Michael Jordan Biography – What to Read

Michael Jordan is one of the most recognizable athletes in the history of sports and his legacy of dominance and winning championships is unmatched in the world of sports. The Last Dance on ESPN showed the world exactly the kind of player he was and the competitor that he still is.

In addition to that documentary series, there have been many great books written about the life and career of Michael Jordan.

Who is Michael Jordan?

Are you kidding? Michael Jordan is Michael Jordan!

Jordan is a six-time NBA Championship, all with the Chicago Bulls. Jordan was undefeated in the Finals and he was named Finals MVP in each of the team’s wins. The team’s six championships came via “three-peats” as they won three straight from 1991-1993 and 1996-1998.

Michael was a 14-time NBA All-Star and 5-time NBA MVP. He was named the NBA Rookie of the Year in 1085 and went on to be named to the All-NBA First Team ten times during his career. Jordan also lead the NBA in scoring ten times during his career. He is currently the NBA’s fifth all-time leading scorer.

Jordan is just as well known for the things he has contributed off the court. He was the star of the movie Space Jam and he is a long-time spokesperson of Gatorade, Hanes, McDonald’s, and Nike.

For Nike, he is considered the godfather of the shoe game as his Air Jordans still rank among the top sellers each year. The Jordan Brand generated $3.1 billion in sales for Nike in the 2019 fiscal year.

Does Michael Jordan have an autobiography?

The closest we’ve gotten to a Michael Jordan autobiography is 2005’s Driven from Within. The book is primarily made up of pictures and quotes from Jordan himself.

Driven from Within
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Driven from Within by Michael Jordan: Michael Jordan is the rare global icon whose celebrity extends beyond his original stage and onto multiple platforms.

His relentless determination produced six NBA Championships and some of the most spectacular performances in sports history, while his enduring grace and unique sense of style made him equally famous in the worlds of fashion, business and marketing.

In Driven from Within, Michael makes it clear that the basis for his phenomenal success came from the inside out, thanks in part to those who guided him along the way. His skill, work ethic, philosophy, personal style, competitiveness and presence have flowed from the basketball court into every facet of his life.

Best Michael Jordan Book

There have been so many great books about Michael Jordan that I am going to list three here. For my money, Playing for Keeps is the best but all three are worth reading.

The Jordan Rules: The Inside Story of One Turbulent Season with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls
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The Jordan Rules: The Inside Story of One Turbulent Season with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls by Sam Smith: This is the book that changed the way the world viewed Michael Jordan, while delivering nonstop excitement, tension, and thrills.

The Jordan Rules chronicles the season that changed everything for Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. After losing in the playoffs to the “Bad Boys” Detroit Pistons for three consecutive years, the Bulls finally broke through and swept the Pistons in the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals, on the way to their first NBA championship.

Celebrated sportswriter Sam Smith was there for the entire ride. He reveals a candid and provocative picture of Michael Jordan during the season in which his legacy began to be defined, and seeks to figure out what drove him. The Jordan Rules covers everything from his stormy relationships with his coaches and teammates and power struggles with management—including verbal attacks on general manager Jerry Krause and tantrums against coach Phil Jackson—to Jordan’s obsessions with becoming the leading scorer, and his refusal to pass the ball in the crucial minutes of big games.

Jordan’s teammates also tell their side of the story, from Scottie Pippen, to Horace Grant, to Bill Cartwright. And Phil Jackson—the former flower child who blossomed into one of the NBA’s top motivators and finally found a way to coax Jordan and the Bulls to their first title—is studied up close.

Michael Jordan: The Life
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Michael Jordan: The Life by Roland Lazenby: The Shrug. The Shot. The Flu Game. Michael Jordan is responsible for sublime moments so ingrained in sports history that they have their own names. When most people think of him, they think of his beautiful shots with the game on the line, his body totally in sync with the ball — hitting nothing but net.

But for all his greatness, this scion of a complex family from North Carolina’s Coastal Plain has a darker side: he’s a ruthless competitor and a lover of high stakes. There’s never been a biography that encompassed the dual nature of his character and looked so deeply at Jordan on and off the court — until now.

Basketball journalist Roland Lazenby spent almost thirty years covering Michael Jordan’s career in college and the pros. He witnessed Jordan’s growth from a skinny rookie to the instantly recognizable global ambassador for basketball whose business savvy and success have millions of kids still wanting to be just like Mike. Yet Lazenby also witnessed the Michael Jordan whose drive and appetite are more fearsome and more insatiable than any of his fans could begin to know.

Michael Jordan: The Life explores both sides of his personality to reveal the fullest, most compelling story of the man who is Michael Jordan. Lazenby draws on his personal relationships with Jordan’s coaches; countless interviews with Jordan’s friends, teammates, and family members; and interviews with Jordan himself to provide the first truly definitive study of Michael Jordan: the player, the icon, and the man.

Playing for Keeps: Michael Jordan and the World He Made
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Playing for Keeps: Michael Jordan and the World He Made by David Halberstram: From The Breaks of the Game to Summer of ’49, David Halberstam has brought the perspective of a great historian, the insider knowledge of a dogged sportswriter, and the love of a fan to bear on some of the most mythic players and teams in the annals of American sports. With Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls he has given himself the greatest challenge and produced his greatest triumph.

In Playing for Keeps, Halberstam takes the first full measure of Michael Jordan’s epic career, one of the great American stories of our time. A narrative of astonishing power and human drama, brimming with revealing anecdotes and penetrating insights, the book chronicles the forces in Jordan’s life that have shaped him in to history’s greatest basketball player and the larger forces that have converged to make him the most famous living human being in the world.

Best Michael Jordan Biography for Kids

Who Is Michael Jordan?
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Who is Michael Jordan? by Kirsten Anderson: Grab your Js and hit the court with this Who Was? biography about NBA superstar Michael Jordan.

Meet the man who changed the game forever. Michael Jordan has always been competitive–even as a young boy, he fought for attention. His need to be the best made him a star player on his college basketball team and helped him become an NBA legend, both for his skills and his endorsements.

His Nike contract for Air Jordan basketball shoes set an unmatched precedent for professional athletes. Author Kirsten Anderson takes readers through each exciting moment, detailing the iconic reverse lay-ups and jump shots of Michael Jordan’s storied career.