"With the publication of Showboat: The Life of Kobe Bryant , it is high time we recognized author Roland Lazenby for what he has become: the finest sports biographer of our time. Read more...
"With the publication of Showboat: The Life of Kobe Bryant, it is high time we recognized author Roland Lazenby for what he has become: the finest sports biographer of our time. First with the astonishing Michael Jordan: The Life and now his having written an incredibly researched, beautifully written biography of this enigmatic Laker superstar, Lazenby has entered rarified air: one is wowed by what one learns and at the same time you can't wait to read what comes next." -- Peter Golenbock, author of ten New York Times bestsellers
Eighteen-time all-star; scorer of 81 points in a game; MVP and a shooting guard second only to Jordan in league history: Kobe Bryant is one of basketball's absolute greatest players, a fascinating and complicated character who knew when he was a mere boy that he would be better than Jordan on the court.
The debate about whether he achieved that is a furious one--but Kobe has surpassed Jordan on the all-time scoring list and has only one less championship than Jordan (5 to Jordan's 6). He is set to retire after the 2015/16 season, just in time for Roland Lazenby's definitive biography of the player and the man.
The Lakers are the flashiest team in all of sports, and the context in which Bryant played is salacious and exciting. Provocative stories mixed with good old fashioned basketball reporting make for a riveting and essential read for any hoops fan.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-08-08
- Reviewer: Staff
In this engaging though uneven biography, Lazenby, author of Michael Jordan: The Life, turns his eye to another basketball legend: the recently retired Kobe Bryant. As a kid, Bryant dissected videotaped NBA games and committed himself to practice with a flagellant’s zeal, screaming at and then chasing a teammate who botched a drill. That devotion, coupled with his otherworldly abilities (his father, Joe, played in the NBA), made Bryant a first-round NBA draft pick at age 17. Dizzying success followed: five NBA championships, an MVP award, Olympic gold medals. However, he became hardened by challenges: an uncommunicative head coach in Phil Jackson; a superstar teammate, Shaquille O’Neal, whose fun-loving approach was his polar antithesis; and sexual assault charges in 2003. The book works best when Lazenby explores Bryant’s childhood and his competitive makeup. This portion of the books also occurs before Lazenby’s utilitarian fact/long quote/fact style grows exhausting. Eventually, the author runs out of sources, and the narrative turns into a year-by-year recap of Bryant’s career, often lacking genuine insight. (Oct.)