WHEN NOTHING ELSE MATTERS: Michael Jordan's Last Comeback

Michael Leahy, Author
Michael Leahy, Author . Simon & Schuster $26 (448p) ISBN 978-0-7432-5426-7
Ebook - 448 pages - 978-0-7432-7648-1
Paperback - 435 pages - 978-0-7432-5427-4
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After serving as president and part owner of the Washington Wizards for two years, Jordan, bored by his executive duties and frustrated by the team's poor play, returned to the court in 2001 in a bid to revitalize the struggling basketball franchise. But the aging superstar's attempt to resurrect the team flopped as the Wizards failed to make the playoffs in either of Jordan's two playing seasons. While the highs and lows of Jordan's comeback are known to most basketball fans, Leahy, a Washington Post feature writer who covered Jordan's return, offers an in-depth look at the inner turmoil that plagued the Jordan-led Wizards. In a smartly written, often angry work that is as much a sports story as a psychology study and condemnation of the media that built up the Jordan myth, Leahy not only documents Jordan's performance on the floor, but examines what motivated him to play despite serious knee problems. Leahy also deals with the role sportswriters (he makes it clear he isn't one) play in building America's athletes into godlike characters, a practice he abhors. Leahy has no use for idol worship and casts all three of the book's main figures—Jordan, coach Doug Collins and majority owner Abe Pollin—in unfavorable lights. This engaging read is marred by one flaw: Leahy's tendency to insert himself into the story. Agent, David Black. (Nov.)

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