Lazenby, Roland. The NBA Education of Kobe Bryant: Mad Game. Published by Masters Press, 2000. Chicago, Illinois.
ISBN Number: 1-57028-225-0
Written by: Roland Lazenby
Reviewed by: Aldo Orea
Recommended Audiences: High School athletes, Kobe Bryant fans, basketball fans, and sports mind
As a young child Kobe Bryant enjoyed playing basketball. He is the son of Joe “JellyBean” Bryant. His father played in eight NBA seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers, San Diego Clippers, and Houston Rockets. At the age of five Bryant and his family moved from Philadelphia to Italy. For Bryant to live in Italy, it was a struggle. Sometimes when Bryant wanted play basketball, other kids would have to kick out Bryant because the basketball court was the soccer field. Basketball wasn’t as popular as soccer was. During the time Bryant was in Italy, his first language would become Italian.
When Bryant and his family moved back to Philadelphia from Italy. It was also a struggle for Bryant. Bryant didn’t understand English, he had to relearn the language. From the age one to five Bryant didn’t pick up a lot of English during the time he was in Philadelphia. Slang was a huge struggle for Bryant also but as time passed by Bryant got the hang of it. During his high school basketball career, Bryant was one of the best high school basketball players that anyone has ever seen. No one has never witnessed a player like him.. In 1995 Bryant was named the Adidas ABCD Summer Camp Most Valuable Player. The next year Bryant would lead Lower Merion High School to its first state title in 53 years. By the end of his high school basketball career, Bryant would become the all-time leading scorer at 2,883 points in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
Kobe Bryant was at a all time high. Their were high expectations for this young star. In 1996 Bryant would have to make one of the biggest decisions that any basketball player would ever have to make and that’s either go straight to the NBA or go to college. At Lower Merion High School, Bryant would reveal his decision. Bryant in the end thought it was best to skip college and fulfill his dream in the NBA. Many critics thought it was a mistake, they all thought, how can a 18 year old kid compete at NBA level? It was ridiculous, many blamed Bryant’s parents for letting him go through with it but Bryant was on a mission, he didn’t care on what anyone said.
In a fast period of time, Bryant became a global icon. Bryant was receiving commercials, advertisements, promos, etc. Bryant was the best high school basketball player that anyone has ever seen. Not even Micheal Jordan was at the level he was. Many people were amazed how much talent Kobe Bryant had. At 6’6, 200 pounds. Bryant was something special. In 1996 Bryant would be drafted by the Charlotte Hornets as the 13th overall pick in the first round.
For Bryant’s coming out party in 1996, it wasn’t so sweet. Bryant received pretty good minutes for a rookie but struggled at the offensive end. The same year Bryant came to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Los Angeles Lakers also traded for all-star center Shaquille O’neal. In Bryant’s rookie year, he was very cocky. Bryant always tried to do something special and give the crowd a show. Teammate Shaquille O’neal would give him the nickname “show boat”. It didn’t bother Bryant but every year Bryant would always improve. All his numbers would go up. In 1998 Bryant became the youngest starting all-star at 19 years old but at age of 21 Bryant would become one of the most premier shooting guards in the league.
Bryant today is arguably the best basketball player in the world today. Through the force of his will and the range of his skill, Bryant still feels unfulfilled; a man still haunted by the ghost he craves most. Bryant wants to be Micheal, he wants to be better than Micheal. In the world of basketball today Kobe is like Napoleon, dreaming to be like Alexander. Both are conquered worlds but Alexander came first and he did it better. Bryant mimicked Micheal in every way, in style, in work ethic, and in skills. Their has been no one closer to Micheal than Kobe Bryant. No one, they both have a mentality of a champion and the will of doing the impossible. No one else deserves this comparison other than Kobe Bryant. In the last 12 years no has had a resume like Kobe Bryant. Bryant is a 5x NBA Champion, a 2x NBA Finals MVP, a 4x NBA All-Star MVP, a league MVP (2008), a 14x NBA All-Star, a 2x NBA Scoring Champion, etc. His resume just keeps going, this guy is unbelievable. His legacy has been remarkable but it isn’t over yet. Basketball never stops for him. Even though he’s aging, history is still in the making.
Description of book: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1001855.Mad_Game
About the Author: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roland_Lazenby