HANG TIME by Bob Greene

HANG TIME

Days and Dreams with Michael Jordan
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Ruminative analysis of Olympic and NBA superstar Michael Jordan, by bestselling Chicago Tribune columnist Greene (Homecoming, 1988, etc.). This is far from a typical sports-hero bio. On-court heroics and megabucks (Jordan makes up to $128 million annually) play little part; instead, Greene seems to enter Jordan's psyche in a simple, personal way. It begins with their mutual interest in brightening the life of a battered child and the discovery of shared concerns that have nothing to do with sports. Sometimes long-winded and overexplanatory, Greene nevertheless has the gifts of modesty and genuine interest in other people, clearly at work in creating this revealing portrait of what it's like to live with a talent who is reinventing basketball much the way Charlie Parker reinvented the alto saxophone. It's lonely and there's no privacy, says Jordan--your friends are people you met 20 years ago, and the normal activities of getting a haircut or going to the mall for aspirin are gone. ``You can feel the eyes...it's like the eyes are burning into you. It never goes away.'' And it's a fast life, where the skinny showoff rookie of eight years ago is an amusing stranger now, a source of nostalgia to today's thoughtful professional. Greene catches Jordan's respect for old coach Dean Smith; what it was like not making the team back in high school; and Jordan's reaction when Bulls coach Phil Jackson decides not to go to him in the clutch. The author also reveals why Jordan enjoys golf so much, and, in a remarkable scene that speaks worlds, what it was like being in the room with an exhausted Jordan and his sleeping wife when the '92 championship looked as if it were slipping away. Engaging and likely to sell very big, but one caveat: Greene gets close to Jordan but closer to Greene, and spends a little too much time there. (Photos--12 b&w--not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-385-42588-0
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1992




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