The number 23 to any sports fan usually means one thing.
Local author and Radford University professor Roland Lazenby is profiling MJ in his latest book, “Michael Jordan: The Life.”
“There has not been a full-length biography of Michael Jordan that puts him in the context of his family,” said Lazenby. “[This book] looks at an array of things.
It’s been over a decade since Michael Jordan last laced up his shoes on NBA hardwood. The six-time NBA Champion is arguably basketball’s most famous name. But now, Roland Lazenby evaluates MJ like never before.
“He’s so large, particularly as a player,” he added. “The expectations [of Michael] of the public are so huge.”
Lazenby said the idea first came to him a number of years ago while sitting down with Michael. Interviews have been complied over almost a decade from figures across the Bulls organization, The University of North Carolina and former teammates and friends of Michael. But the real story came about when Lazenby examined his relationship with his own father. Particularly when he worked at The Roanoke Times as a beat reporter back in the 1980’s.
“Michael’s father was disapproving of him as a young guy, which ignited a chemistry that’s still playing out today. As I continued researching this, it made me realize my own relationship with my own father. I played football and he was a hoops fanatic. But once he passed on I began playing basketball like a maniac because it made me feel closer to my father.”
In writing the 672 page book, Lazenby dedicated the book to a number of deceased people. Many of them close to the WDBJ and Western Virginia region.
“Roy Stanley Miller from Wytheville,” said Lazenby. “Roy and I were both from Wytheville we were in high school together and both contemporaries. The other form the WDBJ family is the father of Nick Beaty, LJ Beaty who was a youth coach in the city of Salem and a very, very close friend of mine.”
The book is set for release Tuesday May 6th.