Thursday, November 11, 2004

The real Michael Jordan?

I heard a fascinating interview on Jim Rome today with Michael Leahy, the author of the new book about Michael Jordan's stint as a pro basketball exec and his final comeback with the Wizards, When Nothing Else Matters. Click here to read the introduction to the book (you won't regret it) and some of the reviews out there.

In the interview, Leahy explained that Jordan was considered a failure as an exec, basically because he put little to no effort into the job -- strange for a guy whose work ethic on the court was unparalleled. Leahy also attempted to debunk the myth that Jordan returned "for the love of the game," instead insisting that Jordan's return to the court had much more to do with an uncontrollable desire to be at the center of attention.

Perhaps more disturbing, Leahy described Jordan's "abuse" of his teammates, both as a member of the championship Bulls and with the cellar-dwelling Wizards. (He mentioned Kwame Brown and Horace Grant, in particular.) Further, Leahy lamented the fawning coverage Michael received from members of the press who feared being denied access to him, specifically recalling the way Michael shut out Sports Illustrated after they ran a single unflattering article about his unsuccessful minor league baseball stint -- this notwithstanding the 50+ positive cover stories about Michael SI had run prior to the article.

I have no idea how accurate the book is, but I did find the allegations thought-provoking. I know MSR is a certified Jordan-hater, whereas Bo is more of Jordan-admirer, so this should make for some interesting commentary.

Like I said, click on the link above to get a better idea about the book's thesis.


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