When Nothing Else Matters Book Review

The weekends are a slow time for Bulls news, and since I'm reading a basketball book per week on the train, I figured it'd be a good time to share some book reviews that would interest Bulls fans.

Up this week is When Nothing Else Matters by Michael Leahy.
First, anyone who read this book prior to release and didn't tell Leahy to knock about 200 pages off of it did him a great disservice.   You want to check this book out from the library and read the first seventy or so pages, the last forty or so pages, and any grouping of about fifty more pages in the middle. 

The book starts off with the portrait of Jordan's psyche, decision to come back as a player, relationship with Abe Pollin, and documents how he became a Wizards executive in the first place.   It does a nice job of showing the struggles athletes go through when they retire with most of their life ahead of them but having to adjust to an entirely new lifestyle.

The final part of the book discusses why Jordan was not asked back as a Wizards executive and how he completely misunderstood his negotiating power. 

The meat of the middle of the book discusses his first season as a Wizard  with a smaller section on his second season.  It was simply way too long.   You're screaming through the middle of it "I get it.  He has tendinitis, he won't listen to doctors, players hate him, Collins defers completely to him".

I've discussed the book with a few people and some feel he hates Jordan while others seemed to feel he was merely honest (implying you should hate Jordan after reading, but he wrote it objectively).   It may be that I've read enough books with major sections about Jordan in them to not be phased by the negatives in this book.  Instead I mostly felt sorry for Jordan who seems like a man who's realized his peak is long gone and will struggle the rest of his life knowing he can't get back there.

Overall, I give it five out of ten.   The good parts are very good, but by the middle of the book, you're debating about whether it's worth finishing because it gets so repetitive.


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  • It's a great book if you don't like Michael Jordan. It's also a good book if you like Tyrone Nesby. But yeah, it's repetitive. Leahy says the same thing about 80,000 different ways. Quite a skill, though.

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