Sportswriter: Jordan Haunted by Violence Surrounding Sneakers

Friday, 09 May 2014 04:58 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Michael Jordan is haunted by the violence that has surrounded the release of some of his wildly popular Air Jordan basketball sneakers, USA Today sportswriter Roland Lazenby says.

"He doesn’t like any of that stuff. He has felt deeply" about it, Lazenby, author of the new biography "Michael Jordan: The Life," told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

Over the years, fans of Jordan — considered the greatest basketball player in history — have engaged in riots, beatings, even murder, to get their hands on the pricey sneakers that can sell for $170 a pair and more. In one case, a 15-year-old high schoolboy was choked to death for a pair of Air Jordans in 1989.

Story continues below video.

The violence has particularly affected the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards shooting guard because of the senseless murder of his father, James Jordan, who was shot  by two men in 1993, according to Lazenby.

"If you’ve ever known the family of a homicide victim, they are profoundly changed. Michael was profoundly changed," he said.

"When he came back to basketball after playing baseball, he was dealing with huge levels of anger.''

Lazenby said Jordan, whom he has a good relationship with, did not cooperate with him in the writing of the book — but he wasn't surprised.

"I’ve written much about the Bulls and covered much of Michael’s career. He’s helped me with other book projects, but biographies are a different thing,'' he said.

"It’s an independent examination, and so I went and told Michael personally I was doing it, but I did not anticipate that he would want to participate."

One area of the hoop legend's life that is tackled by Lazenby is his gambling problem. But the author doesn't believe Jordan's wagering is anywhere near the severity of somebody like baseball great Pete Rose.

"There’s been a lot of speculation on that over the years, but the evidence doesn’t really add up,'' he said.

"Michael has said repeatedly, I’m not Pete Rose … [and] no one in any way anonymously, on the record, off the record, has ever accused him of betting on basketball, betting on his own games.

"[And] David Stern the [then-NBA] commissioner, went out of his way to make sure Jordan became an owner [of a team, the Charlotte Bobcats]. He really made a huge effort. You don’t do that for gamblers. Now Michael has continued to gamble legally, as he has casinos, he bets on golf, but … the NBA has a long history of its players doing that kind of betting."

Lazenby's book, published by Little Brown and Company, is out this week.

See "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV each weekday live by clicking here now.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Fox News Blocked From Dish Network

Sunday, 21 Dec 2014 15:20 PM

Dish Network subscribers were unable to watch Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network on Sunday when the channels  . . .

Rep. Erik Paulsen: Obamacare About to Hit Every American

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 18:41 PM

Minnesota Rep. Erik Paulsen says that every American is about to feel the effects of Obamacare when tax season hits in 2 . . .

FALN Victim's Son: Return 2 Cop Killers Living in Cuba to US

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 17:45 PM

Two cop killers brazenly living in Cuba must be returned to the United States now that new diplomatic relations have bee . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved