Showboat: The Life of Kobe Bryant

Roland Lazenby. Little, Brown, $32 (608p) ISBN 978-0-316-38724-8
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.)
Reviewed on: 08/08/2016
Release date: 10/25/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 544 pages - 978-0-07-148323-0
Hardcover - 468 pages - 978-0-07-143034-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-933309-02-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-4789-4041-8
Paperback - 640 pages - 978-0-316-38714-9
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-316-38727-9
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4789-1650-5
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