Back to College With Biographer Roland Lazenby

Image courtesy of The Daily Tar Heel.

I went back to college last Friday with biographer Roland Lazenby, who signed copies of his Michael Jordan: The Life.

Check out the short video by The Daily Tar Heel featuring the gregarious author. We were situated near the front of the Student Stores on the University of North Carolina campus in Chapel Hill. (I’m in the background wearing Carolina blue.)

It was a gorgeous autumn day and there were good vibes in the student bookstore and on campus.

I also had fun talking to the two sophomore journalism students who shot the video and interviewed the author.


Celebrating ‘MICHAEL JORDAN: THE LIFE’ By Roland Lazenby

Buy at Amazon / Barnes & Noble

It’s May 6, publication day for MICHAEL JORDAN: THE LIFE by veteran basketball writer and author Roland Lazenby. (And also a friend of yours truly.) The MJ biography is a massive work in so many ways, 700 pages of digging, reporting, context and revelation by the same talented author who so wonderfully presented Jerry West, a complex basketball icon, and the West Virginia roots that formed him.

“Michael has had a huge, huge life,” Roland told Ed Sherman, who wrote an early review for the Chicago Tribune. “It’s a business story, a basketball story, a baseball story, a cultural story, a family story, and I could go on.”

If you’re an MJ fan or a basketball fan, you’ll definitely want to read this story. If you’re interested in the compelling biography of a person who transcended his sport and shaped culture, order your copy and start reading.

Dan Smith and Roland Lazenby.

I’m a fan–of Roland’s. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know him the last few years because we live in the same area. He has tremendous passion for his work, and a generous spirit when it comes to helping and encouraging other writers and authors. I’ve seen it firsthand. I’ve experienced it firsthand.


Roland shared this MJ nugget in his author bio at Amazon.

“Michael Jordan saved my life once,” he said. “It was during the 1995 playoffs, Chicago vs. Charlotte, after a practice at the arena in Charlotte.

“He was walking out of the building with a group of reporters following. Walking backwards, I was leading the pack, with my tape recorder in his face, interviewing as we walked. I was a foot from walking off the loading dock at the back of the arena, about a 10 foot fall onto concrete, when he reached out and grabbed my arm to stop me from going over the edge.

“So when I say that I have an interest in Jordan, I mean it.”

It’s so fortunate that his genuine interest in Jordan has resulted in this definitive biography. If they gave out rings for such things, like they do for NBA champs, Roland would get one for MICHAEL JORDAN: THE LIFE.