COurt but He is Headed for Something Special with His Career.the Sky is the Limit for Him.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
this book is good. Not 4-5 star book but good. I would recommend this to any player who has work ethic. Kobe Bryant was noted a decent player but he worked so hard he became a legend
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